The towpath that leads to the Big Society

By Tristram Hunt

Published: July 6 2010 23:18 | Last updated: July 6 2010 23:18

In 1847, the Scottish novelist Hugh Miller described the River Irwell as “a flood of liquid manure, in which all life dies, whether animal or vegetable, and which resembles nothing in nature, except perhaps the stream thrown out in eruption by some mud-volcano”. Friedrich Engels was equally disparaging about the state of Manchester’s Irk: “a narrow, coal-black, foul-smelling stream … out of whose depth bubbles of miasmatic gases constantly rise and give forth a stench that is unbearable.”

For complete article see FT.com / Comment / Opinion – Take the towpath that leads to the Big Society.

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