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The George Floyd mural has been replaced in the Northern Quarter

What do you think of the new mural?

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Finest Media & @folieartanddesign/Instagram

The George Floyd mural in the Northern Quarter has now been replaced by another piece of artwork.

The mural had been in Stevenson Square since June 2020, after it was painted by local artist Akse P19 in the weeks following Mr Floyd’s death.

Sadly the mural was repeatedly covered by racist graffiti while it was up, with several incidents in which the painting was vandalised and Akse had to repaint it.

Finest Media

It’s now been covered by a new piece of street art by Manchester-based artist Folie, with the new painting showing a hand reaching for the sun between clouds.

The painting is located on a site managed by Outhouse MCR, a project that has seen public art being created in Manchester for more than a decade now.

Folie took to Instagram to share the artwork, thanking Outhouse MCR ‘for inviting me to come and paint this pretty poignant spot’.

FOLIE / Facebook

They added: “When I read the theme was growth it made me think of the general feeling in the air at the moment.. how to continue, how to process and progress, how do we move on?

“Especially considering the piece I was covering, I wanted it also to offer a moment of reflection. I decided to design a piece based around a latin phrase “DESTITUTUS VENTIS REMOS ADHIBE” which translates to ‘If the winds will not serve, take to the oars’.

“I hope the symbology and the phrase combined inspires the observer to consider wider points of view and to trust in themselves. The clouds represent uncertainty and the sun and moon elements consistency. The rising hand of humanity, ownership and responsibility.

“The grass and the mushrooms are the teachers in nature, where we ground ourselves, focus on health and embrace knowledge provided by the earth. Waves show the erratic aspects of nature and life, they can sometimes be rough and other times manageable, and the shining rays in both pieces represent the hope.”

You can check out more of Folie’s work on Instagram here.

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Calls for smoking to be banned in pub beer gardens and outdoor seating areas

However, an outdoor smoking ban in is not universally supported

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A recent study found that 1 in 5 ex-smokers think a ban on smoking in pub beer gardens and outdoor areas would help them quit the habit for good.

The Quitting Smoking for Mental Health study spoke to 1,000 current and ex-smokers from all around the country to find out what measures would be best for smoking cessation.

This was the response they got:

  • 26% wanted a ‘smoking ban in all public places, including hospitals, parks and bus stops’
  • 20% wanted a ‘ban on smoking on pub premises, including pub gardens and outdoor seating’
  •  19% wanted a ‘workplace ban on smoking on the premises and cigarette breaks’

According to smoking cessation charity ASH, the study – which was conducted by Vape Club – discovered that 43.9% of ex-smokers found their mental health had improved since they quit smoking.

It also found that the pandemic has been the driving force behind an ‘astonishing’ quit rate among young smokers, although some stressed concerns that pubs reopening may mean they relapse.



Stephanie Barnes, an ex-smoker, said: “It’s quite a tricky one I’d imagine as some outside pub spaces aren’t big enough to separate the garden but I think separate areas would be a good idea.

“Try and remember how far you’ve come – ie if you quit smoking for three months then what is making you want to start when in a pub? Remember how smoking made you feel, for me it was stomach pains and chesty and remember why you’re so much better without it”.

ASH are calling for the current ‘pop up’ pavement licences to be made 100% smokefree, as a way of helping smokers to ‘quit and stay quit’.

They also want to provide family-friendly spaces, as well as preventing any harm caused by second-hand smoke.


Jonathan James, owner of The Boathouse pub, said: “We see an increase in smoking when people drink alcohol. We are fortunate to have an extensive external space, with tables that are very well spaced and table service for safety with the pandemic.

“While we see no need to implement a no smoking policy as it would reduce trade, I can understand urban venues with limited outside access would have an issue.

“I can imagine that a blanket ban would make it easier for an ex-smoker, simply because they no longer have to tell themselves not to smoke. ‘You can’t smoke’ is much easier than ‘you can but best you don’t smoke’, especially after a few Mojitos!”

However, an outdoor smoking ban in pub beer gardens is not universally supported.

Andres Siimon on Unsplash

Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said: “There is absolutely no justification for banning smoking outside pubs and thankfully there is very little support for it.

“If ex-smokers are so easily tempted to relapse that’s their problem not the publican’s.”

He added: “Demands to ban smoking outside are the last thing publicans need as they try to recover from lockdown.

“Ultimately it’s a matter for them, not government or anti-smoking campaigners, to choose a policy that best suits their business and attracts the largest number of customers.”

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Morrisons shoppers upset over ‘intimidating’ Union Jack packaging in the supermarket

Thoughts?

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@MarinaNigrelli / Twitter

Morrisons use of the Union Jack flag on British products has kicked off a debate online.

It was sparked when a shopper posted a picture of the Union Jack branding on the supermarket’s eggs and butter.

Pictures of the products were posted to Twitter, with the customer writing: “Just back from a trip to Morrisons. Is it just me, or have their butter and eggs always been this… patriotic?”

The post sparked a debate and divided opinion in the comments, with some saying they will boycott the items while others argued it was just marking them as being British products.

Rept0n1x / Wikimedia

Someone replied to the tweet to say: “Very upset by porridge I saw in Morrisons. This flagging everything is very unpleasant and quite intimidating.”

A second added: “Retaliate. I’m no longer buying anything packaged as such. Hurt them through their bank accounts.”

While another replied: “Won’t be buying eggs from Morrisons.”

Some people were confused as to why people were so offended by the Union flag being on British products.

One person said: “I can’t believe you all get triggered over the fact it’s showing we have British products in our stores. You should be proud that it’s cut down on air miles and transport costs and in turn is helpful for the environment. No, you’d rather moan about the national flag.”

A second asked: “They also have the French flag on Brie and Camembert cheeses and the Italian flag on a number of meats. Should we remove them as well? Or is it just because it is the British flag?”

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Handbag thief faceplants into ‘one way’ sign after stealing £760 Moschino bag in the city centre

That’s gotta hurt…

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Greater Manchester Police / Facebook

A man trying to make a swift getaway from police ended up getting more than he bargained for.

The suspect ended up with a sore head after smashing into a ‘one way’ sign after his concentration slipped.

The 33-year-old male was attempting to give Greater Manchester Police the slip after stealing a £760 Moschino bag in the city centre.

While he was making off from officers he looked behind him and ended up faceplanting straight into the sign.

He was subsequently arrested and taken into custody to recover from a ‘sore head’.

GMP took to Twitter and Facebook yesterday to share the news, saying that ‘all signs suggest he’ll make a full recovery’.

GMP City Centre wrote: “One way to custody… A 33yr old male stole a £760 Moschino hand bag. Whilst making off from officers, he looked behind him & then faceplanted straight into a One Way road sign.

“Male now in custody recovering from a sore head, all signs suggest he’ll make a full recovery!”

Ouch!

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