Earlier this year, you may have noticed we declared Manchester the UK’s coolest place to be a man. We even bolted a signpost saying just as much, plonked right in the heart of the trendy Spinningfields quadrant.
But while Noel, Liam, Bez and the cast of Corrie are no doubt with us, news reaches us that one Iranian man thinks otherwise, handing himself in at a Manchester police station demanding officers deport him back to his home country because he had “had enough” of living in the city.
Farcically, Arash Aria told the police he had been living in the UK illegally for 10 years, though was later released when immigration officials took the case and found he actually did have permission to live in the country. So now it looks as though the 25-year-old will have to renew his Iranian passport to return to Shiraz in South West Iran.
If it was because of the constant rain we might have been able to understand, but the unemployed former barman told The Daily Telegraph that animosity from locals was the main reason for his reason to leave: “The people of Manchester have not been welcoming. It’s words, violence, many things. I try to ignore people but I’m fed up now. I don’t get the respect I should here. People are not friendly here in Manchester. When they are rude to me, I don’t like it.
“Particularly in the last year it’s got really bad. I try to be friendly and polite. But they just laugh at me because I am foreign and look at me strangely,” he added.
With the national debates on how the UK can respond to refugees fleeing from the war-torn Middle East showing no signs of abating, it’s refreshing to know that maybe England has a few bombsites of its own.
But if you do see a man trying to sail a dingy off the coast, alert officials – we have to keep him here. We can’t have our Britain’s Best Place To Be A Man campaign threatened by one troublemaker.
Cameron, keep him in!