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international news _ Jonty Skrufff _ 14th June 2005

Manchester's Dress Code Orwellian Panacea

Manchester designer bar Panacea's decision to become the first UK venue to install an iris scanning machine appeared to backfire this week, when the Guardian suggested local creatives are snubbing the Orwellian device.

The 7,500 machine is being offered voluntarily to drinkers wishing to gain member style services on future trips, though according to the newspaper has alienated loads of the region's notoriously opinionated free thinkers.

"Many suspect the scanner service is only there for footballers and soap stars in search of something different," the Guardian declared, "Since then (the installation of the machine) the love affair between Manchester's creatives- trendy and affluent but notoriously wary of London style snobbery- and its new flagship bar has been as icy as a daiquiri."

However, long term Manchester resident and creative type Justin Robertson, who recently moved back to London after almost 17 years living in the Northern town, told Skrufff recently that London is much the same.

"Manchester is quite small in physical terms and it's also quite small in the sense that everyone knows each other and it's like a village, everyone knows your business," said Justin. "I was thinking that when I moved to London that wouldn't happen when, in fact, all that happens is that in London you get East London people and West London people who all hang out in the same areas and it's very, very similar. Britain's a tiny country," he mused.


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