on the Manchester Evening News website today:
Our message today to Dick Caborn, Minister for Sport, is simple: Open your eyes.
If you want to see Manchester's achievements, look around you.
Despite the overwhelming success of the 17th Commonwealth Games and the fantastic enthusiasm that the biggest multi-sports event ever staged in this country has generated, Mr Caborn has ruled out any prospect of Manchester's involvement in a future Olympic bid, even jointly with London.
We think he is wrong.
Mr Caborn, visiting the city today with International Olympic Committee chairman Jacques Rogge, was, of course, only echoing what Craig Reedie, British Olympic bid chairman, said earlier this week.
Mr Reedie was also wrong.
We fully understand, after two failed bids for the Olympics in 1996 and 2000, their belief that the IOC would only consider a British bid from London.
They obviously recognise the way things too often seem go in this country: there's London, then nothing - ignoring the fact that Manchester's Commonwealth Games facilities were built on budget and on time.
But we are not naive either. Manchester could not stage the Olympic Games alone. But this city has demonstrated in the clearest possible way, both through its ability to provide world-class sporting facilities less than the cost of reducing Wembley to rubble - and the enthusiasm of its people - that we deserve to be part of any future bid.
Top athletes who will never forget their Manchester experience, have launched a "crusade" to save the athletics track at the City of Manchester Stadium.
That, today is an impossibility, not of our making. Manchester offered to build a national stadium. We were rejected and cut our coat according to the cloth afforded us - which meant the deal with Manchester City FC was imperative to get a stadium build at all.
Manchester also offered to modify the stadium design at a later stage to incorporate retractable seating, which would have saved the track at a modest cost, and might, with negotiation, have saved the 2005 World Athletics Championships for the UK. It too was rejected.
Will Mr Caborn accept any government responsibility for these decisions, plainly and demonstrably wrong? Will he explain to Paula Radcliffe, Ashia Hansen, Marlon Devonish and Jonathan Edwards, why that running track has to go?
Frankly, if London was sceptical about Manchester's ability to deliver the goods, we have major misgivings over London's ability to get its act together by 2012. Look at the evidence.
Does anybody yet know whether Wembley, if it is ever rebuilt, will incorporate athletics? Or would there have to be another few hundred million thrown at another stadium capable of staging the Olympics?
There is a feelgood factor in Manchester that has brought pride to our nation. Don't ignore it.
This has been a party political broadcast by the "Life Exists Outside London Party"