Grow 2013 was marred by a lack of public attendance. Part of that was due to the derby, and theories abound about excessive numbers of shows in general, but there was a considerably more present and pressing issue that played its part.
Visitors will probably have noticed the large empty space where normally the grand banner advertising the event would sit, emblazoned across the front of Manchester Central. How is it, then, that a Hydroponics show is barred from the same level of service that any other show would be afforded? This isn’t an attack on Manchester central, who ultimately have the right to determine who they do or don’t do business with and what form that business takes. Rather it is a question of why they might feel comfortable hosting the show, but uncomfortable with fully advertising that fact. For all the many decades that Hydroponics has been utilized in the commercial sector, the general public still view it with a certain degree of either apathy or distain. Obviously we all work towards better informing folk, but as a rule we’re probably talking to people of a relative like-mind. Try telling your average middle-class white woman over forty that you work in Hydroponics- that look she’ll no doubt give you is one of distain and contempt normal reserved for traffic wardens and the homeless. It’s not hard to see how and why an industry might become insular in this climate. We can dispute the value of attempting to engage in debate with such a wilfully ignorant and judgemental creature as the average Daily Mail reader till the cows come home, but the fact is they are a solid voting bloc. So as long as we subscribe to a party political system, their opinions, more than anyone else’s, will continue to determine the political policies to which we are all subject.