Powerpoint of the presentation. Includes:
- Contact details for the key people who were introduced on the night.
- Some key travel and tourism websites including good use of VR
- Useful apps for staff and students
- Links to our relevant courses.
Powerpoint of the presentation. Includes:
ARE YOU A PARENT SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD THROUGH PARENTAL BEREAVEMENT?
IS YOUR CHILD AGED 3-6 YEARS OLD?
This study by Staffordshire University needs parents with children aged 3-6 years’ old for a study on how children cope in education when one parent dies. Your participation is voluntary and is a 30-minute interview about your experiences and the involvement of nursery or school staff in helping to support your child. All interview data is collated on a digital device that is password protected.
This project has the full support of Child Bereavement UK
RECOVEU – A participative approach to curriculum development for adults in addiction recovery across the EU
RECOVEU is a project funded by the EU and based on an international partnership of educators and practitioners working in the field of drug addiction.
During the course of the project an ‘Access to Learning’ pack to help adults in addiction recovery prepare for, and succeed in, further learning has been developed. The activities within the course take into account the specific barriers that socially disadvantaged people, such as those in addiction recovery, often face and their development has been informed by people in recovery and drug treatment providers.
The full Course Pack consisting of the ‘Access to Learning’ materials, Evaluation Toolkit and Guidelines for Delivery is freely available on an E-Learning Platform on the RECOVEU website together with an online ‘Train the Trainers’ module: www.recoveu.org
For further details of the project please contact: Tom Ward, Project Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With Ruth Smeeth MP -(Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove)
You are cordially invited to join us for a discussion on ‘Economic Renewal in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire’, organised in partnership with Staffordshire University.
This is an opportunity for academics, business leaders, students and local residents to begin a serious discussion about how to develop a long-term vision for the area.
The event will feature a keynote speech from Ruth Smeeth MP on the economic challenges and opportunities for Stoke-on-Trent followed by workshops and discussions on some of the issues facing North Staffordshire.
Date: Wednesday 15th Feb
Location: LT111/113 Ashley Building, Leek Road, Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent ST4 2DF
Time: 1.00 – 3.30pm
Facilitators from Staffordshire University (Business and Education)
To register please email email@example.com or contact us on 020 7219 4844
For further details please contact Glen Watson on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01782 454 370
Using a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises from twenty-eight European countries, this study evaluates the input and output additionality of national and European Union (EU) R&D programmes both separately and in combination. Accordingly, we contribute to understanding the effectiveness of innovation policy from the perspective of policy mix. Empirical results are different for innovation inputs and outputs. For innovation inputs, we found positive treatment effects from national and EU programmes separately as well as complementary effects for firms supported from both sources relative to firms supported only by national programmes. For innovation outputs,we report no evidence of additionality from national programmes and cannot reject crowding out from EU programmes. However, crowding out from EU support is eliminated by combination with national support. These findings have policy implications for the governance of R&D policy
and suggest that the European paradox—success in promoting R&D inputs but not commercialisation— is not yet mitigated.
Key words: R&D support; SMEs; policy mix; input and output additionality; European paradox
Science and Public Policy, 2016, 1–16
My latest paper written with Werner Maier (Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany) and Matthias Braubach (World Health Organisation) has just been published. The first draft of this was written using the Boice method that I have discussed previously
Incorporating Environmental Justice into Second Generation Indices of Multiple Deprivation: Lessons from the UK and Progress Internationally has been published in an open access journal in a special issue focused on Environmental Justice in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Second generation area-based indices of multiple deprivation have been extensively used in the UK over the last 15 years. They resulted from significant developments in political, technical, and conceptual spheres for deprivation data. We review the parallel development of environmental justice research and how and when environmental data was incorporated into these indices. We explain the transfer of these methods from the UK to Germany and assess the progress internationally in developing such indices. Finally, we illustrate how billions of pounds in the UK was allocated by using these tools to tackle neighbourhood deprivation and environmental justice to address the determinants of health.
So here I am in Bakewell for day 1 of the fantastic festival known as Eroica Britannia.
Riders are getting registered
and then having a quick drink in the tent
There’s all sort on including talks about racing on penny farthings
There’s lots of bike stuff to buy
Plus great food including vegan
Local stalls such as British Boxers
Great music from Lewis and Leigh
Eroica Britannia at Bakewell is now in its third year and what a great event it is. A vintage bicycle festival over three days (17-19th June) with the bicycle races on the Sunday. Over the first two days activities include
On the Sunday 4,500 riders will take part in the races over 30, 55 or 100 miles. The routes around the Peak District are here if you want to cheer them on.
Keep an eye here as I will be blogging from the event.
Today, I delivered a Research Conversation (organised by Dr Katy Vigurs) . The theme was pre-research activity and then getting started. I have previously blogged about Boice Advice for New Faculty Members so I adapted some of that and some ideas of my own to develop and issue a challenge to the audience at the end
£10 for 10 days writing challenge rules
When I have used this approach I have found that I can write 200-250 words per day, so if everything goes to plan they should have roughly a 2000-2500 word draft at the end. Let’s get writing a little and often.
The idea is to change existing behaviour!
I accompanied the challenge with some tips:
Anyway the following signed up to the challenge:
Law – Hannah Jones, Rhona Hammond-Sharlot, Jo Beswick,
Business – Zedias Mutema, Hazel Squire, Ahmad Mlouk, Mark Wordley, Andy Hanks, Carol Southall, Stephen Kelly, Andras Kenez, Carl Cattell, Ganess Dirpal.
Education – Katy Vigurs, Sarah Misra,
I can’t recommend Boice highly enough and we have copies in our library. Quite frankly this book should just be issued to all academics when they start working at any University. Anyone who accepted the challenge will find it useful.
Good luck to all those that accepted the challenge.
Provision of tourism attraction material in foreign languages is one way of attracting international visitors and the largest group of international travellers in the world are the Chinese middle classes. Staffordshire University often acts as host to Chinese visitors in the region due to the links we have with universities in China we also host to many Chinese students every year who come here to study.
The project team is composed of Vincent Law (BA Bus. Man. Fast Track), Charlotte Rabey (BA Events Man. Fast Track) and Frances Hunt (BA Bus. Man. Fast Track). They have been working with Prof Jon Fairburn and Dr Junie Tong to support Middleport Pottery in producing tourism materials in a range of print and audio formats.
As well as the general guide and plan of the site being available in simplified Chinese, a number of audio files have been created in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.
Sound files in Cantonese – 廣東話录音
Introduction to Middleport Pottery – 中港陶器
The Lodge – 游客中心
The General Office – 办公室
The Designers Room – 设计师房间
Centenary Showroom 1951 – 百周年纪念室
Upstairs above the visitor centre 第二楼展览
The Bottle Oven Kiln – 瓶形窑
The Mould Store – 陶冶房
The cafe – 咖啡馆
The Burleigh shop – 伯利商店
The Factory Tour – 工厂旅程
Sound files in Mandarin – 普通话录音
Introduction to Middleport Pottery – 中港陶器
The Lodge – 游客中心
The General Office – 办公室
The Designers Room – 设计师房间
Centenary Showroom 1951 – 百周年纪念室
Upstairs above the visitor centre 第二楼展览
The Bottle Oven Kiln – 瓶形窑
The Mould Store – 陶冶房
The cafe – 咖啡馆
The Burleigh shop – 伯利商店
The Factory tour – 工厂旅程
Sound files in English – maybe useful for those with sight difficulties or who just prefer an aural medium – research by Charlotte Rabey, voice files by Frances Hunt.
Introduction to Middleport Pottery
The Visitor Centre
The General Office
The Designers Room
Centenary Showroom 1951
Upstairs above the visitor centre
The Bottle Oven Kiln
The Mould Store
The Burleigh shop
The Factory tour
If you are interested in working on projects like this with us then please get in touch with Prof Jon Fairburn tel 01782 294094
Keep up to date with all things tourism and events by following our twitter feed @tourismsu
We have a project to assist the tourism industry and a first activity is to find out the views of the different groups involved. A facebook group is also available if you are interested in these issues.
The first questionnaire is for accommodation providers, visitor attractions, cafe/restaurants and other parts of the tourism industry – these are the main focus of the project and we will be developing an online training site based on this feedback. The site will allow the training to be customised (e.g. according to the type of establishment, type of staff etc) and provide feedback on progress.Please access the tourism industry survey here.
The second questionnaire is for people living in areas with a tourism industry present. We have a short questionnaire of only 9 questions to get your views.Please access the community survey here.
The final questionnaire is for people who are tourists and who have been on holiday in the last year. Please access the tourist questionnaire here.
Thank you very much for your help and if you have any questions please get in touch with me on 01782 294094 or email@example.com
Partners in the UK include Newcastle under Lyme college where the team is led by Vicky Disley
and Jonathan Karkut and Dr Julie Scott at Touch TD
Funded under ERASMUS
Do you enjoy food and drink plus prefer exploring new regions? Then the recent announcement of Winners of the EU EDEN Destinations of Excellence Awards for Tourism and local gastronomy is just what you need if you are planning this year’s holidays in Europe.
According to data of the UNWTO, for about 44% of travellers around the globe, food is one of the three criteria they take into consideration when they decide where to travel. It is one of the top 5 factors driving visitors’ satisfaction. 1 in 5 international visitors to Europe are involved in gastronomic activities on their trip.
The EDEN Awards recognise the important work that is being done by the winning destinations with their specialised tourism offers. The awards help raise awareness for sustainable food tourism, and draws attention to exciting, little-known European destinations that are off the beaten track.
You can also follow us on twitter @tourismsu
On the links you will find a description of the region and their specialties as well as links to the official tourism sites to get you started.
Of course if you are wondering where to visit in England then Staffordshire is fantastic, and here are some great events happening in Staffordshire in 2016
This is just a flavour of the events that are happening in the region over the next year. Many of these events provide volunteer opportunities for our students, credited work experience and some organisations become partners in our research. The Peak District is the most popular national park in Europe and provides a great laboratory for our field visits as well. So see the link if you want to know more about our courses in Events Management and Tourism Management or visit us on an Open Day.
Remember to follow us on twitter @tourismsu
If you are reading this from abroad here is a guide for how to get to Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire
If you are coming from France, Belgium, the Netherlands or even parts of Germany it is worth considering the train. If coming from Brussels or Paris it will be both quicker and cheaper than flying plus you can usually travel at a better time of day.
The Eurostar site may be all you need.
The German national railway site where you can look for journeys all across Europe is very good. Available in lots of languages click the flag icon at the top.
http://seat61.com/ an amazing site site full of hints and tips on train travel across Europe.
You will need to change trains in London. You arrive in London St Pancras and you will need to go to London Euston. The easiest way to do this is to walk it (about 10-15mins), come out the main entrance onto Euston Road and then follow that in the south west direction (see http://goo.gl/maps/3t6Yt )
Flights and airports
There are four possible airports, in descending order of ease of travel to reach Stoke on Trent – Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands, Liverpool.
Manchester – Has a dedicated train station (Manchester Airport) to connect to the main Manchester Piccadilly train station. Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke is about 45minutes on the train direct.
Birmingham – Has a dedicated train station Birmingham International with frequent services to Birmingham New Street which is the main station where you may need to change but there are also direct trains to Stoke on Trent. Direct journey time is about 1 hour 10 minutes.
East Midlands – If you are going to be hiring a car then this airport may be suitable. From the airport by car you come along the A50 in about 45mins to 1 hour.
Liverpool – again if you are hiring a car this may be suitable
Travelling within the UK
Tel +44 1782 633555 Mobile +44 7774 808083
Trains within Britain
There’s lot of train sites but don’t let that fool you, underneath they are all using the same database!
Try http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/ which doesn’t have booking fees. They also offer E-tickets (so that you can print them out in advance), M tickets to your mobile phone, or the availability to pick up tickets at machines in the station. Remember to bring the same credit card with you as you booked the ticket.
http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/mobile-app/ they also have a mobile phone app
Arriving at Stoke on Trent by Train
Stoke on Trent train station is right next to the Campus and forms part of the University Quarter.
As you come out the main entrance you will see a statute of Josiah Wedgwood opposite. If you go left you will come to College Road, if you go right you will come to Leek Road (see the campus map link below).
Taxis within the Stoke on Trent area
Sid’s Taxis is excellent/ they will send you an email with the car make, colour registration and name of the driver when it arrives.
Tel +44 1782 713999 or +44 1782 565200.
Other useful information
If you want to know where to stay and eat in area then visit this link
This gallery contains 4 photos.
Organisers – Prof Jon Fairburn, Clair Hameed, Ben Dyer, Angela Lawrence, Hazel Squire, Mark Wordley Contacts Jon Fairburn 01782 294094 or Clair Hameed 01785 353518 with initial queries or media requests Social media Business School twitter Be Inspired twitter Ben Dyer – Enterprise Days … Continue reading
A new Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2015 is launched for the first time in 5 years.
The IMD is one of the most important datasets in the UK because:
So what are the key features of the Index?
Key results show that deprivation moves very slowly. Stoke on Trent as a whole is ranked 13 most deprived local authority out of 326. More detailed analysis show that 30% of the neighbourhoods rank in the 10% most deprived in the country. Furthermore despite billions of pounds going into city regeneration there are still large concentrations of deprivation in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
Most of the work on the new IMD has been done by Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI) but yours truly as in previous editions was responsible for creating the air quality domain in the IMD.
The IMD in England, Scotland and Wales formed the basis for a lot of the environmental justice work that was done at Staffordshire University over the last decade. This initial work for various UK government agencies lead us on to work in Europe and collaboration with the World Health Organisation. See my staff page for links and more.
In addition, the UK Statistics Authority have now confirmed the Indices have National Statistics status.
If you want to keep updated on any future announcements from DCLG on the Indices, please email Indices.Deprivation@communities.gsi.gov.uk.
General coverage of the IMD on twitter https://twitter.com/indices2015
Latest update January 2016
This blog is mainly aimed at visitors who are staying the night and looking for places to eat and drink. As a University we receive visitors from all over the world. These visitors want a convenient place to stay with a selection of places to reach by foot in the evening for food and drinks if possible.
The Kenwood Guest house is generally very well rated on Tripadvisor and within easy walking distance of the main railway station and the Stoke campus of the University.
I am not much of a fan for chain hotels, but if you like that kind of thing…
The Premier Inn in the City Centre has good reviews
The Premier Inn at Trentham Gardens has been getting very good reviews and lots of people like the shopping village and gardens that are on the site. It is also very easy to get to from the motorway. David’s Brasserie on the Trentham site is very good for food.
The Best Western Stoke on Trent Moat House is centrally located and incorporates some of Josiah Wedgwoods original house and is another popular choice.
The Westfields is rated excellent by the vast majority of reviewers on Tripadvisor. It is a few miles outside the Potteries in a more rural setting.
In Newcastle under Lyme,
The Clayhanger Guest House has very good reviews
and the Travelodge New castle under Lyme Central Hotel this is chain but it has a good price and standard.
If none of these appeal then you are strongly recommended to check Tripadvisor before booking.
Food and drink
Near the University in Stoke town centre
in Newcastle under Lyme
The Blue Chilli Restaurant, 9 Berkeley Court, Newcastle under Lyme, ST5 1TT
Tel: 01782 715 885 great food, try the Thai Massaman curry.
The Jalsa – 19-21 George Street, Newcastle under Lyme ST5 1JX, Tel 01782 611551 for good Indian food – try the Nowabi Chicken, Baza Lamb or the shashlik dishes
If you would like a drink after visiting either of the restaurants mentioned above then I would recommend The Greyhound which is owned by the local Titanic Brewery. This is a 2-3 min walk from any of the restaurants, just head straight up the road towards Hanley.
Bellini’s café 2 Pepper St, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 1PR. This is at the other end of Newcastle under Lyme. It is an Italian and has the best food in the conurbation from the places I have eaten. It is a little more expensive than the others but it is excellent. They do not have a drinks licence so bring your own (free corkage). Tel 01782 943541
The Med Bar – 28 Cobridge Road, Hanley, Stoke On Trent ST1 5JQ Tel 01782 269955 Mob 07779641716. Please note they do not accept credit or debit cards – I am a big fan of the pizzas, but it is all good here. Very good and reasonably priced Italian wine menu. This is within walking distance of the Moat House Hotel and the Premier Inn at the city centre mentioned above.
General visitor information for the area including ceramic and factory tours can all be found on the Visit Stoke website
Trentham Gardens and Estate is very popular whether you want to eat, shop or walk around the gardens.
in the wider area
Sid’s Taxis they always use the meter. If you book by mobile phone you will get a text with make and colour of car, car registration and name of driver.
+44 1782 565200
I will update this with other parts of the city when I have time.
UPDATED JANUARY 2016
Just some of the projects we are working on at the Staffordshire University. In some cases we are the lead for the project in others a project partner. Funding is through ERASMUS PLUS or the predecessor funding stream.
|Key Contact||Project Title||Brief Description|
|Mark Webster||RESIDENCY||In 2014 the Residency team involving staff from Staffordshire University, Warsaw University and University of Barcelona embarked upon delivering artist residencies in Poland, Spain and the UK, each involving an artist from a partner country. The project secured EU Lifelong Learning funding through the Leonardo Da Vinci programme to explore how residencies could be used to train and support people in how to use community and participatory arts to promote civic engagementhttp://residencyproject.eu/|
|Kim Slack||RECOVEU||RECOVEU aims to develop innovative learning activities to help adults in addiction recovery prepare for college or university. It brings together partners working in the fields of drug addiction and education based in the UK, Romania, Cyprus, Italy and Ireland. Staffordshire University is the lead partner. The learning activities will form a ‘taster’ representative of a complete syllabus which will seek to support participation in adult learning and enhance opportunities for social inclusion for people in addiction recovery. A key feature throughout the project is the active involvement of service users and providers|
|Rosie Borup||DESTINY||It is well known that EU member states are in a time of economic challenge. There is an acknowledged need for more innovation and entrepreneurship among our businesses, to foster economic growth and provide jobs for our unemployed (or under-employed) labour market, but while our youth and adult job seekers leave schools and Universities with educational qualifications, employers complain of a mismatch in skills WORK SEEKERS (WS) offer, and skills employers require. The rationale of DESTINY is to develop, implement, test, refine a method for HEIs to PROMOTE + SUPPORT the use of MOOCs as a tool to address LLMN SKILLS SHORTAGES, thereby supporting regional ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT + improving the EMPLOYABILITY of youth and adult learners. www.destiny-eu.net|
|Jon Fairburn||SILVER WORKERS||SILVER WORKERS will look to assist people in their 40s and 50s to set up a business. This is the most common age for business start ups but many businesses fail because they do not get sufficient guidance when starting up. As the Potteries has one of the lowest start up rates in the country it will help to meet a strong local need.|
|Jon Fairburn||SMARTOUR||SMARTOUR will look to develop a new curriculum and qualifications for those in the tourism industry. It will be targeted at accommodation and facility providers and look at a broad range of sustainability topics. An online tool will be developed for the delivery of courses. Staffordshire University is the lead partner, there are two partners form the UK (including Newcastle under Lyme College), as well as partners in Finland and Italy.|
|Claire Gwinnett||EFEN||The Development of a European Forensic Education Network (EFEN)’, funded by ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships aims to create an inclusive and sustainable network of HEIs and industry partners working within the criminal justice system. This network will improve European collaborations within forensic investigations by sharing best practice in forensic learning and teaching and linking industry with higher education. A main output of this project is the creation of a postgraduate award in International Forensic and Crime Science that will offer an insight into forensic science and policing practices across Europe and the rest of the world in order to create awareness of cross-border investigation protocols and provide professional development for individuals planning to work or already working in investigations that involve multiple countries.|
|Bobbie Fletcher||MINDSET||The objective of the @MINDSET project is to actively support diversity management within education settings, by equipping teachers with the appropriate tools to deal with diversity issues, while better encouraging students to become active citizens and empathizing adults. The project will identify the most common types of diversity in the school environment and develop on one hand the tools for the teachers to better manage it within the classroom and the school in general. While on the other promote the issue of diversity and what it entails within society for pupils and help them embrace it.http://bdfprojects.wix.com/mindset|
|Rosie Borup||IDEATE||Staffordshire University is part of a major 3 year EU funded project, working with partners in Slovenia, Finland and Lithuania, from 2013 to 2016. The project aims at changing higher education through the use of innovative, interdisciplinary teaching methods. The project will enable a ‘pilot’ of 4 groups of inter-disciplinary students to learn entrepreneurial skills and knowledge through trans-national intensive learning mobilities themed around employer led projects. www.ideate.me|
|Peter Kevern||PEP||This Grundtvig-funded project grew out of a shared concern: that the rapid rise in the numbers of older people with care needs across Europe was creating the conditions for neglect and abuse. It brought together agencies from 6 countries, representing a wide diversity of perspectives and social roles, for a series of exchanges which proved by turns both frustrating and mutually enriching. The presentation will outline the structure, conception and management of the project, along with some of the key findings, the learning points and possible directions for future projects.|
|Steve Kelly||PERFECT||Developing a curriculum for the procurement industry and supply chain activities.|
|Iraj Hashi||EUFORIA||This project aims to establish and develop links between universities and enterprises in order to enhance teaching and learning, upgrade the curricula in line with the needs of enterprises and improve the financial sustainability of HEIs in Kosovo.Enterprise managers will be appointed to a number of university committees as the voice of the private sector to help the universities design programmes of study in line with the needs of enterprises and the labour market. Universities will send a number of their lecturers to companies for a short placement period to observe the working of the company and, in consultation with company managers, identify challenges facing them. The lecturers will use their knowledge of the companies and insights they have gained to formulate case studies for their subjects. Experienced EU partners will assist the Kosovar lecturers to write case studies which case be used in the classroom. The use of case studies, particularly those based on Kosovar companies, is rather unusual in Kosovo and will require a change in teaching, learning and assessment strategy. It will have a profound impact on students’ learning experience and their preparation for the labour market.|
|Louise Rutherford||SUCCEED||SUCCEED (Shaping University Curricula to Critical Infrastructure Employer Needs) aims to look into ways to help tackle terrorism and cybercrime through education and partnerships. Research and consultation with key employers will inform strategic HE curriculum development. www.succeed-eu.uk|
This project aims to establish and develop links between universities an enterprises in order to enhance teaching and learning, upgrade the curricula in line with the needs of enterprises and improve the financial sustainability of HEIs in Kosovo
This project aims to establish and develop links between universities and enterprises in order to enhance teaching and learning, upgrade the curricula in line with the needs of enterprises and improve the financial sustainability of HEIs in Kosovo.
Enterprise managers will be appointed to a number of university committees as the voice of the private sector to help the universities design programmes of study in line with the needs of enterprises and the labour market. Universities will send a number of their lecturers to companies for a short placement period to observe the working of the company and, in consultation with company managers, identify challenges facing them. The lecturers will use their knowledge of the companies and insights they have gained to formulate case studies for their subjects. Experienced EU partners will assist the Kosovar lecturers to write case studies which case be used in the classroom. The use of case studies, particularly those based on Kosovar companies, is rather unusual in Kosovo and will require a change in teaching, learning and assessment strategy. It will have a profound impact on students’ learning experience and their preparation for the labour market.
The project will also identify the knowledge and skill gap in university graduates through a Survey of 50 largest companies in Kosovo. The results of the Survey will be used by universities to revise their curricula in order to embed in their programmes the knowledge and skills which are required by enterprises. EU partners will support the Kosovar colleagues in enhancing their curricula by employability skills on the basis of their own experiences.
The universities will, through staff visits and the Survey, identify the training and other needs of enterprises and will offer to provide these services to companies. In particular they will offer training courses to company employees organised jointly with EU partners, who will also provide updating visits for some of the teaching staff of Kosovar institutions. The provision of these services will improve the financial sustainability of Kosovar universities.
Finally, universities will establish SME advice centres who would work with SMEs to identify their specific problems and provide appropriate advice for them.
Partners in EU: Staffordshire (Coordinator), Nottingham Trent, Ancona and Zagreb universities and Munich University of Applied Sciences
Partners in Kosovo: Universities of Prishtina, Peja, Gjakova, Gjilan and Riinvest College and four SMEs
Coordinator: Prof Iraj Hashi (Business School)
Starting date: 15 October 2015
“We didn’t lose – we threw it away! Four years after gifting power to Margaret Thatcher, that’s how I summed up the 1983 general election for Labour. What we in the Labour Party have to ensure is that we never throw it away again. And to do that we have to make certain that the Party never again comes under control of the left.” So begins John Golding’s Hammer of the Left (full publication details at the end).
John Golding was the MP for Newcastle under Lyme until 1986 when he became General Secretary of the Nation Communications Union. The book details how he took on the Militant Tendency and the rest of the hard left within the Labour party in the early 1980s. The book is visceral in it’s description of the left and gives an incredibly detailed insight into the internal politics and campaigning.
Do we learn nothing from history? Watching the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election you might think not. There seems to be a flat out refusal to not only ignore history but also to disbelieve the electorate. The electorate has told both the left and the right time after time that they are not interested in extreme positions, but too many activists just don’t want to listen. And if forced to choose given a choice between ideology and competence they will choose what they perceive as competence.
The Conservatives tested to destruction the idea that they needed to be a more right wing party losing a series of elections under William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and then Michael Howard. In the end it was only when David Cameron (who consistently polls to the left of his party) was elected leader did they begin to win again.
For the left the early 1980s demonstrated that leftist positions (anti Nato, anti EU, unilateral nuclear disarmament, renationalisation) were outright rejected by the public in the 1983 election manifesto, also known as the longest suicide note in history. All of these positions are now being espoused by Jeremy Corbyn again!
When do political polls matter?
It should have been obvious by now that there is a problem with polls, after all according to the polls Neil Kinnock won the 1992 general election remember! This is a very well known issue in academic research which is sometime known as stated versus observed preference or social desirability bias. My favourite example of this was a street survey asking people if they bought free range eggs, 25% of people said yes, after the results were published the supermarkets stated that just 2% of the eggs bought were free range. But political polls can be useful if you look back to see who WON and LOST after the event.
Blair won three elections (invested billions in schools and hospitals which the left seems to forget) from the centre ground. His polling figures were right in the middle of the political spectrum when asked by the public to rate different political leaders consistently through his entire tenure.Gordon Brown polled consistently to the left of Tony Blair and lost (a little simplistic as there is sometimes a swing but still true), Ed Milliband consistently polled much further left than Gordon Brown and lost even more seats. Jeremy Corbyn and his backers seem to have persuaded themselves of one of two options, either
1. Labour just weren’t left wing enough to be elected at the last election or
2. The electorate are stupid,
neither is a credible position that will get the party back into power.
As an aside doesn’t Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters find it odd that both David Cameron and the Daily Telegraph want him to win? Or is it they have no interest in actually getting power to change things?
Existential threats in the UK are rising
1. Labour could be wiped out and destroyed by a Jeremy Corbyn led party in the next election. He has consistently taken anti EU positions and this will rapidly become a big issue, he will have no credibility if he suddenly changes sides which is unlikely anyway.
2. The SNP are still agitating to leave the UK.
3. The Euro referendum in 2017 will tear the Tory Party apart as nothing that David Cameron brings back from Brussels will satisfy a section of his party, how big a section is still to be seen.
We could well be in a position of a Labour leader advocating leaving the EU with a split Tory party, cheered on by UKIP in 2017. Leaving the EU would be a disaster for the country.
Towards the end of his book Jon Golding reflects on the 1983 election “We went into the general election with an unelectable Leader, in a state of chaos with a manifesto that might have swept us to victory in cloud-cuckoo land, but which was held in contempt in the Britain of 1983. We thought that things could only get better, but they got worse” (pg 297)
There is a good chance that Labour supporters will only need to change the date in that paragraph if Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader of the Labour party.
John Golding (edited by Paul Farrelly) 2003 Hammer of the Left: defeating Tony Benn, Eric Heffer and Militant in the battle for the Labour Party. Politico’s
His book was completed posthumously by the current MP for the seat Paul Farrelly.