After the UK general election: what next?

Leeds Taking Soundings

Monday, May 11th,  6PM Broadcasting Place BPAG02 (opposite The Fenton on Woodhouse Lane)

After the Elections 2015

The results are in, the post-election political shenanigans have started. Who knows what will happen!

But we think it worthwhile to make an early stock-take of how these elections have affected the broad left. We have speakers who are in the Labour Party, the Greens and Yorkshire First to discuss how the political world looks to them immediately after these elections. Hopefully, with the battle for votes over and hangovers quelled, there’s time for a deep breath and some reflexive analysis.

(in alphabetical order)

Richard Carter (Leader, Yorkshire First). Actually we don’t know that much about Yorkshire First, but are interested in a local version of a progressive regionalism after the showing of the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Tim Goodall (Green candidate Leeds North West). We’ve had Natalie Bennett speak to us in the past – the Green Party is a lot bigger now than it was then. We’re hoping for an analysis of where Green politics goes next.

Sarah Perrigo (Labour Party). Sarah is a long-term critical and reflexive  member of the Labour Party, so we are hoping for a reflexive account of Ed Miliband’s Labour Party performance and prospects.

All welcome. Contact Matthew Caygill ( for further information.

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Green party leader Natalie Bennett speaks at the forthcoming Taking Soundings event in Leeds

Natalie Bennett: The Search for New Answers: The Green Turn in British Politics

 On Wednesday 24th April 2013 at 6 pm

In Broadcasting Place, Leeds Metropolitan University,  Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN (opposite the Fenton pub)

Natalie Bennett is the new leader of the Green Party, elected in 2012. She has a scientific background in Australia and has since worked with the National Commission on Women’s Affairs on its report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

 Natalie also worked as a consultant with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on child labour issues and World Health Organization (WHO) on women’s health. She has also had a strong engagement with feminist politics in Britain, and she is a trustee of the Fawcett Society and the founding chair of Green Party Women.

Natalie stood for the Greens in the 2010 general election for the seat of Holborn and St Pancras, and was selected for the London Assembly list in May 2012 on the London-wide list for The Green Party.

All welcome.  The event is free but a collection will be taken.


ADVANCE NOTICE: Professor Doreen Massey will be talking about The Kilburn Manifesto at the Taking Soundings meeting on Wednesday 19th June 2013 (6pm, Broadcasting House, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds 2).




22 January: Uri Gordon – Elections in Israel: end of the road for a just peace?

20 February: Anne-Marie Matarrese & Geoff Andrews – Slow food, the Terra Madre network and the global politics of food



26 January: Jon Bloomfield – The eurozone crisis and the silence of social democracy

29 February: Tim Jenkins: The crisis as an opportunity for a new economy

21 March: Ursula Huws – The new gold rush – multinationals and the commodification of the public sector

18 April: Jonathan Dean – Sinking beneath the radar – troubled thoughts on contemporary feminism

22 May: Niccolo Milanese – The European Alternatives project and the economic crisis in Europe

13 June: Anne Czernik – What can we learn from Respect’s ‘Bradfrod Spring’?

19 September: Danny Dorling – Rising inequality and rising austerity: when is the tipping point?

17 October: Selma James – Sex, Race and Class: what are the terms for unity? (Joint meeting with the School of Geography, University of Leeds)

14 November: Tom Vickers – Refugees, capitalism and the British state: what should we do?.  Respondent: Peter Richards, Leeds Asylum Seekers Network



19 January: Chris Bem – Helath care governance and the economy

23 February: Michael Kenny – The state of the State

23 March: Ray Bush – Egypt in crisis

18 May: Franco Bianchini and Max Farrar – Multiculturalism, interculturalism and muscular liberalism

June, Horace Campbell: Between Revolution and Counter-Revolution: Lessons from the Obama Phenomenon

June : Leeds Young Poets, film and poetry

26 October: Jeremy Gilbert – Reclaiming modernity – Why the future isn’t conservative

23 November: Tom Steele – Jerusalem – Three figures  of Leeds radicalism – socialism, feminism and aestheticism

December: Speakers from various new campaigns including Occupy Leeds, Leeds Summat, Spain’s Indignados: New Protests, New Politics



27 January: John Corner – Rebranding the Tories – check could be 2009

24 February: Sarah Sexton and Nicholas Hildyard from Cornerhouse,

26 May: Forum – Prospects for the Left after Labour’s election defeat

22 September: Nina Power – Twenty-first century feminism

21 October: Anthony Clavane – Leeds United and the making of Leeds  – interviewed by Caryl Phillips

(in conjunction with the Carnegie Research Institute, Leeds Metropolitan University )

17 November: Carlo Ruzza – The racist and xenophobic right in Europe

9 December: Hugo Radice – Cutting public deficits – Economic science or class war?



January: Robin Yassin-Kassab, novelist, with Ayman Shaheen, University of Gaza, Palestinian Perspectives on the Gaza War

February: A Bad Day at the Office or a Crisis of Capitalism? Panel discussion on credit crunch, Alfredo Saad Filho, Professor of Political Economy SOAS, Sarah Bracking, Peter Lawrence

March: Alex Sobel, Compass, Barack Obama: What might expect from the election of the new President?

April: Paul Chatterton, University of Leeds; Paddy Gillett, Plane Stupid; Dr Simon Lewis, Research Fellow on Tropical Forests and Climate Change: Acting on Climate Change

June: Book Launch for Feelback Britain:David Beetham, Professor Emeritus, Leeds University, Director Democratic Audit;Pat Devine, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Manchester;Noel Castree, Professor in the School of Environment & Development, University of Manchester; Linda Patterson, Consultant Physician

July: Hilary Wainwright, editor Red Pepper: Our Plans and Prospects. Plus Post-election Debate: What Kind of Progressive Future?

October: Sarah Bracking, Book Launch: Money and Power: Great Predators in the Political Economy of Development

November: Emma Dowling of the World Social Forum, The role of social movements and civil society in the Copenhagen summit



January: Has the Future a Left?  Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds

March  Taking Soundings Forum  Discussion with supporters about future programme

April: Confessions of a Self-Hating Jew Mike Marqusee, radical author on culture and sport, speaks about his book

May: How Serious is the Crisis of Capitalism this Time? Jim Kincaid, economist

June: What Price the City and How Might We Respond? Professor Doreen Massey, The Open University

 July 2008: Post-Election Blues Roundtable discussion with speakers from the Labour Party/Compass, the Greens and the Alliance for Green Socialism

September: Agreement! State, Conflict and Change in Northern Ireland Writer and broadcaster, Beatrix Campbell

October: US Foreign Policy and the Middle East Professor Gilbert Achcar, SOAS, University of London

November 2008: 1968 and the Idea of Socialism Hugo Radice, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds