Welcome to my website! Croeso i fy ngwefan
It should give you an idea of what I’m up to, as well as copies of recent articles and lectures.
Please look at ‘categories – current news’ to see the various pages of news and information about things I’m involved in, and for more in-depth stuff, go to ‘Pages’. My Illustrated Weekly Salvo is in ‘current news’: comment, news and gossip on railways, politics and culture – sometimes altogether. The weekly ‘crank question’ is strangely popular.
There’s a short biographical sketch on a separate page of this site – ‘The Life of Paul’. Suffice to say here that I’ve been in the railway industry, one way and another, for nearly 40 years, with experience in a wide (some would say bewildering) range of sectors and disciplines. I originated and developed ‘community rail’ and was directly involved in the establishment of over twenty community-rail partnerships which have led to increased use of local and regional railways and additional investment.
The next great leap forward is to bring some kind of stability and public accountability to the railway industry which doesn’t involve going back to the old centralist BR but gives the public, and the people who work in the industry, a real stake in it.
I write for several periodicals ranging from Chartist, Red Pepper, Big Issue North, Local Transport Today to Today’s Railways and The Yorkshire Post. My book Socialism with a Northern Accent was published by Lawrence and Wishart (www.lwbooks.co.uk) in 2012. Railpolitik – bringing railways back to communities, was published in October 2013 (also L and W). A new edition of With Walt Whitman in Bolton was published in May 2016. About time I did something else, thinking about it – current idea is ‘Lancashire’s Rebel Writers’.
I was involved in setting up Milnsbridge Co-operative Society which runs The Red and Green Club at what was Milnsbridge Socialist Club.
Politically, I’m a Northern Regionalist and supported The Yorkshire Party (formerly Yorkshire First), for which I stood in the General Election in Colne Valley, gaining a rather modest 572 votes. I’m Convenor of the ‘Hannah Mitchell Foundation’ (www.hannahmitchell.org.uk) which aims to get regional government back on the agenda as well as promoting the North’s ethical socialist traditions in a modern context. The North is missing out while Scotland, Wales and London have their own devolved administrations.
I’ve always been involved in my local community – was a founder-student of the Free University of Slawit and helped set up the Penistone Line Partnership back in 1993. Politically/philosphically, I would describe myself as a green social democrat with an anarchist tinge. This is despite having accepted an MBE in 2008 for ‘services to the rail industry’. Huh!
Since September 1st 2011 I have become a ‘visiting professor’ at the University of Huddersfield, in the Department of Transport and Logistics. This involves some lecturing and conference organisation.
I was appointed to the board member of Transport Focus in 2013 – this is the national consumer body for rail, bus and tram passengers.
More recently I was appointed a trustee of The Campaign for Better Transport but stood down from that when I was recruited by Arriva UK Trains as their advisor on community rail. In August 2016 I said farewell to Yorkshire after 25 years and came home to Lancashire. I’m now cosily ensconced (or ensconed – there’s a great bakery in the village) in Bretherton – the nearest station is Croston. I live with Justina – the cat that haas adopted me, obviously knows a soft touch when she sees one.
The village is known locally as Th’Edge o’Leet. I also live part-time in Mid-Wales. Knighton – or Tref-y-Clawdd ‘The Town on the Dyke’ which is right on the border with England (many would say on the right side too, and I wouldn’t strongly disagree..)
If you want to get a better idea of what I’m currently up to, The Illustrated Weekly Salvo in the news section of this website will keep you entertrained. To get in touch, go to ‘Contact’ page. Have fun, or ‘hwyl fawr’.
The Age of Austerity: Salveson and Friend