Paul and Jinty

Welcome to my website!

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 in the North and TSSA Journal to Yorkshire Post, Local Transport Today and Today’s Railways. My book Socialism with a Northern Accent was published by Lawrence and Wishart (www.lwbooks.co.uk) last year. My latest is Railpolitik – bringing railways back to communities, published in October 2013 (also published by L and W).

I’m active in the Labour and Co-operative Parties, as well as my union the TSSA. I’m chair of the new Milnsbridge Co-operative Society which runs The Red and Green Club at Milnsbridge Socialist Club (wottalottaclubs).

I am General Secretary 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’m active in my local community and a student of the Free University of Slawit. Philosphically, I would describe myself as a 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 developing projects such as the conference on HS2 The North on November 15th.

Since April 2013 I have been a board member of Passenger Focus, the national consumer body for rail, bus and tram passengers.

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.

The Age of Austerity: Salveson and Friend

Paul with William Whitelaw, Carlisle 1960