Politics

In the News

What's up in Hartlepool?

Mike McCartney

28th April 2021

Not much, but there is a byelection. Read on...

I was watching a video clip from Newsnight about the increase in relative poverty in the UK with one of my Y13 Econ classes. The first section features a family that lives in Hartlepool, in the North East of England.

The clip is embedded below.

So I started with a bit of Q&A and this included questions about the area, such as what it is known for. As ever with these types of scenarios we can get the extraneous to the topic. Such as the fact that Jeff Stelling from Soccer Saturday on Sky is a big Hartlepool man. Then there was the story about when they elected a monkey as Mayor. And then why people from Hartlepool are colloquially known as "monkey hangers". The latter point leads into explaining the former, but for Politics students, you should know that Hartlepool was one of the first areas in the country to go for a directly elected mayor, and they elected a man, Stuart Drummond, who campaigned as H'Angus the Monkey and served for three terms before the Labour led council wrested control of the mayoral process and voted for its abolition a decade later.

So you don't think this is made up, you can check the veracity of the story here: https://www.theguardian.com/po...

#nofakenewsontutor2u

And Hartlepool is also in the news because on the day when thousands of council seats are up for grabs, the Scottish Parliament, etc, etc (see previous post on this site here: https://www.tutor2u.net/politi...), there is also a by-election in Hartlepool. And to cut to the chase, Labour look set to lose the seat for the first time since before, well, whenever. Why so, as my Econ class said? I tried to provide an answer in as brief time as I could. After all, it was an Econ lesson and I didn't want to be too tangential on points other than residents feel there has been a failed management of the area with an MP that is from a party that has been largely supportive of the response to covid by the government and with Boris Johnson getting a vaccine bounce, why not give the Conservative candidate a go? As a more detailed explainer, see this newspaper article: https://www.theguardian.com/po...

In short, it doesn't look like good news for Keir Starmer (say it quietly, if you are a Labour supporter).

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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