New Event: Election Special

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Just when you thought it was safe to turn the news back on, here comes another election. But who should you vote for? Which party is best for you and your family? Whose policies should you be voting for? Find out on 30th May at Politics in the Pub’s election special.

For an election special, we’ve got a special format. We’ve invited a representative from each of the five main parties in Bradford: Labour, Conservatives, LibDems, Greens and UKIP. Using a Question Time style, we’ll be asking them your questions, allowing them discuss the topics which are most important to Bradfordians this election. You can propose questions on our Facebook page, and we’ll also send attendees an email a few days before asking for questions; if your question is picked, we’ll let you know a day or two before.

Our Panel:

We’ll update you on panellists this weekend and send an email to all attendees once we have biographies for all the panelists.

Get past the spin and beyond the scare stories; come and meet those in the know and find out which party really represents you.


How do you solve a problem like Darley St? Regenerating Bradford

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Darley St Royal Visit mark_davies_photography.com

How do you solve a problem like Darley Street? Bradford Politics in the Pub and Bradford Civic Society want to show you what’s happening now, what’s coming to Bradford’s Independent Quarter and ask you what you think should be done to make sure ‘Top of Town’ doesn’t end up on Skid Row.


When: 11th April 2017 – 7.15pm
Where: The New Beehive; 169-171 Westgate BD1 3AA (some parking is available to the rear and there’s a pay & display right next door on St Thomas’s Road)
Tickets: Get your free ticket here.

We’re delighted to announce a long-term association with Bradford Civic Society, with BradfordCivic‘How do you solve a problem like Darley Street?’ being the first of many joint debates which will enlighten, empower and engage Bradfordians and encourage all of us to take more interest and responsibility for what happens in our city and district.

DarleySt_WildWoods‘How do you solve a problem like Darley Street?’ will bring together three fervent and diverse people who are driving Bradford’s regeneration forward. Knowledgeable, expert and passionate, our panel will show you what’s going, which problems are being overcome, and the direction Bradford’s taking as well as putting forward their diverse views on what the next steps should be.

Our Panel:

David Craig is an adopted Bradfordian running his own multi-disciplinary design and architecture studio based in Bradford, and is a director of Assembly Bradford, the co-working space in Rawson Place. He is also a trustee of Shipley’s Kirkgate Centre. Having designed a number of venues in Bradford, including The Record Café, The Beerhouse and Bradford Brewery, David is passionate about the city he is at the heart of regenerating as he follows his passion for spaces and places.

Simon Cooke is leader of the Conservative Group on Bradford Council and an expert on regeneration. A regular Politics in the Pub panellist and firm favourite no matter which side of politics your beliefs reside, Simon’s indefatigable efforts to move Bradford District forward and his unrelenting attacks on nannying fussbucketry has won him many admirers across the political spectrum as well as a critic or two for his uncompromising, often firebrand, style.

Alex Ross-Shaw is a Labour councillor for Windhill & Wrose. As portfolio holder for Regeneration, Pleanning & Transoprt, Alex is the perfect person to reveal what’s going on in Bradford’s Top of Town and plans for the future, including the plans to move, improve & relocate the city’s existing markets.

You – arguably the most important part of today’s panel – are interested in the city’s future, want to see a vibrant centre of the district are keen ensure Bradford’s Independent Quarter regeneration keeps apace and that Top of Town doesn’t lose out to Broadway’s draw. Bradford Civic Society and Politics in the Pub will be asking you what should happen, where we should go and what Darley St and beyond should look like. We’ll gather your thoughts and present them to the council for their consideration, ensuring your ideas are put to those with the power to realise them.

In Speaker’s Corner will be Alan Hall, Chair of Bradford Civic Society.

When: 11th April 2017 – 7.15pm
Where: The New Beehive; 169-171 Westgate BD1 3AA (some parking is available to the rear and there’s a pay & display right next door on St Thomas’s Road)
Tickets: Get your free ticket here.

Our venue:

We continue to take you on a trip round Bradford’s pubs; we hope to remind you that there’s a city out there waiting to be explored, to show you new places and give you a reminder that Bradford’s home to a few gems. The New Beehive falls into the latter category for most but if you’ve never been to the Beehive, you’ve not yet experienced a true joy and a wonderful part of Bradford’s public house history.

Listed as one of CAMRA’s nationally important pub interiors, the Edwardian beauty is still lit by gaslight giving it a warm, cosy and friendly ambiance, about as far away from the modern craft ale bar interiors as you can find. To step into The New Beehive Inn is to step back in time, so where better a place to discuss how Bradford can retain its rich history and its unique charm as it pushes forward into 21st Century?

Tickets are limited and we expect this event to sell out, so please book today.

When: 11th April 2017 – 7.15pm
Where: The New Beehive; 169-171 Westgate BD1 3AA (some parking is available to the rear and there’s a pay & display right next door on St Thomas’s Road)
Tickets: Get your free ticket here.


New Event – Brexit: what next for Bradford & Beyond?

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FarageWhat will the EU vote mean for Bradford and the country? Focus has been on the markets, the pound and trade, but how will affect Bradfordians, our local economy and our council? Join four outstanding speakers, including the Susan Hinclcliffe, leader of the council, and Simon Cooke, leader of Bradford Conservative group, to hear how they think voting leave will change our lives, and ask questions about what’s around the corner.

  • When: Wednesday 27th July – 7.15pm
  • Where: Bier Keller, Morley St, Bradford (just behind The Alhambra)
  • Get your free ticket today.

Our expert panel will share how they think the vote to leave will affect you and your family in Bradford. You’ll also have the perfect opportunity to ask questions about what plans for leaving have been made, how the vote might affect you, and what we can expect over the coming weeks, months & years.


Our panel:

Susan HinchcliffeCllr Susan Hinchcliffe is leader of the council & the ruling Labour group, and campaigned for Remain during the referendum campaign. She has been a councillor for Windhill & Wrose since 2011, and has previously stood for election as MP for Shipley. She was previously on the council’s Executive as portfolio holder for Education, Skills & Culture. A successful business person as well, Cllr Hinchcliffe is the bête noir of the T&A comments section with any story about her always causing gnashing of teeth below the line.

CookeCllr Simon Cooke is leader of Bradford’s Conservative group and one of the District’s most senior and outspoken politicians, and campaigned to Leave. We’re delighted to have him return to our stage. Cllr Cooke serves the people of Bingley Rural with passion, is never one to duck an argument or gloss an opinion, and is arguably the District’s most outspoken politician on social media, using Twitter and The View from Cullingworth blog to share, discuss and argue his ideas… especially his personal crusade to shine a light on ‘nannying fussbucketry’.

Emma Pentelow is a director of The Pentelow Practice, a Principal Partner Practice within EmmaPentelowSt. James’s Place a FTSE 100 Wealth management firm with offices in both Skipton and Leeds. Emma specialises in working with Owner Managed Businesses and has an interest in later life advice and planning.  Schooled at North Halifax High she’s worked in Woolworths, been a bar manager and a chamber maid. She graduated from Glasgow University with an MA in Management and Sociology, and worked in industry for several years before being persuaded by her dad to train as a financial advisor within his practice. She now manages a portfolio of 233 private and corporate clients.

In addition to two of Bradford’s most powerful politicians, we’ll be announcing further panel members shortly.

To find out how the Leave vote will affect you, your District, your council and beyond, join us for our latest – dare we say final? – EU Referendum debate. Get your ticket today.


Why do I love Bradford Politics in the Pub? In a world of 10 word answers, we get thousands.

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memes everywhereI’m quite the Twitter addict and spend far too much time on social media so, in essence, I’m a connoisseur of memes – I’ve seen ‘em all: cats in hats; inspirational quotes; life-affirming ditties. Can we reduce politics to memes? Jez we can! We select facts which suit our needs, wiggle and jiggle and squeeze them into bite-sized chunks, stick them over a picture of, you know, whatever, and set them free to wreak havoc on whoever their intended victim is (because, let’s face it, they’re rarely positive).


The EU Referendum has brought up its own set of memes: I’ve been lectured on the wastefulness of the EU by Colombo, Sponge Bob Squarepants and Micky Flanagan; I’ve been told that voting out is racist by Nigel Farage, Oswald Mosely and Darth Vader; I’ve had every world leader’s face in my face telling me to face facts (but only the ones appearing on the meme – not the other bad facts!). Each fact – cutting, succinct and blithely wrapped up with its own pretty picture – screaming “Behold, for I am the truth – thou shalt have no other truth before me!”


Others are equally blithe: Leave keeps repeating its own falsehoods, like the £350m a week we (DO NOT!) send to the EU every week; Remain plays the race card every day, not understanding that a deck with that many cards of the same face must be rigged; and, today, I was horrified to see Craig Woodhouse, Chief Political Reporter for The Sun, write “Presumably Cameron and the Remain camp agree with this, given it’s from “experts” they love so much?”, like knowledge, understanding, research and being an ‘expert’ is a bad thing and these people, with their education and learning and thought, are bad.



It made me wonder: are we wandering to the world of The West Wing? Aficionados of Bartlett’s presidency like me (see, I do deal with old media, too) will remember Jed’s second election and the ten word answers. Bartlett had a problem: he was too smart to lead, too smart to make decisions and too smart to be trusted. His knowledge, intelligence and ability made him unelectable – and he needed to connect with everyday people by becoming an everyday person. In the end, intelligence and faith in electorate won out, I’m glad to say – but it isn’t in this election. We’re stuck looking for the ten word answers, feasting on memes and wandering blindly into the future, the vision of which was laid out by fictional words forcibly attributed to fictional characters. In, out, left, right, it’s just on, on, on.


All we get are 10 word answers and this question – hell, any question – needs more than that. Like Bartlett, I want the next  10 words, and the next and the next.


A lawyer, an economist and a businessperson walk into a pub…


But then I went to Politics in the Pub – (I’m biased – I’m one of the organisers) – and had a proper talk about the future. There weren’t any politicians, just experts in their fields. I listened to an economist, a lawyer and a business person talk with eloquence, experience, nuance, subtlety and, above all, at length. They said what happens now, what might happen in the future and the possible consequences of both votes. They didn’t threaten me with unfettered immigration or a £30billion budget, they didn’t treat me as a traitor or a racist, and, above all, they didn’t insult my intelligence. They could have – they were all cleverer (and certainly more knowledgeable) than me – and I didn’t understand absolutely every ramification and repercussion of what they said. How could I? I’m not an expert in these areas. But they didn’t pull intellectual punches – and in this far-reaching vote, the effects of which will be felt by the UK, EU and the world for years, if not generations, to come, why should they?


I love Politics in the Pub because it gives me the next 10 words, and the next, and the next and the next. Politics in the Pub gives me the next 10,000 words and it gives me a chance to ask difficult questions and receive difficult answers.


Everyone is entitled to vote – as it should be – but wouldn’t that cross in the box carry more weight if you’d sought out long, complicated articles, shared nuanced, balanced conversations, and heard passionate arguments from knowledgeable people? Mine does.

Learn Meme

If you want to know why this debate was so great, take a look at Bradfordzone’s live blog – and make sure you come to our future events… and I’ll kindly ask you not to refer me to this article if you see me retweet, share or even create a meme; after all, hypocrisy is the new, erm, something.