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The University of Southampton
Centre for English Identity and Politics

Lectures and talks

From this page you can access transcripts of lectures and talks hosted by the Centre for English Identity and Politics, including presentations by Tristram Hunt, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Simon Heffer and Tariq Modood. 

The Centre was first hosted by the University of Winchester and much of this material was delivered at lectures or seminars held there.

Below are transcripts of lectures and seminar contributions given at the Centre.



England's Future - politics and planning in England (04/01/2024)


Nigel Moor, Dr Nicholas Falk, and Catrionna Riddell discuss the politics of planning in England that are at the heart of both government and opposition politics

Video here   Transcript here



Windrush 100? (02/01/2024)


On the 7th anniversary of the SS Windrush's arrival in the UK, Lisa Anderson and Dr Juanita Cox explore how Windrush might be remembered in 25 year's time.

Video here  Transcript here



Taking Back Control? Making English Devolution Work (11/07/2023)


Alex Norris MP (Labour Shadow Minister for Leveling-Up), Sir David Lidington (former Conservative Cabinet Minister), Jessica Studdert (Deputy Director, NewLocal) and Bren Albiston (Chair SLL Constitution Committee) discuss English devolution, the Levelling Up Bill and Labour's proposed Take Back Control Bill.

Video here  Transcript here



Winning England (17/03/2023)


England's size makes it pivotal to the outcome of UK elections. In the 2019 'Get Brexit Done' election the Conservative UK majority of 80 rested on an England majority of 156, and English identifiers formed a large part of their support. What role will issues of sovereignty and identity play in the next election, and what of cost of living, public services and of social values.

With Prof Matt Goodwin (Kent), Ailsa Henderson (Edinburgh), Paula Surridge (Bristol) and Dr Lawrence McKay (Southampton) discuss in this webinar from the Centre for English Identity and Politics.

Video here  Transcript here



The Identities of Northern England (20/02/2023)


The complex relationship between England’s local regional identities and its English and British identities has assumed a new importance with the increasingly high-profile role of elected mayors. Combined mayoral authorities play a significant role in the current government’s search for economic growth, and Labour has advocated making English regions part of the governance of the UK. Ryan Swift, Leeds University and IPPR North, and Brian Groom, author of Northerners discuss whether northern identities provide the basis for exercising local or regional political power, and what that might mean for the governance of England and the UK.

Video here  Transcript here



The Political Economy of England (15/02/2023)


Britain’s union state has facilitated the privatisation and financialisation of the economy. Globalisation has too often facilitated wealth extraction rather than productive investment. These processes have gone furthest in an England that lacks a defined national government or devolved institutions. It is increasingly important to understand the political economy of England and what an alternative approach to its management might look like.

With James Meadway, Former advisor to Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Director, Progressive Economy Forum; Simon Lee, University of Hull, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics Sarah Longlands, Director Centre for Local Economic Strategies.

Video here  Transcript here



Levelling Up – What does England need at the centre? (25/01/2023)


Despite decades of government aspirations to devolve power, England remains the most centralised nation in Europe. This webinar explores how the structure, culture and organisation of the UK government (which governs England) obstructs devolution within England.

With Prof Diana Coyle (Cambridge), Prof Janice Morphet (UCL), Dr Arianna Giovannini (de Montfort) and Prof Patrick Diamond (QMUL).

Video here  Transcript here




A Countryside for All (3/1/2023)


The English countryside holds an iconic position in the popular imagination of England as a nation. But our ideas of rural English life may not live up to today’s reality for those living there and those who visit. This webinar explores social class and politics, landownership, and the experiences of ethnic minorities to ask whether and how we could enjoy a countryside for all.

With Kavita Maya, UCL Kate Swade, Shared Assets Tabitha Baker, Bournemouth University.

Video here  Transcript here



Global England, Global Britain? (10/11/2022)


Contested English views of nation and sovereignty shaped Brexit and took the UK out of the EU. Could similarly contested views of geo-political relationships, defence, aid, trade and national economic politics shape Britain's future foreign policy?

With Prof Srdjan Vucetic (Ottowa), Dr Tim Oliver (Loughborough) and Prof John Denham (Centre for English Identity and Politics, Southampton)

Video here  Transcript here



The Politics of Place (26/01/2022)


‘Red Wall’ constituencies thrust the politics of place to the centre of England’s politics, with Labour seeking to recover lost ground and the Conservatives aiming to consolidate their gains. But does either party really understanding the places that have not shared in the wealth that has accumulated disproportionately among some groups in the centre of cities? What sort of political and economic response would meet the aspirations of their people?

With John Tomaney, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, Baroness Judith Blake, former Leader, Leeds City Council. Will Jennings, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Southampton.

Video here  Transcript here



Governing for Change (26/01/2022)


Prof John Denham (Southampton) and Prof Jon Wilson (Kings, London) introduce their paper ‘Governing for Change, rethinking Labour’s statecraft’ in which they discuss how Labour’s policy aims cannot be separated from the discussion about how power is distributed across the nations and localities of the UK.

With Jessica  Studdart, NewLocal and Philip Rycroft,former Cabinet Office lead on the Union.

Video here  Transcript here



A Manifesto for Nature and Re-enchantment (9/12/2021)


Tobias Phibbs of the Common Good Foundation introduces a 'Manifesto for Nature and Re-enchantment, examining the links between people, nature and environment. His argument that the politics of sustainability are restricted by our lack of engagement with nature are discussed.

With Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority and Ian Christie of Surrey University.

Video here  Transcript here



Progressive Patriotism – lessons from Wales? (03/12/2021)


Wales is now the only nation on the island of Britain with a Labour government. Why has this happened, and what role has Welsh Labour's progressive patriotism played?

With Mick Antoniv, Counsel General in the Welsh Government; Prof Leighton Andrews (Cardiff), former AM and Minister; and Prof Laura McAllister (Cardiff).

Video here  Transcript here


Brexit and the Anglican Tradition (22/03/2021)


Like much of England, the Anglican church was divided by Brexit. This webinar is linked to the publication of The Future of Brexit Britain – Anglican reflections of national identity and European solidarity (SPCK, eds: Andrew Bradstock and Jonathan Chaplin). The essays in this book explore the reasons why, and the different perspectives found within the church on Brexit and on English, British and European identity.

With Bishop John McDowell, Primate of All Ireland, Bishop Philip North, Bishop of Burnley, Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, Bishop Robert Innes Bishop in Europe, Prof Adrian Pabst, University of Kent and National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Prof Linda Woodhead, University of Lancaster, Dr David Muir, University of Roehampton.

Video here  Transcript here



The Politics of Brexitland (03/03/2021)


'Brexitland' by Profs Rob Ford and Maria Sobolewska argues that British politics has been re-shaped by the divide between 'ethnicity conservatives' and 'ethnicity liberals. In this webinar they discuss their analysis with MPs Danny Kruger and Stephen Kinnock and we ask whether this political divide is now permanent or can be bridged.

Video here  Transcript here



Constitutional Futures (28/01/2021)


Is there a future for the union that does not rely on the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament? Carwyn Jones SM, former first minister of Wales, discusses his radical proposals.

With Nick Pearce (Institute of Policy Research, Bath University, and former head of the No 10 Policy Unit) and Prof Nicola McEwen, Centre for Constitutional Change, Edinburgh University)

Video here  Transcript here



Politics and Values in England (14/12/2020)


Over the past 20 years, one group of England's voters have reshaped English and UK politics. Tending to identify as more English than British, often working class and from previously Labour backgrounds, their support for UKIP, Brexit and more recently the Conservatives has been decisive. This webinar discussed their values, class, political economy, ideas of community and the politics of identity.

With David Lammy MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Justice), Simon Winlow (Northumbria), Paula Surridge (Bristol) and Jon Lawrence (Exeter).

Video here  Transcript here



Beyond Asymmetric Devolution (14/12/2020)


20 years after devolution the culture of the media, the language of politics and the organisation of the state have all failed to keep up with the constitutional reality. Could future reform bring them all in line?

With Ian Murray MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland), Prof Ailsa Henderson (Edinburgh), Prof Stephen Cushion (Cardiff), Akash Paun (Institute of Government) and Jack Sheldon (Cambridge).

Video here  Transcript here



Guy Shrubsole Who owns England?

28 November 2018

Researcher and author


Jim Baker YOLO. (You Only Live Once): Black English, Who's Shaping Whose Identity?

20 September 2018

Independent researcher and consultant


John Denham Stories of England

28 March 2018

University of Southampton


Don John Stories of England

28 March 2018

Race equality consultant 


Robin Mann Stories of England

28 March 2018

Bangor University


David McCrone Stories of England

28 March 2018

Edinburgh University 


Lisa Mckenzie Stories of England

28 March 2018



Sivamohan Valluvan Stories of England

28 March 2018

Warwick University


Craig Prescott The Constitutional and Political Consequences of a Divided Referendum Result

May 2017

Winchester University


Liam Byrne An Englishness open to all

31 March 2017

Labour MP 


David Goodhart An Englishness open to all

31 March 2017

Author and journalist


Sunder Katwala An Englishness open to all

31 March 2017

Director, British Future


Tariq Madood An Englishness open to all

31 March 2017

Bristol University


Nasar Meer An Englishness open to all

31 March 2017

Edinburgh University


Richard Webber An Englishness open to all

31 March 2017

Director, WebberPhillips


Simon Heffer Five Hundred Years of Englishness

28 February 2017

Author and journalist


Trevor Phillips An English Future: E Pluribus Unum or Ex Una Multa?

18 October 2016

Former Chair, EHRC 


Judith Clementson England and the EU

12 March 2016

Hampshire independent councillor 


Montserrat Guibernau England and the EU

12 March 2016

Cambridge University 


Richard Wyn-Jones England and the EU

12 March 2016

Cardiff University 


Paul Goodman English issues in the 2015 general election

18 January 2016

Editor, Conservative Home 


Miranda Green English issues in the 2015 general election

18 January 2016

Journalist, former advisor to Paddy Ashdown


Eric Kaufman English issues in the 2015 general election

18 January 2016

Birkbeck University


Gerry Stoker English issues in the 2015 general election

18 January 2016

University of Southampton


Gerald Vernon-Jackson English issues in the 2015 general election

18 January 2016

Leader, Portsmouth City Council


Robert Tombs England’s Past and England’s Future

23 November 2015

Cambridge University


Richard Leese Labour and England

21 October 2015

Leader, Manchester City Council

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