Newcastle can be the capital of a new, radical British politics

Ah, that rare thing: a political speech served straight, with no side of hyperbole. One of the most interesting developments in politics so far this year is set to happen not in Westminster, but 300 miles up the A1. On 2 May, voters from Newcastle right up to Berwick can elect their first ever North of Tyne metro mayor

Last week, Aditya Chakrabortty spent the day with me on the campaign trail.  He is one of the few London based journalists who takes the time to see what’s happening on the ground outside of London.  His “Alternatives” series is highly recommended.

“We’ll become a case study in rejecting the way the economy has been run for the past 40 years,” Driscoll says. “People will see that the neoliberal emperor has no clothes. Economics is deliberately obscure and intimidating, but why can’t we have a bank? Why can’t we build council houses? We’ll start it, then they’ll do it in Norwich and Southampton and …”

Jamie’s Campaign In The Guardian

Read about Aditya’s thoughts on Jamie’s campaign as he joined him on the trail last week.

Read the article

“And if part of what’s wrong with our politics is the narrowness of our political class, we need serious-minded outsiders such as Driscoll to elbow past that velvet rope.”

Talking to Aditya was interesting – he knows his stuff. In the spirit of fairness, it was his sub-editor who put in Newcastle; Aditya gets that the North of Tyne includes Northumberland and North Tyneside.

One thing that he highlights is some of the challenges we face at convincing disillusioned traditional Labour voters that this is an election worth supporting, but my policies stand up to scrutiny and can transform the North of Tyne in a way we’ve never seen before.

You can be part of that. We can all be part of creating prosperity that cares about people, the work they do and the environment we live in.

I only have one problem with the article – it’s a beard. A proper beard.