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How did I get here? Well I haven’t been here forever. I failed all my exams at school and so became a worker at Blidworth Colliery in Nottinghamshire (Soap Box… you know, before Thatcher wiped out a whole working community of a couple of hundred thousand in one stroke. Yes people unemployed are always acceptable as long as it’s all done in the name of a free market, tell that to the Nuclear Industry, even if the European market, in fact all markets aren’t truly free!). But while loads of people liked it I didn’t, so I took some courses and got myself onto a degree program. And hey-presto here I am!
I live happily in Manchester (UK) with my artistic Armenian fiancee. I’m an active supporter of many charities, among them Greenpeace, Amnesty, MSF, and Oxfam. I’ve travelled solo through Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East – and most other places on research related activities. I’m a qualified yachtsman and an avid kayaker and sub-aqua diver. And I like nothing better than a good curry and a good beer; in fact I’m an all around gastronome and Bon viveur!
Who Pays Me?
The University of Manchester are my main employer. I’m also paid a small amount for collaborations, however, all is bound up with the University of Manchester and so becomes indivisible. This is all; I receive no other payments.
What are my Politics?
I’m a paid up member of the Labour Party, the Fabian Society, and the University and College Union, as well as being a signatory to the Euston Manefesto. I’m reasonably ethical, global warming due to Greenhouse gases IS OCCURRING, all politicians are self serving and power hungry – just deal with it – we therefore have lots of control. Make changes to your own life don’t complain about the things that governments aren’t doing and then forget about it. You should take control of your own life.
Am I in a Union?
Yes, I’m a member of the University and College Union (UCU). The UCU trade union represents lecturers, professors and researchers, as well as administrative, library and computing staff in universities across the UK. We represent around 110, 000 academic and academic related staff in Further and Higher Education. I’m not particularly active in the union however I tend to be quite hard line (it’s my NUM upbringing) in voting and industrial actions.
The UN Millennium Project refers to the repeated commitment of the world’s governments to commit 0.7% of rich-countries‘ Gross national product (GNP) to Official Development Assistance. Spurred by this target I give 3% of my Gross Salary to Charities specifically: League Against Cruel Sports, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Royal National Lifeboat Institute, Dr Hadwen Trust, Amnesty International, The Woodland Trust, Mind, The Stroke Association and Médecins Sans Frontières.
I’m pretty agnostic about religion and spirituality. I don’t really believe in it but I’m fine if others do, maybe because I’m prepared to admit I may be wrong, well not really, but let’s say I’d like to be wrong. I’m a vegetarian though!