Jude visits King's Academy

11 December 2014

Jude was one of the many guest speakers we have had at The King’s Academy, but one thing made her stand out in particular – her passion for the north. It was enlightening to hear someone talk so positively about the North and about her plans to try and improve it. Jude gave us a little insight into her life, no different to you and I, a young woman from Middlesbrough, who Studied Politics and History at The University of Sheffield and went on to do her masters in Social Policy Analysis at The University of Bath.

She told us, in depth, about her pathway into politics – she started off working with worker unions and came up with strategies to improve the quality and conditions in which people work in. Jude seemed to take on a very altruistic attitude – something that certainly appealed to most students in the room.

With a young audience, Jude encouraged us to join in and ask questions; she was very interactive and curious as to what we thought, which is a pleasant change to what some would expect of a politician. 

Some audience members did not know much about the EU and about what it was that Jude did, so she explained in a way that everyone would understand – again, a pleasant change.

She talked about the EU in relation to unemployment, youth unemployment especially, in which she challenged other party policies (not naming any names). She gave us hope, she gave us a bit of optimism, when all we hear is ‘youth unemployment is increasing in the north-east’.

She told us about how being a member of the EU is such a massive benefit when it comes to tackling unemployment – especially in the north east with 156,000 workers in the North East relying on the EU – whether that be for employment or trade. Labour MEP’s plan to ban 0 hour contracts – encouraging seeing as though a lot of the audience members have part time jobs at establishments with 0 hour contracts.

She talked about investment and trade being a vital link between the EU and the North-East – which is why, if we leave the EU, unemployment as a whole, will rise; not a good fact for us to comprehend.

Overall, Jude Kirton-Darling was an enlightening and positive guest speaker – straying away from the pale, male, stale, privately educated Oxbridge stereotype. She opened up the minds of many of our students – lower years through to sixth form.

Do you think the North East needs its own voice in the EU exit negotiations?

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