My guest in this episode is Jeff Smith, MP.
A recent press article highlighted that the number of ‘career politicians’ in Westminster who have never had what most of us would recognise as ‘a proper job’. It also said working class politicians were ‘an endangered species. I’m delighted to say that Jeff bucks both of those trends.
Whilst Jeff grew up in a political household and studied Politics at Manchester University being an MP was never in the plan, as can be seen by his subsequent career choice.
After graduation he became the Entertainments Officer for Manchester Students Union which led on to a career as an event manager and DJ. He performed regularly at V Festival and numerous club nights including Poptastic in Manchester and Star in Leeds.
He had lived almost all his life in Manchester and in 1997 he started to combine his DJ work with being a member of Manchester City Council. This eventually led in 2015 to an unexpected opportunity to become the MP for his ‘home seat’ of Withington in Manchester and he successfully regained the seat for Labour (from the Liberal Democrats). Last December, he was appointed as Shadow Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Music, a role for which he is clearly uniquely qualified.
Jeff’s musical tastes and choices are as interesting as his CV. Like me he is a Springsteen devotee, and he gets a special Music Talks Award for choosing my favourite ever song – Thunder Road . His song choices are:
60’s All My Loving The Beatles
70’s Thunder Road Bruce Springsteen
80’s What Difference Does It Make? The Smiths
90’s 12 Reasons Why I Love Her My Life Story
00’s Grey Day (Paper Faces Mix) Zoot Woman
10’s Love Song Lana Del Rey
20’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin Frank Sinatra