John Howarth

Numbers are still my friends despite their ‘lies’

The opinion polls got the headline result of the UK General Election of 2015 wrong. Apparently we now know why – though the evidence of a pro-Labour leaning had been there for years – this time turnout patterns exposed the sampling errors. But this doesn’t mean the numbers don’t tell us the bigger truth – and Labour supporters should be very afraid.

You Gove headline figures image


RIP David Bowie

My appreciation here and for the hell of it that shared moment of my generation from 6 July 1972:


This site is mostly writings and ramblings – and a bit of Photoshop work. I hope you enjoy it and that the articles make you think – but not till it hurts, just a bit. There’s also some stuff about the work I do and the causes with which I’m involved (or have been). It is laughingly and somewhat loosely organised into four blogs:

My politics blog is written from a Labour perspective, mostly. However I try to be factual and reasonably objective. I’m well beyond the stage of pretending that one party has all the answers, that politicians can solve everything or that I agree with everything Labour’s leaders utter. Despite everything, I’m still Labour because Labour governments and councils improved the lot of my family, their community and people who share my background and because it is still the only practical vehicle for people who are serious about change that benefits of the many.

Featured stuff:

Denis Healey 1917-2015 – Appreciation

The biggest Labour beast of the ‘Greatest Generation’.

In Labour’s Leadership Election Vote Labour

There are six ways to vote Labour in the Labour Leadership election. Anything else is the equivalent of buying the Party a ticket to Dignitas.

The Great Leap Backward

The campaign didn’t matter. Labour’s defeat was its lowest total of MPs since 1938 when at least their little known leader, Clement Atlee gained 100 or so seats. The election was lost when our other worldly Leader was elected and we started apologising for our record. The situation is now simple – Labour either changes or dies.

Archive: Labour’s Scottish Divorce

Apart from the utter catastrophe for Labour, the consequential dire situation of ordinary folk in much of England and Wales and a prolonged ascendency of the Tories, one of the irritating aspects of the political earthquake in Scotland is that it’s not as if they weren’t warned. Time to dig out the archive my piece from 2011.



I also write for the Labour Print by Public Impact Blog where there are all sorts of useful things for people interested in political organising as well as some seriously keen print prices.

Everything you can’t avoid doing you should enjoy. Food is a must have, I love it and I’ve written about it off and on. If you write about food you should be able cook yourself. I really believe ANYONE can cook – so I share some of the stuff I do for family, friends and anyone. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford treats at some decent places which I also share here.

Recent Stuff:

The Coach at Marlow

A guest review by Jane Coney of Tom Kerridge’s new venture The Coach at Marlow where she finds the food up to the standard you would expect.

Christmas Eve

There is a place for turkey dinners, but for me it generally isn’t at Christmas. I’m a self-confessed contrarian, yes, but practical considerations moved our feat to Christmas Eve – and anyway, it’s really nice NOT to have to cook much on Christmas Day. Here’s how this year’s worked out – with some added photos.

The Woodspeen

Michelin starred chef, John Campbell, gets it right in both architectural and culinary terms at his new West Berkshire gastro pub The Woodspeen.

Entertainment, broadly speaking was the first thing I really wrote about in a serious way. For what it’s worth I’m even qualified in it, though of course your opinion is just as valid as mine (except I’m right, of course). Here you will find stuff on movies, TV, music, sport and anything else that gets us through the night.

Recent Stuff:

Recognising Rooney

Why do so many people have a problem understanding that Wayne Rooney’s England goals are just as good as anyone else’s? His record stands up to scrutiny.

Alan Pardew’s Long Goodbye

Was Alan Pardew really a bad manager at Newcastle United? Or did he do a good job under constraints? In his shoes would you have made different decisions? Newcastle supporters might be careful what they wish for.

Henry’s End

An appreciation of Tierry Henry on his retirement and memories of the best display I’ve seen at Reading FC.

In the Bag

Number crunching is fun. No, honest, it is. The FA Cup third round draw set me wondering if my team really has been unlucky in recent years? Here’s how to work it out.

Beating Chelsea

When Newcastle United beat the Blues it’s always a ‘special one’ for me , but not because of him. Here’s why.

I couldn’t afford a gap year and I always liked my creature comforts. I am a city creature and like cities. If you want to know how to do South East Asia on $5 a day you are in the wrong place – I haven’t a clue. When I travel I like to eat well – so there is a cross over with the food blog. I’ve not written travel articles for a while – but watch this space.

Oh, and there’s this:

I write regularly for the Public Impact Blog where you can read all manner of strange and wonderful stuff some of which some say is rather useful on brands, advertising, marketing and design. Unlike many business blogs it is not written Bizwaffle or Techidegooke but in English.

Albion Terrace is an originals rock band for which I write songs and play guitar. You can find out more about Albion Terrace and keep in touch by ‘liking’ the band’s Facebook page by following the band on Twitter or if you really want to know by listening to us play live at Soundcloud


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