From the House of Commons to the house of “art and design”
Dr. Tristram Hunt has already had an incredibly diverse career, having been a Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent, as well as, according to his profile on the QMUL webpage, “[combining his] time at QMUL with work on TV programmes, radio series, journalism and book publications”. Being a senior lecturer in Modern British History (and teaching the undergraduate modules ‘Marx, Engels and the Making of Marxism‘ and ‘Cities of Empire‘), it is almost no wonder that he has been chosen as the new director of a quintessentially British arthouse. Having said that, his career in politics has been at the forefront of his name, and thus the announcement was indeed met with surprise, as “his name did not crop up in any of the art world gossip which generally precedes big appointments in the sector” (The Guardian, 2016). Of course, this move wasn’t met without its criticisms. Dr. Hunt’s resignation as a politician has meant that the prospects of his party’s victory in the constituency of Stoke-on-Trent have become vulnerable, with challenging and rising opposition from UKIP leader Paul Nuttall. Fellow Guardian journalists like Zoe Williams have also gone as far as criticising Parliament in allowing such easy resignation of MPs in principle, saying that it promotes “a carnival of amateurishness in which the only discernible professionalism is in the exit strategy”.
Image – CentreforCities/flickr