I mentioned in a previous post that this is the 35th anniversary of my appointment to the Politics Department at the University of Hull. To mark the anniversary, I hosted a reception last week at the University, attended by students and staff. Realising that Eminent Parliaments constituted the thirtieth book I had authored or edited, I decided to include the celebration of that milestone as well. The tally of books does not include new editions. If those are included, it constitutes my fortieth book, so either way grounds for celebration.
In speaking, I draw on the theme of continuity and change – the one pursued by John Bercow when he spoke at the university earlier in the year to mark the Department’s fiftieth anniversary. There hs been considerable change in the years since I joined the Department, not least in terms of technology. When I joined, we were dependent on typewriters. Preparing a manuscript in those days was time-consuming: some of my books ran to several hundred pages in typescript. There was no provision for cutting and pasting! Most students submitted hand-written essays. What has perhaps changed the least has been me. I am pretty much the same as I was 35 years ago. I haven’t changed much in looks, attitude, or in my approach to work. I just get on taking the world as it is. And once I find something I really like, I tend to stick with it.