Susan Michie (born June 1955) is a British academic, clinical psychologist, and professor of Health Psychology, director of The Centre for Behaviour Change and head of The Health Psychology Research Group, all at University College London. She is also an advisor to the British Government via the SAGE advisory group on matters concerning behavioural compliance with government regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michie studied experimental psychology at Oxford University, obtaining a BA in 1976, and a DPhil in developmental psychology in 1982. She studied clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, London University, obtaining an MPhil in 1978. She is a chartered clinical psychologist and a chartered health psychologist, and a fellow of the British Psychological Society
Susan Michie joined the British Communist Party in 1978, long before the end of the Cold War, after travelling to a student festival in Fidel Castro's Cuba
She once recalled: 'I came back and thought: "Wow, if they can do this, I need to do my bit here to try and build a country along those lines".'
Michie is a member of the Communist Party of Britain and was also member of its predecessor the Communist Party of Great Britain. In March 2018, she spoke at a public meeting saying that communists should be "working full tilt" for the election of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. She made a £14,000 donation to Labour under Corbyn's leadership.
27 July 2022 Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology and Language Sciences) has been appointed Chair of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health.
In March 2020 she had tweeted during a discussion about the original Hubei province lockdown that:
“China has a socialist, collective system (whatever criticisms people may have) not an individualistic, consumer-oriented, profit-driven society badly damaged by 20 years of failed neoliberal economic policies. #LearntLessons”.
"Unions for Cuba" conference
On Saturday 2 November 2019, more than 200 trade unionists and activists attended Cuba Solidarity Campaign’s Unions for Cuba conference at the NEU headquarters in London. The vibrant conference, the largest trade union conference of solidarity with Cuba to take place in the UK for 15 years, demonstrated the strength of solidarity between British and Cuban workers.
Cuba’s delegation comprised of 14 labour movement leaders – 12 of whom were women – representing the country’s health, public administration, communications, transport, education, energy and mining sectors, and their TUC equivalent, the CTC.
British trade union speakers included general secretaries of Unite the Union and the CWU, Len McCluskey and Dave Ward, the Cuban, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan ambassadors, and contributions from many other trade unionists, labour movement and student representatives, and academics.
Susan Michie, Vice Chair of CSC opened the conference, addressing delegates of the “crucial time for solidarity with Cuba” that we are currently in.
Christine Blower, former NUT General Secretary, current NEU International Office and recently appointed Baroness Blower of Starch Green gave solidarity greetings to the Cuban people and said how Jeremy Corbyn appointed her to “take trade unionism into the Lords”.
“But I must stress that I will vote to abolish the Lords at the first opportunity!” she said to great applause.
“Hasta la victoria siempre! Viva Jeremy Corbyn! Viva Cuba!” she said.
Bernard Regan, CSC National Secretary highlighted some of Cuba’s many achievements over the last 60 years “Cuba has three times the amount of doctors per 1,000 to its population than Britain.
“400,000 health professionals have travelled across 165 countries in all the continents of the world delivering health care” he added.
Maggi Ferncombe, UNISON Greater London Regional Secretary said: “From a union of a million women - I give particular greetings to the 12 Cuban women trade unionists here today” to great cheers from the crowd.
"Build the Socialist Left"
Cuba Solidarity Campaign
- 2005 Keynote, international conference, Havana, Cuba.
- 4th Health Psychology International Conference, Havana, Cuba. Changing behaviours related to health: the application of psychological theory.
- Michie S. (1979). The psychiatric hospital in Havana. Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 32, 143-144.
Cuba WFDY event
Susan Michie was participant in the British delegation to the 1978 World Youth Festival in Havana, infamous for the participation of former government ministers Peter Mandelson, Brian Wilson and Charles Clarke, and the division within the group which led many to return to the UK determined to develop a broad based solidarity campaign in defence of Cuba from which the modern day campaign grew.
"Where next for the Covid crisis?"
January 2022. "Where next for the Covid crisis?" With Diane Abbott MP, Richard Burgon MP, Dr Deepti Gurdasani, Prof Susan Michie, Vicky Blake (UCU), Cat Hobbs (We Own It), Emmy Kelly, Richard Murphy, Helen O'Connor GMB, Jonathan Fluxman, Ben Chacko (Morning Star).
Moderator Nimo Hussein.
"Once again cases and hospitalisations are rising once more. In some countries the number of new deaths is rising sharply too. It remains to be seen whether that will happen in this country too.
But the current situation already means that large numbers are becoming seriously ill, cases of Long Covid will grow and deaths are rising at an unacceptable rate.
All of this puts enormous strain on the NHS itself. Healthcare workers are off sick themselves while serious cases mount and the peak of the winter 'flu season is approaching. The same combination of risks, staff illness and rising cases is affecting other sectors, from refuse collection to transport to schools . Despite all this, Boris Johnson has decided to take no extra measures to restrict the virus, in contrast to the devolved administrations. Countries such as Germany have adopted new measures successfully, and the ZeroCovid countries continue unscarred by the mass deaths seen here and elsewhere.
The question now is whether the NHS faces a breaking-point and will be able to cope with government policy. Our excellent speakers will discuss this and related topics."
Zero Covid Conference
November 2020 The People's Assembly organized an online "Zero Covid Conference". Participants included:
- "Covid, Class and the Economy" Laura Pidcock The People's Assembly, Steve Turner Unite the Union , Richard Burgon MP, Carolyn Jones Institute of Employment Rights, Michael Burke economist, Susan Michie Independent Sage.
- "No Return to Austerity" Shelly Asquith TUC Howard Beckett Unite the Union, Amarjite Singh CWU.
- "Class, Race and Covid" Zita Holbourne BARAC UK, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Melissa Evens Bakers Union, Lindsey German The People's Assembly.
- "Youth Fightback" Johnnie Hunter YCL, Dr. Emma Runswick Zero Covid Campaign, Shabbir Lakha Counterfire, Larissa Kennedy NUS
- "Building a Pandemic Resistant Society" Robert West Independent Sage.
- "Health Wealth and a New Deal" Helen O'Connor, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Diane Abbott MP, Ellen Clifford Disabled People Against Cuts.
World Health Network
A group of scientists in Britain who want to push for continued and tougher lockdowns are set to launch an international "zero covid" network July 2021.
Members of Independent Sage are to be part of the launch of an international group called the World Health Network which will push for a “zero covid” strategy of maintaining lockdowns. The revelation came at an online meeting of the Zero Covid campaign group last week where trade union officials told attendees about how covid is a means of recruiting members and how the ultimate goal has to be “to bring down capitalism.”
The news about the new international network was announced at the end of the meeting Yaneer Bar-Yam, an American physicist who is a member of the Covid Action Group which includes the members of Independent Sage including controversial behavioural scientist Professor Susan Michie, who is a member of the Communist Party of Britain.
It follows MPs last month questioning why three Independent Sage members including Professor Michie, her husband Professor Robert West, and Professor Stephen Reicher, all behavioural scientists, are also official government advisors.
Dr Bar-Yam, a leading member of the Covid Action Group, told the meeting of leftwing Zero Covid activists that a closed conference not open to the public will be held on 14 and 15 July to launch the World Health Network.
He said: “We have a globalised team primarily of scientists called the Covid Action Group. [This is] morphing into the World Health Network [with] very enthusiastic participation from Indy Sage, ISAG (Independent Scientific Advocacy Group), Covid Germany, and reaching out to parents groups and others.
The network will push for a 'zero Covid' strategy of maintaining lockdowns;
“The purpose of the network is to facilitate the interaction of the teams. Give it some global infrastructure thinking about opportunities.
He said the purpose was to “shift the pandemic response” adding “I think you all know the values we share and the work we are doing on that.”
Earlier in the meeting Kathy Jenkins from Scottish Hazards, which was set up to provide free and confidential information, advice, support and training to workers on workplace health and safety issues, discussed how she was being funded with taxpayers’ money from the Scottish government to go to non-union members and using covid to encourage them to join trade unions.
The other speaker Tracy Edwards from the Public and Commercial Services Union also discussed how they were using air quality, long covid and other issues to restructure the workplace and add regulation.
Near the end of the meeting a Zero Covid activist Steve Ballard said that work on health and safety needed to be “combined with transforming the nature of work.
He said: “The rich have always said you have got to work to make us rich. That’s got to stop. Otherwise we are all going to fry. Got to change the agenda pretty damn quick.”
At a previous meeting he suggested that the Soviet Union style of Communism needed to be brought into Britain.
Responding to his comments, Ms Edwards said: “I agree with Steve there. Capitalism makes its own.
“The people who are in charge cannot be trusted to protect our health and safety. What we have got to do as a movement is not just control our working lives but society as a whole has pointed out.
However, a significant part of the faction felt that the BRS was ‘reformist’ and ‘revisionist’ in all its guises from 1951, counter-posing a revolutionary path to the parliamentary road to socialism envisaged in the CPGB’s existing programme. This stance was clouded in ambiguity in many sections of the CPGB’s left, with the default position usually being expressed in a preference for the 1951 version of the BRS overseen by Stalin, as opposed to later versions modified by a ‘revisionist’ CPGB leadership. This opposition suffered a major split in the run-up to the CPGB’s 1977 congress, with Sid French taking away 700 or so supporters to form the New Communist Party of Great Britain (after French realised that the CPGB’s leadership was intent on a reorganisation of his Surrey district, which would have deprived him of his organisational bridgehead). The rump left opposition in the CPGB coalesced around Fergus Nicholson (other key figures were John Foster, Brian Filling, Nick Wright, Susan Michie, Pat Turnbull and Andrew Murray) who had been the CPGB’s student organiser until 1974.