Author Archives: James King

Opinion: Feeling at home with housing policy

With the general election less than two years away, it is increasingly important for the Lib Dems to pursue ‘differentiation’ from our coalition partners. This includes advancing clear and specific Lib Dem proposals that we will seek to deliver this side of the election. But we should also start highlighting priorities which will form the basis of our pitch to the electorate in 2015.

The emerging agenda includes support for wealth taxes, defence of EU membership and the protection of civil liberties. These issues are as important as ever, but at this stage our platform seems light on ‘social liberalism’ and …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 13 Comments

Opinion: Four point plan for a liberal, democratic Europe

Europe is rising up the political agenda. It’s an issue that could bring down David Cameron or break-up the coalition. Yet the Liberal Democrats are strangely silent. The EU didn’t appear on the Brighton conference agenda and we no longer have a Minister in the Foreign Office. We need to develop a vision for a liberal, democratic EU and get smart about fighting for it.

Here’s my four point plan:

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 47 Comments

Opinion: 5 reasons the AV referendum lost

Here is my take on the five main reasons why the UK gave such a comprehensive thumbs down to AV, with one important lesson for the future:

  1. Tuition fees and trust – This is not the place to rehearse all the arguments on tuition fees. But there can be no denying that it was a significant turning point in public perceptions of Nick Clegg. Even though over 300 Tory MPs voted for higher fees, the Conservative-dominated No campaign ruthlessly exploited this as an argument against coalitions in general and Clegg in particular. While I believe the policy itself can be justified, Clegg clearly under-estimated the political cost of a U-turn, particularly in the context ofacritical referendum that needed to be won only a few months later.
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 46 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarmack (Not a Lib dem) 21st Sep - 8:57pm
    A Labour, Lib-Dem strategy might of course be to insist that the devolved powers to Scotland be treated as an unconditional, discrete piece of legislation,...
  • User Avatarmack (Not a Lib dem) 21st Sep - 8:42pm
    Pace Raddiy, if UKIP win the Clacton by-election expect the clamour for the simplistic destruction of the House of Commons and its replacement by an...
  • User AvatarSesenco 21st Sep - 8:38pm
    David Allen wrote: "The problem is that the Tories will then barnstorm to victory in 2015 on a cry of “English votes for English laws”,"...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 21st Sep - 8:36pm
    It is in the national interest to check whether devolved powers are going to be used sensibly. This policy should be amended on the grounds...
  • User AvatarRichard S 21st Sep - 8:28pm
    @Rabi Martins In which case we are really just talking about BA representation, so we shouldn't say we are talking about BAME. Also don't worry....
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 21st Sep - 8:28pm
    David Allen - I think you are spot on. Cameron has played a blinder here. The pledge to Scotland is generous if not massively so....