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 AvatarTim Oliver 30th Jul - 8:04pm
    Green Voter - you seem to be alarmed to discover that companies can go bankrupt when they run out of cash. What would you suggest...
  • User AvatarEnerglyn Churchill 30th Jul - 8:03pm
    I also recently wrote about so-called 'intergenerational theft' and made reference to Vince's 'politicians are scared of pensioners' quip. Whilst I don't resent those older...
  • User AvatarGreen Voter 30th Jul - 7:54pm
    @Simon My point was simply that companies can go under, leaving others to pay the environmental cost. I do not see that the UK fracking...
  • User AvatarRichard Wingfield 30th Jul - 7:50pm
    The real question, as many here have pointed out, is who should have the final say on questions of human rights: judges or Parliament? There...
  • User AvatarPaul in Wokingham 30th Jul - 7:50pm
    @Nich Starling - perhaps I misunderstand something in your comment, or perhaps the rules have changed, but the 2002 World Cup was a joint bid...
  • User AvatarSimon 30th Jul - 7:28pm
    @greenvoter The Freedom Industries spill in the US had nothing to do with fracking. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Elk_River_chemical_spill