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 AvatarBill le Breton 25th Jul - 2:38pm
    This is indeed good news. But some honesty is required. The original forecast at the time of the Coalition’s first budget http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/budget-2010/ (which saw an...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 25th Jul - 2:28pm
    Richard Dean - Good point. There is loads of advice now from things like professional societies freely available. Schools are not the only, and probably...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 25th Jul - 2:22pm
    Gareth Wilson - the more interesting one would be a comparison of the ratio of wages needed to pay a mortgage over time. I'm not...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 25th Jul - 2:19pm
    Dav - 'You might have been better off climbing the ladder to where the wealth is, rather than just waiting for it to come to...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 25th Jul - 2:19pm
    Is career guidance really best done by schools? Could it be done by a different organization? Are the skills and knowledge the same for teaching...
  • User AvatarDav 25th Jul - 2:09pm
    we’ve got more graduates than ever Though a greater proportion than ever are from joke 'universities' with 'degrees' that aren't worth the paper they are...