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
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 29th Jan - 12:07pm
    ". But this compares to £3 billion in tax breaks given to companies for fossil fuel exploration in the North Sea" This is nonsense ....
  • User AvatarKay Kirkham 29th Jan - 12:07pm
    Anyone remember Rosie's rabbit that appeared in an SDP PPB some years ago. Hit an all time low in the genre.
  • User AvatarStephen Johnson 29th Jan - 11:56am
    Malcolm, A key premise of this article is that it will be easier to bring about electoral reform if we make it easy to change....
  • User Avatartez 29th Jan - 11:48am
    Tsar exactly we need deal with effects as cause outside of our power human race throughout history accepted for most part cannot change things but...
  • User AvatarAdrian PR 29th Jan - 11:47am
    Julian Tisi wrote: > I’m not saying that we should not countenance any other offer on the table > but in negotiation if we go...
  • User AvatarAdrian PR 29th Jan - 11:20am
    Peter Tyzack remarked: > the purpose of any change is to make things better, this doesn’t. The purpose of this is to stand between the...