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 AvatarLouise Ankers 22nd Oct - 12:36pm
    My main concern on meeting locally is that won't help the people who are in quieter local parties.
  • User AvatarAntony Hook 22nd Oct - 12:27pm
    A very worthwhile article. We have a big and important challenge to reconnect with voters in towns like Clacton (of which there are many, probably...
  • User AvatarTim13 22nd Oct - 12:14pm
    Presumably Ceredigion, John - quite a lot of Welsh speakers in that patch!
  • User AvatarIgor Sagdejev 22nd Oct - 12:13pm
    @Matthew Huntbach "I work in what was once the heartland of Cockney London, and the local population is now almost all non-white." Should be Polish,...
  • User AvatarIgor Sagdejev 22nd Oct - 12:01pm
    @Ian Sanderson (RM3) 22nd Oct '14 - 9:23am "Instead they pursue a paper tiger of setting arbitrary figures and then straining to (fail to) achieve...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 22nd Oct - 11:56am
    John Tilley How dull would London be if it had got stuck in the “jolly cockney” stereotype of films such as Passport to Pimlico ?...