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 AvatarSimon McGrath 25th Oct - 7:36pm
    Our opponents in disarray, competence staff fired, Labour in disarray. What's not to like ?
  • User Avatarpaul barker 25th Oct - 7:31pm
    One obvious possible reason is that the Anti-Clegg/We are all doomed campaign has been so succsessfull that no-one believes we can win anything anymore. The...
  • User AvatarCharlie 25th Oct - 7:15pm
    Helen Tadcastle Much protest comes from people who do not want to make the effort to be useful. If one really wants to be be...
  • User AvatarHelen Tedcastle 25th Oct - 7:12pm
    Having watched the Scottish referendum campaign unfold via news channels, it seemed to me that Lamont had been looking pretty miserable for months. She held...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 25th Oct - 7:11pm
    For me the most astonishing thing about Ian Prices sacking was the reason given which, according to the Guardian was that he was " too...
  • User AvatarChristine Headley 25th Oct - 7:04pm
    "Patronising BT lady advert"? This doesn't ring any bells with me, the last BT lady advert I can think of was Maureen Lipman... Could we...