Author Archives: Benjamin Mathis

Opinion: An open letter to Nick Clegg

Nick-CleggDear Nick,

When I joined the party in 2006, one of the first things I did was to hit the streets of Dudley, my hometown, delivering Focus and canvassing voters. I’ve been an active, campaigning party member ever since.

Another of the first things I did was to locate and read a copy of the Orange Book. And I liked it. I agreed with a lot of it, and “Orange Booker” has been a badge I have worn with slightly perverse pride ever since.

I like what you’re doing, Nick – and I like …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 73 Comments

Opinion: Merry Christmas, Mr Turing

Merry Christmas. What’s on your tree this year? Baubles? Tinsel? Some of that fake snow that looks a bit like candy floss and gets everywhere by New Year? Almost certainly some fairy lights.

However you decorate your Christmas tree, you would probably think it looked a bit bare if it only had the star on the top. You’d be right. Which is why, however big an achievement it is for those who have campaigned for it, I can only raise one-and-a-half cheers today at the news Alan Turing has at long last received a posthumous pardon for the conviction he received …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: The gloves are off for the Man in Tights

The House of Commons is an odd place. People try to pretend they don’t know one another’s names even when they do. There’s the curious, formalised sparring by red-faced men who actually quite like each other. And the whole affair is officiated over by a middle-aged metalworker in hosiery, and sometimes a curious wig, referred to only as Mister. It’s like the most surreal fetish party in the world.

Now the first rule of Mister Speaker’s Club is that you do not talk about Mister Speaker. MPs will go on record to criticise their opposing number’s finances, living arrangements, office staff …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Tagged and | 9 Comments

Opinion: Angry Union Men – whose fault are the Lincolnshire strikes?

As Britain stares down a 1970s-style Spring of Discontent, with the Credit Crunch now being supplemented by industrial strife and wildcat strikes, who is to blame for the crisis on the Humber, and how can it be resolved?

First of all, these workers have every right to feel angry. We all do. Like the rest of the country, they were told that ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, they were even promised ‘British Jobs for British Workers’, and yet here they are again, back to picketing and strikes. Now, that isn’t to say that companies like Total shouldn’t be able …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: Opposition is only half the fight – we must spell out our plan for Heathrow

What follows is very much not dissent in the ranks or any kind of support for a third runway at Heathrow – if for no other reason than I don’t want to give John McDonnell any excuse to start wielding the Mace again. I fully support and agree with the Lib Dem campaign being ably led by Susan Kramer and Norman Baker against blighting south-west London and surrounding areas with yet more noise, pollution and congestion.

But the Government has now announced its decision on a new runway and Terminal 6 and, while I hope we will be able to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Britain’s Town Centres – Designed for Disorder

Last Saturday night I decided to go and buy a loaf of bread. Since I live in the centre of town and don’t own a car, this was a challenge in itself but that’s definitely a theme for another day. What it meant, however was that I came face to face with the reality of what our night-time city centres are really like.

No, there weren’t clusters of ‘hoodies’ dealing drugs or ladettes urinating in the street or any of the clichés of the tabloid town-centre but there was a very odd atmosphere. Everyone but me seemed to be devoted to …

Posted in Op-eds | 21 Comments
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