Author Archives: Huw James

How liberals can tackle the monsters and revelations of Coronavirus

The past two months have been flavoured with fear, insecurity, and a collective sense of grief over the death and suffering of our neighbours and fellow humans. US President, John F Kennedy, inaccurately reflected in 1959, “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters — one represents danger and one represents opportunity.” The danger certainly feels apparent today, but the systemic problems that crises like the Coronavirus Pandemic reveal and create are a useful starting point to building a brighter Britain. If we are going to do so, we will need to more than give …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 9 Comments

Let’s look more towards European Liberals for the future of the Liberal Democrats

In our fight for an Exit from Brexit, British liberals have been denied the opportunity to fight for a renewed and more liberal Europe. Since the Brexit Referendum, the raison d’être for British liberals has been to remain in the European Union. We have been pulling out all the stops to avoid a hard-Brexit, maintaining and improving the security, prosperity and opportunities brought by our membership of the world’s single market and customs union. But Europe is the future, and it is European Liberals who will be the real change makers of the next European mandate. Let’s look to European …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged | 40 Comments

Jo Cox Square Opening in Brussels

September 27th 2018, the sun is out and it’s warm once again after days of cold and rain in central Brussels. Rainbows splatter walls, murals, and road crossings along Ancienne Belgique, the large Concert hall that sits upon Brussell’s LGBTQ District. A large crowd gathered to remember and praise Jo Cox on this vibrant Belgian square which the City of Brussels is naming after the late British MP for Batley on Spen.

Jo Cox lived and breathed the streets of Brussels for six years, first as political assistant to Glenys Kinnock MEP and later as a lobbyist for Oxfam. Cox later went on to defend the European Project during the long political battle that was the 2016 EU Referendum. Two years ago, Cox sailed along the Thames with her family proudly flying an “IN” flag up against the pro-Brexit Flotilla. This was one of the more jovial and surreal moments of the referendum campaign. The next day Jo was assassinated by a Neo-Nazi terrorist, set on sowing hate.

Do you remember where you were when you found out Jo Cox had been murdered? I was at the University of York, where I was due to be in the audience on BBC Question Time. “The show is cancelled I’m afraid,” said the producer, “An MP has been shot”.

The political toxicity that led to Jo Cox’s assassination had not been seen in the United Kingdom since the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. ‘A lot of people hoped that the violent assassination… on the streets where she grew up would have a profound impact on the political discourse. however two years on I’m sadly not at all sure this is the case’ said Kim Leadbeater, sister of Jo Cox in front of the large crowd. The vindicated far-right have been emboldened by the Conservatives and Labour’s growing acceptance of their worldview. Jo Cox, conversely, ensured the political establishment called out extremist violence during her time as MP.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments
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