Author Archives: Jonan Boto

The EU Referendum – Don’t believe UKIP, believe Sir Winston (and his fellow Liberal Democrats)

Current soundbites aren’t doing this vote justice…

The arguments are well rehearsed by now. Boris’ land of milk, honey from Canada and ‘Nike tick growth’ versus Cameron’s doom, despair and economic shock. The land of Farage and UKIP freedom fighters versus job-destroying years of negotiation on separation terms (Canada’s EU trade deal: 7 years and counting).

The EU is fairly imperfect, and EU free movement makes immigration policy that much more difficult (although over 50% of migration to the UK comes from outside the EU). Cameron’s renegotiation, grand tour of Europe, and media-focused town halls are a fair attempt to address issues. But they don’t quite do it for me. (Why not travel the UK instead, to better understand people’s concerns and bolster the renegotiation?) As for UKIP, forget them: they have become the damn establishment, and their MEPs don’t even turn up for UK interests (see FT 2014 analysis).

There’s one statesman, however, I would go into battle with. So, what would Churchill have said?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 14 Comments

What is at stake: A photo of a young boy and the US President

Obama hand

Clark Reynolds, 3 years old, greeted by President Obama, Feb 18 2016 at the White House. (Pete Souza/Washington Post)

We have been struggling with the representation issue for years. Our party leaders strongly believe in broadening the look and feel of our MPs. Our members instinctively seek parity between men, women and other backgrounds: a desire to open up opportunity should be in our blood. But we aren’t quite sure how to achieve that and so far, as Josh Dixon sets out, our success has not been much to write home about. The Elect Diverse MPs motion to be debated at Spring Conference gives us a critical chance to retake the initiative.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 18 Comments

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