Author Archives: Richard Davis

Opinion: Innovation, Employment and the EU

Research, development and innovation are intrinsically linked to economic growth. In the UK we have a shocking history of underinvestment in science and research funding however this has been mitigated by the investment the EU has made into UK sciences, research institutions and innovative start ups. With the new EU funding programme Horizon 2020 coming into effect from next year there are high hopes for a new burst of innovation and the economic activity that brings with it.

The more innovation we have in the UK, the more people make things, the more our manufacturing sector increases and the more jobs …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: EU Invests €22 billion in Research and Innovation

The European Commission is set to invest large amounts into research and development to create well paid jobs and generate sustainable economic growth and boost Europe’s competitiveness across a range of key sectors which also aim to improve our quality of life.

Over the next 7 years a partnership between the European Commission, member states and industry will invest €22 billion in innovative medicines, aeronautics, bio-based industries, fuel cells and hydrogen and electronics. With the aim of generating high quality jobs across the EU covering these sectors through public-private partnerships called Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs).

The EU has seen its main competitors …

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Europe is good for business

On Monday a group of business leaders from across the country gathered to  launch a manifesto for Europe the main thrust of which said that Europe  was good for UK businesses. It was a great experience to be with a group of people who were all describing unique personal reasons related  to their own companies as to why Britain should remain in the EU.

It is often thought that it is just large businesses trading across  borders that do well out of EU membership. But at the launch event I  met with many small business leaders who have the EU somewhere …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 13 Comments

Opinion: Spend on innovation to drive economic growth

At a time when we are seeing some of the biggest government cuts in a generation it may seem to belittle the suffering people are facing to complain about the effect of the spending review on the science budget. As the government is trying to reduce our debt to income ratio, they have cut the deficit but we also need to create long-term sustainable economic growth. For this to happen investment in science and innovation is key. Our spending on research and development is vital to drive forward economic growth and reverse the current stagnation we see in our economy.

In …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 13 Comments

Opinion: UKIP vote against EU tackling tax evasion

UKIP frequently describe the EU as a large, expensive, bureaucratic nightmare, stating that we pay into the EU more than we get out. Yet at a time when the EU seeks to change that, by tackling tax evasion and avoidance, potentially saving member states in total 7 times the EU’s annual budget, UKIP vote en masse against it.

This week the EU Parliament voted to halve the €1 tn lost due to tax evasion and avoidance by 2020 by closing tax loopholes and tax havens. This is to be achieved by tightening some of the agreements between tax havens such as …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: An EU exit would be bad for Britain; it is our job to explain why

When Lord Lawson argued in The Times for a UK exit from the EU (reported in the Guardian; no pay wall! ), he said his arguments had nothing to do with being “anti-European”, but it appears they were nothing but. Filled with emotion and political zeal there was little relevance or fact based on economic evidence. Which is extremely disappointing from an ex-chancellor.

He stated that UK exports to the EU have risen by 40% while exports to the EU from countries outside of it have risen by 75%. If we were to leave the EU we would have to start paying …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 13 Comments

EU’s Youth Guarantee to end “social emergency” of youth unemployment

Recent economic announcements have been a true rollercoaster ride, with unemployment figures falling to one of the lowest levels, but then national output also falling. This disconnect between unemployment and GDP is still confusing economist, but the real worry is that youth unemployment is doing as expected, if not exceeding expectations. Youth unemployment in the UK now stands at just under 1 million, with over 1 in 5 young people now out of work. This has recently risen to the highest level since 2011.

Across the EU this picture does not improve with youth unemployment standing at 23.7% which equates …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Businesses, politicians and voters speak against a Brixit

Map of the European UnionI have long been a fan of the Westwing, and I was recently reminded of a particular scene where President Bartlett faces a difficult decision on whether to reprieve a man on death row or not. His local priest tells him a tale of a man who prays for help, but refuses all assistance when it is offered, claiming that God would save him. However, on his death he is told by St. Peter that God had sent a multitude of people to help him, but he had not accepted any of their help.

This seems to bear some resemblance to the current situation with Cameron floundering on what to do with the European Union. The problem is that recent polling has shown that the Conservative party is losing votes to UKIP and so his backbenchers believe the only way to regain those ‘lost votes’ is to be harder on the EU and call for a Brixit (British exit from the EU).

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 30 Comments

Opinion: Apps – a new weapon in the campaigning arsenal

In the 2010 general election it was the norm for all candidates to have a website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. Social media were spreading, even back then, and becoming a way for politicians to reach out to the people they represent, not just as a news outlet, but, as Tom Brake recently wrote on Lib Dem Voice, a method for opening a two-way communication with the electorate.

But now, with the spread of smart phones, we are entering an age where the politicians can add another weapon to their

Posted in Op-eds | 7 Comments

Opinion: Now is NOT the time to abolish 50p tax rate

A letter appeared in the FT today from a deficit* of economists which suggested that the 50p tax rate be dropped. Their reasoning, as was stated on yesterday morning’s Radio4 Today programme is that hedge funds are relocating to Switzerland in favour of the cheaper tax. While I assume if the tax was dropped the 0.5% of the population in the UK who actually pay that level wouldn’t contemplate leaving?

Having worked with hedge funds I recognised a few of the names, such as Sushil Wadhwani, listed in the BBC article as former Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member. In other …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 34 Comments

Lib Dem candidates for the London Assembly

Below you will find a list of the Lib Dem candidates currently standing for the London Assembly along with their online media.








Jeremy Ambache Jeremy Website @Jeremy4London Facebook Jeremy Flickr
Steve Bradley Steve Website Steve
Emily Davey Emily Website @emilygasson Emily
Merlene Emerson Merlene Website @merleneemerson Facebook Merlene YouTube
Bridget Fox Bridget Website @BridgetFox Facebook Bridget YouTube
Stephen Knight Stephen Website Stephen
Ajmal Masroor Ajmal Website @AjmalMasroor Facebook Ajmal

Posted in Local government | Tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion: Higher Education should be like the NHS, free at the point of use

Higher Education should be freely available to all, however in its current state it is not. Only those who are academically able can enter the current system of HE. We need more technical colleges and alternative further education institutions.

Tony Blair aimed to get 50% of people into university, by the end of Labour’s term they had achieved 45%, Lord Browne wants to go another 10% further. These are admirable aims. Admirable, but in my opinion wrong. We should aim to have much more of the population complete some type of higher education, but it should not necessarily …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 24 Comments

Opinion: The death of partisan politics?

I think people need to look a little more objectively and put an end to the partisan “we hate the Tories” or “we hate Labour” that I am hearing all the time. It makes us look ridiculous and is the main reason that the average person has come to distrust and ultimately hate the political system we currently have. What we have seen over the last few days is actually a huge leap forwards, when two parties which are so fundamentally opposed can come together and find common ground to try to do the best for the country in what …

Posted in Op-eds | 66 Comments

Recent Comments

  • David Evans
    Sadly Kyle, I think your post is based on inexperience rather than any objective analysis of the situation. While in most general elections there are a few ou...
  • David Evans
    Paul is absolutely right in his last too posts. While some local parties did not grow in that period, a much larger number grew steadily and became a real thri...
  • Kyle Harrison
    Even if the Lib Dems are on 10% of the vote they can still make major gains from the Tories. That's how the FPTP system can work. You don't need loads of extra ...
  • Ruth Bright
    matt - so sorry to hear this, thank you for sharing this with us...
  • Anthony Acton
    Comparing Labour's list of "non-battleground" seats - which includes with a few exceptions all our target seats - with our list of PPCs already selected it's c...