About Me

I am a freelance political commentator on current affairs, with a particular (but certainly not exclusive) interest in all things British.

I have written several blogs for thisisbristol, the online version of The Post, Bristol's local newspaper.

I am deputy editor of the cross-party political blog Speaker's Chair, and write articles and comment pieces as one of its resident Labour bloggers. I have also been a regular contributor to the centre-left blog Shifting Grounds.

I have written for The Independent's comment site "Independent Voices" as well as The Huffington Post.

I have also written a number of pieces for the political blog Left Foot Forward about issues as diverse as the economy, the England riots, public transport and the Occupy movement, to name just a handful.

I have also had comment pieces published on Liberal Conspiracy, LabourList, Labour Uncut and Left Futures.

In the past, I have been an intern at the think tank Civitas, and The Conservative Party.

I have worked as a Labour Party activist in Bristol, where I stood as a candidate in the south Bristol ward of Knowle in the 2007 local elections. I also spent time as a volunteer for the Labour MP Kerry McCarthy in her Bristol office.

Between 2006-2009, I was a lecturer in Politics at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol.

How I See UK Politics Today:

My own take is that British politics suffers (and has done for some time) from a dearth of talent; our current bunch of politicans (of all stripes) lack the big ideas, the vision and radicalism needed to properly transform the UK.

At present we are a country which has: average, rather than world class public services, although huge improvements were made in the NHS under Labour; crime and immigration policies which respond to the hysteria and distortions of the right wing media; an unacceptable gap between the rich and poor; and a foreign policy that remains wedded to the whims and demands of America.

Almost as significantly, the gulf between politicians and the public has become worryingly big. Apathy towards the political system has turned into outright loathing. This isn't good for the health of our democracy. Politicians and some sections of the media are equally to blame for this.

As someone who is passionate about politics, I have to admit that I have never felt as disaffected from the political process as I do now. Fortunately, this hasn't diminished my love of politics.

In the past I have voted, at various stages and at various elections, for all three main political parties.

My voting record at General Elections reads as follows:

1997 (first year I was able to vote): Labour
2001: Labour
2005: Labour (much against my better judgement, in spite of the Iraq war, and because of the sheer persuasiveness of Tony Blair).
2010: Liberal Democrats (which I now greatly regret, but still think, at the time, they were the right party to vote for)

You could describe my politics as 'fluid!'

Nowadays, I would feel most comfortable in describing myself as left of centre/liberal.
Unsurprisingly, I believe that, on the whole, left of centre/liberal solutions are what's needed for Britain.