Liberal Democrats need to counter the perception that they are no longer a serious political force

Many of my friends are quite bemused when I say am working for the Liberal Democrats. “They’re a bit of a laughing stock at the moment,” one will say. “They’ll be wiped out at the next election,” another comments. These are not die-hard Labour tribalists or Tory hardliners, who yearn for the end of the Lib Dems and the return to a two-party system. They are just ordinary members of the public, with nothing more than a passing interest in politics.

For me, this is the biggest danger facing the Liberal Democrats: that, despite having been in power for over two years, we are still not being taken seriously as a political party. Continue reading

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Crime, transport and the battle for London Mayor

Just six months ago today London was emerging from its third night of rioting, with a semblance of order only just beginning to take hold as a massive police presence descended on the city. The fear in the streets was palpable. We had been given a brief and terrifying glimpse of what sheer anarchy looked like, the rage and shameless opportunism of London’s marginalised youth provoking deep existential questions about what was wrong with our society.

Yet, as the contest for London Mayor begins to build up momentum, Ken and Boris’ campaigns continue to revolve around the same old topic of public transport, ignoring the deeper societal issues at stake Continue reading

Why reforming the House of Lords should be a priority

The House of Lords represents a long-standing paradox in the UK. Despite proudly proclaiming ourselves as the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy, we continue to grant significant powers to an unelected elite, some of whom are selected solely on the basis of their noble birth or religious affiliation. But whilst all three major political parties are officially committed to democratic reform of the upper house, achieving this goal any time soon remains an unlikely prospect… Continue reading

Interview: Baroness Susan Kramer

Baroness Susan Kramer, former MP for Richmond Park and now Liberal Democrat Peer, meets me in the lobby of the House of Lords and offers to show me around. The deep sense of tradition and the ostentatious displays of wealth and power seem to contrast with her friendly, relaxed demeanour, as she casually jokes with me whilst taking me around her place of work… Continue reading

MEP Diana Wallis Interview: Improving Tranparency and Participation in the EU

Many in the UK and across Europe tend to view the EU as an elitist and alien bureaucracy, out of touch with the everyday needs of its citizens. This is particularly significant at a time when there is widespread alarm over the Euro crisis coupled with growing separatist yearnings  in the UK. So how is the EU responding to such charges? Can the EU become more democratic, more transparent, and increase the participation of its citizens in the policymaking process? Eureka spoke with two high-ranking officials of the European Parliament, Diana Wallis and Michael Shackleton, to find out their thoughts on the matter Continue reading