writer, broadcaster, portfolio woman

Politics

Embracing patriotism and identity could reinvent the liberal centre

The Daily Telegraph, 21 March 2017 At the jubilant election-night celebration for the centrist D66 party in The Hague my Dutch wasn’t good enough to understand the party leader’s rousing speech to his activists. But it wasn’t hard to make out words like “Brexit!”, “Trump!” and “populism!” And when I interviewed Alexander Pechtold afterwards for a […]


Talking ’bout the UK’s generation gap

George Osborne’s latest proposed tax cuts favor the old and punish the young. Politico, 29th October 2015 “People try to put us down,” The Who’s Pete Townshend famously wrote in 1965, talkin’ ’bout his generation. Now aged 70, he’d have no such complaint — even if he weren’t still making millions touring the world. British pensioners […]


Westminster is a steamy workplace where men dominate

The Independent, February 25th 2013 All the ingredients conspire to give the men a sense of entitlement and the women too little power to fight back   It’s a man’s world, Westminster. More than three-quarters of MPs are male. Granted, the secretaries are mostly women, but so rare is the sight of a young blonde […]


Let more women report how the country is run

The Independent, January 16th 2013 The fact that all the national daily papers have male political editors, and many have all-male political teams, is bound to affect the issues they cover and the politicians they rate   On Tuesday evening, a rare gaggle of political women met for drinks in a room in the House […]


I used to think more cuts were the answer. But not any more

The Independent, December 6th 2012 Cut less to achieve more on debt and the deficit   Many people feel torn on big economic questions. The arguments are often complicated, so they look at the politicians on each side and back the ones they trust the most – or distrust the least. It’s comforting to be […]


Maria Miller should look at the facts before airing her views on abortion

Until medical science advances, there’s no reason to lower the limit


Can Clegg exploit the gap in the market?

His task is to be the voice of moderation, to appeal to the thoughtful centrist


Clegg still has time to make a gracious exit

Cable could take over in 2014 without seeming too disloyal


How to change the shape of the establishment in one generation

Expand the grammar school system and give bright, poor kids a better chance of reaching the top


We need to help more independents to break the stranglehold

The rules are unfairly stacked against Siobhan Benita


Clegg needs to find an exit route from Lords reform

It’s not as if the Lords perform badly. They have been doing a fine job recently


How dodgy postal votes may decide our next government

The problem is they don’t guarantee you a secret ballot


Is 50p a year really too much to end this corruption?

81 per cent of us believe people give money to parties in the hope of favours or special access


The more leaks, the better the discussion

Tax proposals should be scrutinised before they are put into law, not after


Be glad you live in Britain, not the US, if you’re gay or a woman

Contraception is free and uncontroversial, and gay relationships are becoming normalised


Cameron needs more blue-sky thinking to win the next election

Steve Hilton knew the Tories wouldn’t be heard if they seemed out of touch and out-of-date


Lords reform is a fight that Nick Clegg will never win

Why is Nick Clegg so determined to throw everything at a policy that will win few votes?


When the people can see what fairness is, why can’t Miliband?

At the last election, many Labour supporters were angry about the party’s position on welfare


What happens when even your supporters don’t believe in you?

The problem is that Ed Miliband is too clever for his own good


No one likes bailing out spendthrifts

We have pretty strong feelings about who is deserving and undeserving


The time to act on banking is now

Cameron wants a pause while he decides what to do. This is a great mistake


Time to call the SNP’s bluff

Treat the Nationalists like recalcitrant teenagers


How austerity is changing us

We are seeking gratification by finding new ways of saving money


Vote Yes for evolution, not revolution

The scaremongering over AV is so disproportionate, you wonder if they’re looking at the same voting system