Simply liberalising planning law won’t be enough to dissuade residents concerns around housebuilding

Newly elected Lib Dem MP for Chesham and Amersham Sarah Green in the early hours of 18 June 2021

This morning Britain woke up to a shock by-election upset as the people of Chesham and Amersham (a leafy, wealthy, Remain-voting part of Buckinghamshire) defied the bookies to elect a Liberal Democrat for the first time since the seat was created in 1974, even more shockingly the area hasn’t voted for a Liberal at all since almost a century ago in 1922.

In the wake of this, many politicians and pundits are scrambling to assemble their hot takes about what this victory really means. To Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, he took the effort to quite literally demonstrate his point


Activists protest in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, on 19 March 2021 (AFP)

Renewed clashes between Israelis and Palestinians have erupted again, with rocket attacks and air strikes claiming civilian lives on both sides. It’s a story we’ve heard before, repeating itself consistently year after year with no end to the bloodshed in sight. The conflict remains highly misunderstood by Westerners who often pontificate on the tit-for-tat attacks, condemning either Israel or Palestine without much exploration for the root causes and long existing tensions. …


Captain Sir Tom Moore, wearing his war medals, giving a thumbs up gesture
Captain Sir Tom Moore, wearing his war medals, giving a thumbs up gesture
Captain Sir Thomas Moore (30 April 1920–2 February 2021) became a uniting national inspiration in a time of global crisis

It is now more than a year on after the first confirmed case of Covid-19 arrived on our shores. We have endured several national lockdowns, an unparalleled economic collapse, over 4 million cases (including myself) and over 120 thousand deaths. It is not an exaggeration to say that in terms of both economic damage and lives lost, this pandemic is a national crisis not seen since the Second World War.

Like the war, both an international and national effort has been fought to beat back this virus. International cooperation on borders, research and vaccine distribution has been crucial to fighting…


Understanding Our Differences for a Common Plan

Those of us that want affordable housing have more that unites us than divides us

I’ve been trying to take my mind off of the Covid crisis recently. As the vaccines get rolled out we have started 2021 with a renewed optimism from a very low bar set by the events of the past 10 or 11 months. This optimism is grounded in the desire to return to normal; towards solving some of the bread-and-butter issues of the past — and in the spirit of that renewed optimism I’d like to turn attention to one problem that will be a little more prescient once the pandemic comes under control: Housing

As a liberal I often…


A series of different coloured human hands piled on top of each other, as to signify teamwork from a group of people
A series of different coloured human hands piled on top of each other, as to signify teamwork from a group of people

“I can’t help but believe that in the future we will see in the United States and throughout the Western world an increasing trend toward the next logical step, employee ownership. It is a path that befits a free people.”
— President Ronald Reagan (1987)

The old reinvention of social democracy (1945–2007)

Social democracy is a nebulous term, encompassing the political ideals of everyone from Vladimir Lenin to Tony Blair, but it has shifted and changed with time and place. Today it is used to the describe the somewhat big tent of the Western centre-left, advocating reformation of capitalism to align it with the ethical ideals of…


A white protest sign with “OK BOOMER” written in capital letters against a blurred urban background
A white protest sign with “OK BOOMER” written in capital letters against a blurred urban background

In so many ways the politics of the industrialised world has changed little from the 19th century. The big beasts of conservatism, liberalism and socialism still inform our understanding of social and cultural relations in most democracies and will continue to do so for some time. But like in previous centuries, ideologies and ideas have evolved and adapted to a changing world — new dimensions to politics that were once fringe have become central stage. The 20th century saw feminism, racial justice and green politics become mainstreamed in political discourse, we also saw longstanding and dominant ideologies such as nationalism…


Global investment on the scale China has done in ‘normal’ times makes economic and geopolitical sense

Since the Great Recession petered out in the 2010s, analysts and commentators alike have made efforts to try to predict the next big global recession — few anticipated it would’ve come in the form of worldwide pandemic on a scale not seen for a century. Not dismissing the still increasing death toll, which has now reached an estimated 1 million worldwide, the economic consequences of the spread of the virus (and humanity’s efforts to effectively contain it) is already leaving a battered and bruised global economy, particularly for the world’s poorest, leaving a worldwide fall of GDP not seen since…


The Prussian general and military theorist Carl von Clausewitz has a famous quote “War is politics by other means”. Beyond the collapse of peace talks between nations the same aphorism can and should be applied when local politics comes to a complete standstill and political institutions fail to adequately address grievances and deliver justice.

The failure of politics in Minneapolis, and the United States as a whole, has given people no choice but to take to the streets and attack the police head-on as the killers of George Floyd remain uncharged with his murder. …


Sinn Féin activists and politicians holding up signs that say “Housing in Crisis” and “Housing Crisis”
Sinn Féin activists and politicians holding up signs that say “Housing in Crisis” and “Housing Crisis”
The Irish housing crisis has propelled the previously fringe Sinn Féin to top of the polls

The 1992 United States presidential election introduced the political catchphrase “[it’s] the economy, stupid” — with a legacy and significance that has all but been forgotten in the haze of rapid change and confounded predictions of 21st century politics. The whole “rulebook” of political campaigning may need some updating but some old truths still hold true; what “the economy, stupid” reminds us is that a skillful politician or party can propel a dormant but transpiring crisis into a rallying vote winner. The combination of crisis with a catalyst, such as the early 90s recession, could be something to overturn an…


The coat hanger has remained a powerful symbol of the gruesome consequences of abortion bans

I was originally pretty hesitant to write this at first because — if it isn’t obvious — I am a man. I never had, nor have any intention to have, a uterus and to bear children. Unlike other things I have written about, as a man I lack the personal experience to specifically put myself in the shoes of the women involved in a crisis where they must consider an abortion. Indeed, many women are hurt and frustrated at the arrogance of men in power to legislate on a topic that will never directly affect them. But silence is no…

Ricardo Teixeira-Mendes

I talk about politics on here

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