Category Uncategorized

We Never Said Goodbye – but we never really said Hello either

Barry. Barry John if he was being told off by his mother, Dad to me and my brother Mark, Grandad to Fred and Zoë, or Barry the Boffin if you were a 1960s journalist. Dad was born in February 1933 in Basingstoke, in the fabulously named Tally Ho Lodge. He was the son of Arthur, […]

Trans People – We Are Now Fighting For Our Existing Rights

2019 continues where 2018 left off, with mainstream press continuing to sensationalise long standing policies that give trans women some dignity and privacy. This morning’s headline, in the Daily Telegraph, was Trans row as men get access to women’s NHS wards. By “men”, the piece subsequently made clear, the Telegraph team were referring to trans […]

Never Again

100 years ago today the guns on the Western Front fell silent. The horror that was World War 1 had ceased. And it was horrific. Apart from the millions killed, millions of others had their lives and futures torn apart. It was in that spirit that the ceremonies of remembrance started. They meant it when […]

The Laughing Cavalier

Steve was always tall. His ears stuck out slightly, and he had a cheeky smile that could crack melons. Even though we were in the same primary school class, our paths didn’t cross for a while. He was quiet, and I hung out with the girls, playing hopscotch or just talking. And then they decided […]

You Lost. Get Over It

This was tweeted at me yesterday evening, in response to an initial tweet from me despairing that a Prime Minister chosen by only 199 people was now trying to dictate what Brexit actually was, yet wanting to deny Parliament a say. As Ian Hislop eloquently said on BBC’s Question Time, losing a vote doesn’t mean […]

Being Positive for Europe

We’re starting to pull into the closing stages of the EU referendum campaign. Being a postal voter for this election, I’ve already cast my vote. No – I didn’t do it the way I said on Facebook (which was tick the Remain box because that’s what I wanted to do, and put a cross against […]

Electing Diverse MPs

Earlier today, I gave a speech from the platform at the Lib Dem conference in York. It turned out that I was Tim Farron’s warm-up act – he was next on. The motion was essentially about all-women shortlists – the Lib Dems currently have 8 pale and male MPs, and their history hasn’t been brilliant […]

The Anatomy of a By-Election

It was all supposed to be quiet. Town council elections are pretty much the lowest level of full democracy we have. The plans were to do as much canvassing (talking to voters on the doorstep) as we could, leaflet everywhere once, and then maybe, just maybe, get a second leaflet out. This requires a bit […]

I’ve Got A Right To Say It

It was Nick Robinson’s interview with Michael Caine on Friday’s BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that got me thinking. It wasn’t so much that it became a fairly uncritical opinion piece on what is maybe the most important political debate facing us in the next 18 months. Instead, I was wondering what expertise Mr Caine […]

An Irish perspective on human rights

Trans Media Watch was asked to speak at an Irish Labour Party event, so I accepted the invitation and was flown across to Kilkenny to speak on Friday evening. The theme of the panel was Media and Human Rights, and I found myself sitting next to Alex White, who is the Irish government minister responsible […]