The UK's leading campaign for democracy, rights and freedoms.
Unlock Democracy Council (London and South East constituency)
Rodell Board of Directors
Who I am:
People power, democracy and peace are my concerns, and I have been lucky over the last twenty years, not only to have served the councils and management committees of New Politics Network and Unlock Democracy, also as a director of Rodell, and chair of the National Peace Council and of Peaceworkers UK, but to have worked as a journalist, as editor of New Times, and now editor of openDemocracy. I co-organized the Convention on Modern Liberty, editing the book of the event, and I am a trustee on the board of International Alert, a leading peacebuilding NGO around the world.
Why I am standing for Unlock Democracy's Council:
In the last two years, I have been helping to build an independent space for global discussion, openDemocracy. But I remain committed to the practical business of campaigning for change in my own country, and serving once again on the Council of Unlock Democracy gives me that opportunity.
This is a time of European and global financial crisis and the hollowing out of our democracies through fear, alienation and ‘business as usual’ corruption, when Unlock Democracy’s reputation for solid and principled campaigning on democratic priorities becomes a trusted port in a storm. I would like to play my part in opening up our members’ knowledge and insights to a wider audience. I welcome the chance to fight back against the encroachments on our precious modern liberties and peaceful way of life, the defence of our private and public spaces in a securitizing state, in the company of seasoned campaigners and new young activists. Democracy is under threat even in liberal democracies, and a deepened democracy is the only solution. Unlock Democracy can help us to equip our societies for this fightback. I would like to contribute my campaigning, political and journalistic skills to this project.
Why I am standing for Rodell Board of Directors:
I have been a Director of Rodell over many years. I cannot put my hand on my heart and say that I have done a great job. But the pledge that I made to myself and my organisation when I took on this responsibility was that I would do everything I could to guard hard-won assets as an investment in the future of a pluralist and progressive democratic politics. That I have fulfilled, by doing everything I can to help modernise and secure the way the Rodell assets are looked after.
We are now at the beginning of new and better ways of doing things at Rodell, one much more proactive in increasing the assets, and served both by a new advisory and by Unlock Democracy staff working on behalf of Rodell. I welcome this wholeheartedly, and would like to discharge my original commitment to a fund that has proved invaluable to Unlock Democracy, as to its precursors, by helping it through the first season of what will be a much more energetic process of democratic oversight and scrutiny. I would like to be there to help meet these new challenges on behalf of Unlock Democracy.
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