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:
My working life has been focused on politics, governance and reform. I was a journalist in Russia and India, followed by almost a decade in Parliament, running an exceptionally active All Party Group on Central Africa and advising MPs on Afghanistan. I also worked several years in Kabul, researching electoral fraud and conflict resolution, and writing reports for Chatham House as well as the UN and EU, where I did short stints as a diplomat. I am a director of Talk for Peace International, which works on governance and peace-building. I am currently doing policy work on UK public libraries.
Why I am standing for Unlock Democracy's Council:
Having worked extensively in parliament, I’ve seen firsthand the failures of democracy and accountability in our current structures. I believe reforming the foundations of the political system is among the most important contributions that can be made towards a healthier society, particularly when the power of markets, money, and media is becoming greater than ever.
I was deeply engaged with the Yes to AV campaign, working at HQ, writing a series of articles, and taking part in debates. That process left me enormously frustrated by the poverty of the debate and determined to keep up the fight, and this more than anything is why I want to be more involved with Unlock Democracy. I would bring my experience of campaigning and politics, which includes initiating and driving a major public campaign (Congo Now!), building broad coalitions of NGOs, and effective lobbying of ministers – securing a real strengthening of corporate accountability mechanisms. I believe there’s enormous potential to build on the example of Citizens UK and 38 Degrees, and make Unlock Democracy a more grassroots movement – while using devolution, the sustainable communities and localism agenda, and Lords reform to make immediate progress and keep the wider debate alive.
Why I am standing for Rodell Board of Directors:
I am committed to the aims and ideals of Unlock Democracy, and would like to contribute in a practical way. Helping to manage and maximise the resources available to the organisation from Rodell Properties is a way to do this. I am currently a director of Talk for Peace International, an NGO working on governance, democracy and peace-building in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As such I have carried out fund-raising work and taking part in board meetings to oversee our operations.
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