The UK's leading campaign for democracy, rights and freedoms.
Unlock Democracy Council (East constituency)
Who I am:
I founded Charter 88 in 1988 when I was editor of the New Statesman and I have served on the C88 executive, and lately the management board of Unlock Democracy, for much of the time since then. I have recently acted as vice-chair (policy) and drafted our submission to the Bill of Rights Commission, arguing for the recognition of social and economic rights. I was director of Democratic Audit, at Essex University, from 1991-2009 and am now an associate director. I wrote 3 audits of UK democracy and many reports for the Audit.
Why I am standing for Unlock Democracy's Council:
Charter 88 championed the cause of a written constitution when it was scorned by the UK’s “experts” on democracy. It is now a commonly accepted proposal and Unlock Democracy should continue to campaign for the bottom-up adoption of a written constitution. But we must also look to the state of democracy as ordinary people experience and assess it. So I suggest that combating the danger that even more people in the inner city will lose the vote with the introduction of boundary changes and individual voting registration should be among our campaigning priorities. Otherwise our electorate will become fundamentally unbalanced, and our politics and society too. We need to develop measures that will improve our ability to keep a vigilant watch on improper behaviour by politicians, particularly through reform of party funding and spending limits; to strengthen the protection of civil and political rights, and to make the case for social and economic rights as well. Social justice is an integral part of democracy.
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