the personal and the political

It was shortly after 9.15 on the morning of Friday 4 May, 1979. We were gathered for the first lesson of the day. Our teacher asked us, a class of ten-year-olds, what important event had happened in the news. My hand was one of the first in the air. ‘Britain’s first woman prime minister!’ What … Continue reading the personal and the political


the curious appeal of election posters

Election posters. There’s something fascinating about them. Unlike social media campaigns, they don’t depend on algorithms and echo chambers — they’re for absolutely anyone who happens to pass by. And ahead of any election in Germany, posters adorn every railing and ascend every lamppost (often stacked four or five high). For a few weeks, they … Continue reading the curious appeal of election posters

for a leaderful green party

The Green Party of England and Wales has published its list of candidates for a variety of official positions, including Leader and Deputy Leader. When current co-leader Caroline Lucas announced she would not be standing for re-election*, two names quickly emerged as front runners, seeking to continue the existing co-leadership model: current co-leader Jonathan Bartley … Continue reading for a leaderful green party

learning from labour

Government or opposition? This is the question intensifying already deep divisions within Germany's Social Democrats (SPD). Initially intent on opposition after a terrible General Election performance, the SPD leadership has been negotiating terms for another ‘grand’ coalition (‘GroKo’) with Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats — despite a slump in support for both parties. At the SPD's … Continue reading learning from labour

german election #2: greens, jamaica and dealing with the afd mindset

A month on from the German election, this post reflects on compromises and risks as the Greens continue Jamaica coalition talks, and also gives a personal take on how to respond to an emboldened and increasingly vocal AfD-mindset. the greens: could jamaica be a compromise too far? One of the biggest and thorniest topics up … Continue reading german election #2: greens, jamaica and dealing with the afd mindset

german election #1: pre-election thoughts

Today (Saturday) is the last day of campaigning for tomorrow’s General Election in Germany. At stalls and rallies all over the country, political parties will be trying to win over the many ‘undecideds’ and convince others to even vote at all. It’s with a sense of unease that I’ll be watching the result tomorrow evening, … Continue reading german election #1: pre-election thoughts

time for greens to abandon ‘leftwing populism’?

The debate about the future direction of the Greens continues. Much of the post-election discussion was preoccupied with the pros and cons of the progressive alliance strategy (all with the benefit of hindsight, of course). But what about the policies? Was the Green manifesto too leftwing? Not radical enough? Big questions, especially with local elections … Continue reading time for greens to abandon ‘leftwing populism’?

research update #1: election strategy and returning to the (grass)roots

This is a ‘state of play’ blog focusing on my research. For part-time or independent researchers, getting into the right mindset and into the routine of writing can be tough. With so many competing demands on your time it's sometimes hard to feel you're part of the research community, or to even think about writing … Continue reading research update #1: election strategy and returning to the (grass)roots

the electioneering behind germany’s marriage equality vote

There was some much-needed good news last week, as the German Bundestag voted in favour of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Finally. But why now, after all this time? Unfortunately, Friday’s vote wasn't a sudden manifestation of enlightenment and 'love wins'. It was the result of cynical party politics served with some stunning hypocrisy. Although Chancellor … Continue reading the electioneering behind germany’s marriage equality vote