Current political debate, including among the Liberal Democrats, has focused on market orientation in economics, social and democratic policy. "The 2004 Orange Book" set out such a policy. "Reinventing the State" is intended to redress the balance. It shows how there are distinct limitations to the market, and that there is still a very clearly designed role for the state. The book will argue for a positioning of the Liberal Democrats which is clearly different from both Tories and Labour, with their perceived obsession with the private sector and with centralised government. This important book, edited and written by influential Liberal Democrats, including the two current frontrunners to succeed Menzies Campbell as leader, puts the case for reinventing the state so that it is creative and enabling, rather than centralising and stifling. It will show how a reinvented state can deliver public services, and social, economic and environmental solutions in a responsive, democratic and decentralised manner - a Liberal manner.
My day job is at the communications agency Blue Rubicon and I am also a Visiting Lecturer at City University in the Journalism Department.
I was previously Head of Digital at MHP Communications and before that Head of Innovations at the Liberal Democrats where I ran the party's 2001 and 2005 internet general election campaigns. I was also Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, the most widely-read Liberal Democrat blog in the UK, until 2013.
I am a member of the Open Rights Group's Advisory Council, on the editorial board of the Journal of Liberal History and I edit Liberal Democrat Newswire, the monthly email newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.
During the Leveson Inquiry, Andrew Marr called me "influential [and] highly respected political commentator".
The 2011 Total Politics blog awards put me at number 20 in the list of UK political bloggers, ahead of people such as Fraser Nelson and John Rentoul, and the Daily Telegraph listed me as one of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. I was a judge for Campaigns & Elections magazine's 2012 Reed Awards.
I am a Fellow of the RSA and have a history PhD from the University of York, looking at nineteenth century elections. I was a member of the Electoral Commission's Political Parties Panel 2000-2009.
I've appeared on many media outlets, including BBC Breakfast, BBC2, BBC News 24, Newsnight, Sky News, The Westminster Hour, The World at One, Radio 5 Live and LBC, and spoken at many events and conferences on politics, electoral law and internet matters. I've had pieces published in The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman, Parliamentary Brief and elsewhere, including academic journals.
After working in the university and then IT sectors, I started working for the Liberal Democrats in 2000. I've twice run the national Liberal Democrat general election internet campaign (2001 and 2005) and was the Campaign Manager in Hornsey & Wood Green 1998-2005, during which time we went from zero councillors to 16 and also gained the Parliamentary seat with the election of Lynne Featherstone in 2005 with a 15% swing from Labour.