My day job is at the communications agency Blue Rubicon where I’m an Associate Director.
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 and have been a Visiting Lecturer at City University in the Journalism Department.
I am a member of the Open Rights Group’s Advisory Council, on the editorial board for the Journal of Liberal History and I edit Liberal Democrat Newswire, the monthly email newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.
“Influential [and] highly respected political commentator” – Andrew Marr
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 lists me in its annual compilations of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. I was a judge for Campaigns & Elections magazine’s 2012 Reed Awards.
“One of the party’s key thinkers on campaigning tactics and organization” – Daily Telegraph
I 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.
“Influential Lib Dem blogger” – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
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.
“Lib Dem blog guru” – Channel 4
Shortlisted for Public Affairs News Political Tweeter of the Year, 2011
Working with the team at Liberal Democrat HQ, the party achieved a number of internet firsts during my time, including:
- the first UK party leader on Facebook;
- the first UK party leader on YouTube;
- the first national party website to provide RSS feeds;
- the first UK candidate website to take credit card donations;
- the first party to have an MP regularly using Twitter.
But I still like penning words
I am a regular writer on historical, political and internet matters. Many of my articles in the Journal of Liberal History are reproduced on this site, but you can find a comprehensive set on the Journal’s website. I have also co-authored the standard Liberal Democrat guides to election law and to general election agenting.
Books and academic articles
Whether as author, editor or contributor, I have had a hand in 23 books spanning public relations, politics, history, election law and the impact of the internet. You can get details about all the books in my book carousel.
I co-authored with Darren Lilleker and Nigel Jackson, Political Parties and Web 2.0: The Liberal Democrat Perspective, which appeared in Politics, Volume 30(2), 2010, p.105-112. I also wrote Obama: The marketing lessons which appeared in Journal of Direct, Data and Marketing Practice, Volume 12(1), 2010, p.2-9 and The Victory Lab: Full of secrets, but can they swing an election? for Journal of Direct, Data and Marketing Practice, Volume 14(4), 2013, p.3490353.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” Aristotle
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do” Goethe
More, more, more
I eat a lot of chocolate.
If you’re not bored by this point, you can find out more about me courtesy of the Twenty Questions I answered for Mars Hill.
If you need a photo of me, take a look at my Flickr account and the “Head & shoulders” set.