Meet the team

This page contains pen pictures and the favourite quotes of Politics Matters writers. If you would like to become a Politics Matters writer please see our Jobs section.

Richard Cressey - Founder

@rich_cressey

I am an International Relations and Politics, Sheffield University graduate currently working in local government. My interests include UK and global politics, playing, watching, talking and writing about cricket, almost all other mainstream sports and listening to music.  I founded this blog as a space to encourage debate and am always willing to discuss ideas for new posts or new writers.

- “Finality is not the language of politics” – Benjamin Disraeli

Tom Tyson

I am a maths graduate from Bristol Universityand am going on to study Public Policy there next year. I am a Labour party member and was involved in Ed Miliband’s Labour leadership campaign last year. Despite the constant criticism he receives from much of the British press I am still confident he is the right man to lead the Labour party forward. Outside of politics, I continue to wait in vain for Arsenal to win some trophies and am perfectly happy to pass an evening by watching repeats of Only Fools and Horses.

- “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones” – J.M. Keynes

Ed Atkins

@edatkins_

I am currently studying an MA International Relations and International Law at the University of Kent whilst working at an insurance company. I enjoy reading extensively, particularly on development issues such as water scarcity and discussing, moaning and ranting about international politics, my beloved Arsenal F.C. (something in common with what appears to be a large proportion of the team), the state of daytime television and the British rail network.

-”The great battleground for the defense and expansion of freedom today is the whole southern half of the globe… the lands of the rising peoples. Their revolution is the greatest in human history. They seek an end to injustice, tyranny and exploitation. More than an end, they seek a beginning” – John F. Kennedy

Max Burman

@maxburman93

I am a Politics student hoping to study at Queen Mary, University of London. My interests include UK and Global Politics, everything related to football, in particular, Arsenal Football Club, and all things happening in the USA (usually through the eyes of The Daily Show). I hope to become a political journalist and my writing may, at times, contain dangerously high levels of metaphors.

- “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves” – Shakespeare’s Cassius

Grant Turnbull

@GTurnbullSCR

I am a graduate from the Politics and International Studies department at the University of Hull. My specialist field is War and Security Studies including all matters relating to defence, security and international conflict. My political experience includes archiving papers at the new Hull History Centre and working in London for a leading political publication. I have no party affiliation, I make informed decisions on the facts in front of me.

- “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill

Natalie Elizabeth Cox

I’m a Law and Sociology undergraduate at the University of Exeter. I am a strong Conservative with Cameronite views who will readily debate any point. My main interest is my fundamental belief in human rights and equality which I will fight for whenever I feel necessary.

- “Silence is the virtue of fools” – Sir Francis Bacon

Zoe Lazaridis

@ZoeLazaridis

I am currently a full time International Relations and Political Science student at Richmond, the American International Universityin London hoping to continue pursuing my academic career by getting my Masters in International Relations in the near future. Coming from a diverse background as a Greek-American who has lived in Greece, Germany, Belgium and, for the past 12 years, London, my exposure to various cultures and belief systems has broadened my perspective and pushed me towards a passion for global politics. I am particularly interested in topics such as gender development, conflict and peace studies and the identity and interests of the West. My other hobbies include music, mainly jazz and big band, travelling and writing.

- “Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it” – Germaine Greer

Mark Birri

“I am a Corporate finance professional with six years experience in M&A. My interests include the UK economy, the political impacts of monetary and fiscal policy, and free market versus interventionist theory

Henry Fowler

@CitizenFowler

I am a recent Politics graduate. This October I aim to pursue my studies at Warwick University studying an MA in International Political Economy. I am a political activist and anti-cuts campaigner within Northamptonshire Alliance to defend services. My political activity has included being the President of Socialist Students at my last University and Branch Chair of Northampton Socialist Party (England and Wales). My writing interests include the political and economic development of both China and Latin America. Outside of politics, I am a Baseball enthusiast and watcher with a keen interest in Reggae and Ska music along with Mod and Scooter culture.

- “Freedom is the by-product of economic surplus.” - Aneurin Bevan

Alex Bond

@AlexanderWBond

I am currently a first year history student at Durham University. I am a member of the Labour Party and one of its affiliated think-tanks the Fabian Society. My interests are politics, football, golf, cookery and debating. My policy interests at the moment are social mobility and education.

- “A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself” – Arthur Miller

Matthew Davis

I am a recent Keele University graduate, with a Masters in Diplomatic Studies. At present I work for my local authority, but I still retain a keen interest in foreign policy and international development. Perhaps due to a childhood spent living in the countryside, I am also interested in rural affairs.

- “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers” – Plato

Nathaniel Bellio

@NathanielBellio

I’m a year out of university as a Politics and modern History graduate. Before and since I’ve worked in Parliament, Local Government and in some Public Affairs roles. I’m currently volunteering on the Obama 2012 campaign in New York City with a view to organising and canvassing US citizens living in London when I return. I’m interested in pretty much all aspects of politics, and attempt to cut through the waffle and highlight any nonsense as much as I can when I write or talk about politics – or anything else for that matter.

- “Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety” – Plato

Niraj Dattani

@NijD

After um-ing and ah-ing over what career path to take, I unearthed a passion for Politics whilst studying it at university. I first developed an interest in Politics at college and after graduating I went on to work for the Labour Party and a number of Labour MPs. I take a healthy interest in most sports and a unhealthy interest in football. I’m also a bit of an information addict. I believe that education is the key to progress in any society, and I hope to be involved in education at some point in my life.

- “Limits exist only in the mind” – Aristotle

Chris Berkin

@chris_berkin

A Politics graduate from Edinburgh University, currently studying for a Political Journalism MA at City University, London. In between I spent time working for various relief and development organisations in Edinburgh, London and Zambia. Particular areas of interest are foreign affairs, conflict and development.

- “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers” – Mahatma Gandhi

Erbi Ago

I am currently a last year student at Richmond, The American International University in London, pursuing a degree in International Relations and Political Science with a Minor in Theatre Arts. Next year I will be continuing my academic career with a Graduate Diploma in Law. I come from the Albania, situated in the Western Balkan, and have lived in Bulgaria, where I received an International Baccalaureate Diploma with an extended essay on Kosovo’s Right to Self-Determination. Having a vast background and living around the world has helped me with languages, as I currently speak Italian, English, Albanian, Spanish, and Bulgarian. My areas of focus include the Realist Perspective, self-determination issues around the world, globalization and global governance, and identity issues. My interests include tennis, football, fitness and nutrition, acting, as well as business. I like to try to get the best from every opportunity given to me which is why I have had different jobs ranging from acting in movies to being a teacher assistant.

- “If you are going to go through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill

Jack Ashton

A graduate from the University of Warwick with a degree in sociology I have worked in the year and a half after leaving university for a think tank and a rather unsuccessful referendum campaign. I am a lefty who is rediscovering his ‘left-winged-ness’ after a while spent as a liberal (though I stopped before it was cool, honest). I like reading, sometimes intellectual stuff and often just about anything.

- “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” – George Orwell

Jean Kabasomi

I recently graduated from the University of Durham with a Theology degree and hope to study a Public Policy masters degree next year. I am currently a campaign intern on the Back2012 campaign and am about to embark on an internship in the House of Commons. My political interests include the relationship between religion and politics and the role & effect of the financial markets on national and international politics. Outside of politics I enjoy playing and teaching the guitar in my local church.

- ‘Failure to take the decisions is also a form of decision with consequence‘ – Tony Blair

Neelam Sheemar

I am currently an Account Executive for a public affairs consultancy. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations, as well as a Master’s degree in European and International Relations. Particular interests include UK and European politics but I have no party affiliation. Other interests include reading, sports, socialising and listening to music, as well as seeing my favourite bands play. I think the quote from 30 Seconds to Mars sums it up, ‘Some people believe in God, I believe in music. Some people pray, I turn up the radio.’ I am a loyal fan to the one and only, Manchester United FC and Sir Alex Ferguson has proven, that he is a true legend in the football world. Regardless of what we think of the political arena, politics will always matter and this platform brings everyone together, and is why public discussion and engagement is important.

- “Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others” – Plato

Peter Dunne

@peterdunne10

I am an International Relations and Politics graduate currently working as an intern for my local MP. I have no political party affiliations and my political interests include US politics, human rights, foreign affairs and corruption within British politics. My other interests include rugby, football, gaelic football and all types of music.

- “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Voltaire

Tom Mottershead

I am a Masters student studying ethics at Kings College London. I am a Labour voter but out of idealism/hope/need for change I voted Liberal Democrat in thte last elections: something for which I am still getting chastised for by my ‘northern-mining-village mum’ who believes that the blame for everything the coalition is doing rests squarley on my head. My main interest is education policy as, rather simplicstically, I think it is the solution to everything, including world poverty, the banking crisis, the continuing failure of the Iraq war and the fact that Ant and Dec have been reduced to presenting Britain’s Got Talent.

- “As for certain truth, no man has known it, Nor will he know it; neither of the gods, nor yet of all the things of which I speak and even if by chance, he were to utter. The final truth, he would himself not know it: For all is but a woven web of guesses” – Xenophanes

Thomas Southern

I am a Liberal Democrat member born to a Labour family in Tory heartland, however I identify broadly with the left and disagree constantly with my Party. I have recently graduated in Law and French law, which has given me an unexpected interest in comparative constitutional affairs. I am also a staunch pro-European and will happily shout down any eurosceptic that crosses my path. More generally my political interests revolve around Human Rights, ideology and religion in Government.

- “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” – Plato

Chris Drinkwater

I am a British Politics and Legislative Studies graduate from Hull University. I am currently unemployed, as I recently returned from nine months backpacking in Asia. Politically, I am interested in British politics and many areas of foreign policy, particularly the US, international development and the Middle East. Outside of politics I am interested in films, travel, reading, music and Frasier (wildly under-rated in my opinion).

- “To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ashley Pates

Ashley Pates is a full time letting, management and estate agent from an impoverished northern mill town, a former law student and keen political amateur. Ashley’s main interests in the political field are social mobility and equality; he is a firm believer in giving everyone a fair chance in life and other crazy ideological left wing ideas. A staunch labour supporter Ashley is not confident enough with the hierarchy of the party to become a member as of yet. Ashley spends his free time failing to write fantastic novels, reading average novels, watching sport and keeping up to date with UK politics. Ashley is never happier than when he is being challenged on an idea and enjoys referring to himself in the 3rd person in a vain attempt to appear more unique.

It’s the same each time with progress. First they ignore you, then they say you’re mad, then dangerous, then there’s a pause and then you can’t find anyone who disagrees with you” – Tony Benn

Alex Jay

I am currently reading International Studies full time at Kings College London. I don’t have any political bias but follow any event involving energy security and the U.K’s foreign Policy closely. Outside of the political world I enjoy cinema and music , and try and escape London every now and again to go hiking or camping. Also work behind a bar which is a great opportunity to practice magic badly and discuss local politics with customers.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” – Winston Churchill

David Lees

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of French Studies at the University of Warwick. A lifelong Francophile, my research interests revolve around modern French history and politics, from 1940 to the present day. I specialise in particular in the French extreme right, a fascination which stems from family connections to the Algerian War. Although I’m not affiliated to any political party, I would class myself as a Green sympathiser.

When I want to know what France thinks, I ask myself” – Charles de Gaulle

Joe Perkins

@jmperkins90

I am an English graduate of the University of Lincoln with a recently acquired interest in Politics. I am currently volunteering as a researcher for Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North and Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government. I am particularly interested in issues surrounding social class and equality, while being concerned about the UK’s Youth Unemployment crisis. I am a Labour party member and am occasionally involved in canvassing and petitioning on the streets of my constituency. My other interests include Derby County FC, electronic music, contemporary fiction, The Wire and a perpetual hatred for the “celebrity culture”.

As the poor blame the poor, the culpable elite are shielded from legitimate anger“ - Priyamvada Gopal

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  2. We use wordpress and I’m very glad you find ours quick and suitable, thank you for that :)

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