Hello, if you're interested in knowing a bit more about me, here goes...
I worked as Research Manager at the Institute for Alcohol Studies for a few years, where I conducted research on the affordability of alcohol, promplting the ONS to changet he way they measured it after I found a mistake in their methods (but not as much as I would have liked; there are some measures in the National Accounts that are frankly weird, and should be left there and never taken out of context).
I spoke to journalists for print, radio and television when they needed an expert to comment on an alcohol news story. I also learned a great deal about political lobbying by the alcohol industry.
I have always been a socialist. I was brought up to believe in fairness and the right of all people to have a say in how they are governed; that the aim of government is to achieve the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people, and that distribution of resources should be, "From each according to their means, to each according to their needs." These fundamental ideas have guided me throughout my whole life.
When Jeremy Corbyn stood for leader of the Labour Party in the UK, I thought he had no chance: He didn't look like a politician. He didn't have the polish and smooth-talking presentation of a politician. What he did have, as far as I could tell, was principles aligned with mine and the honesty and integrity to defend them, even if it did make him unpopular. I wanted to support him. So, it turned out, did a great many other people.
This desire has led me to give a great deal of my time over the last five years to the Labour Party, where I have learned a great deal about the machinery of politics. I have worked - and continue to work - to promote democracy.
I'm aware that stating my political affiliation upfront will lead some to dismiss what I have to say on plitically-related matters, but it would be dishonest not to. We all have our biases; some are more open about it than others.