I'm a lecturer and researcher in linguistics at the University of Manchester, where I've been working since receiving my PhD in 2012. Before that I studied French and German, and lived and worked briefly in Germany in the (justifiably) much-reviled pharmaceutical industry. My main policy interests are, unsurprisingly, in issues surrounding access to knowledge: the costs of higher education, the dangers of digital exclusion, language policy, and open access to academic research.
I've been active in promoting the latter for some time now, and founded a no-fees open access e-journal in 2011. I look forward to the opportunity to stand as a candidate, and will bring my administrative, public speaking, language and research skills to the team.As regards Europe, though I am pro-referendum as a consequence of my belief in direct democracy, I think the evidence indicates that membership of the EU is beneficial to its citizens. Nevertheless, I am deeply sceptical about the level of transparency and democracy in EU institutions: for instance, the ongoing central role of the unelected European Commission is not acceptable in a 21st-century EU.
As a candidate I will be pushing to raise awareness of the benefits of EU membership and debunk myths perpetuated by nationalist organisations, but if elected my main aim would be to reduce the democratic deficit within the EU and make sure that it acts in accordance with its own principle of subsidiarity: decisions should only be taken at a European level if it is most efficient and sensible to do so.
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