You may have come via ryanbate.org. That was my political website, so if you want more about my work as a councillor and parliamentary candidate head back there. This blog is more a testing ground for ideas and reflections on education, politics, policy and more besides.
The Northern bit probably needs the least explaining. I was born and bred in Warrington, one of those northern towns with an amazing industrial heritage which is now trying to find its future amidst a shifting landscape of devolution, city regions and the Northern Powerhouse. Sandwiched between Merseyside and Greater Manchester, it will be interesting how Warrington plots its path trying to draw on the strengths of its major neighbours whilst not falling into the trap of being a satellite settlement which serves those cities at the expense of its own success and identity.
As for the liberal, I am politically a liberal. It most obviously translates into my being a Liberal Democrat, but is deeper than that. I believe liberalism is fundamentally about recognising the human individual and human potentially and ensuring that everybody can flourish and fulfil that potential.
Being a Northern Liberal is not simply a random assortment of identities though, it is an important combination. At a time when the ‘metropolitan liberal elite’ (the words of comedian Stewart Lee, amongst others) seems to have been routed and rejected, I am particularly interested in how liberalism is actually incredibly relevant to the people and challenges faced by places like Warrington and the north of England.