My interest in politics dates back to my sixth form studies of Disraeli and Gladstone. I have served as a Community / Parish Councillor in two areas and been an election candidate for council, Senedd, Police Commissioner and UK Parliamentary elections. Each aspect of this was fascinating and I learned a lot, but I still felt there was an element of my interest in politics that I wanted to explore more deeply. Being a candidate or activist can sometimes lead one down a route of repeating a slogan rather than asking a difficult question, but good governance requires politely asked awkward questions to be posed.
At the age of 37, I returned to studying undertaking an MSc Econ in International Relations at Cardiff University. This course was superb and while I was delighted to achieve the qualification, I am also still benefiting from the way in which it allowed me to better comprehend and frame geopolitical manoeuvring. My studies included international relations theory, surveillance and accountability, human rights, technology, political economy and defence strategy.
There are moments in my work where aspects of international relations are of relevance, notably during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but for the most part I continue my interest in international relations in my spare time through attending talks, writing articles and reading.