Mike Smithson is the founder of the highly regarded blog, www.politicalbetting.com For 13 years, he was a journalist with BBC News, and was part of the team in the mid-1970s that handled the first Broadcasting of Parliament experiment. This was followed by regular stints at Westminster. In 1977, Mike ousted Denis McShane (who went on to become a Labour Foreign Office Minister), as National Executive member for the UK’s Radio and TV journalists at the National Union of Journalists. Mike was a founder member of the Liberal Democrats and stood for Parliament at the 1992 General Election. He was elected twice as a County Councillor in Bedfordshire and has also been a Borough Councillor in Bedford. For the last fifteen years, he has worked as a university fundraiser and was the Director of Development at the LSE, Cambridge, and Oxford universities – and now has the same role at the University of York. In April 2007, he moves to the Open University.