Now the dust has settled on a general election that confounded pollsters and politicians alike, it's time to get to work. Wednesday saw the first Conservative-only Queen's Speech in almost two decades - and it's already clear that our new Government will be providing plenty to keep those concerned with civil liberties busy during the next legislative year... When Liberty was established in the 1930s, founding member E.M. Forster described our work as "the fight that is never done". He was right. In 2015 the fight to defend our rights and freedoms will be a tough one, but with the support of our members it's one we can win.
The proposed bill will have much deeper effect than simply adding a few more names to the list of already banned substances. In particular, it could lead to some wholly unintended consequences, whilst failing to solve many of the issues surrounding new psychoactive substances (NPSs) in the first place.
It is not just teachers who are bearing the brunt of a system led by league tables and Ofsted results. The same pressures are felt by pupils. We now have a generation of young people who are anxious, stressed and disaffected... We are testing children within an inch of their lives and the vibrancy and love of learning that should be at the centre of the curriculum is all but lost.
Catching up with these shape-shifting forms of criminal activity is perhaps an impossible task, but we must at least try. At a very minimum, it requires that we do not let up the pace, nor go back on the high standards for action and monitoring that have already been set by the European Union.
Sometimes astronomers release images that most people wouldn't look at twice. This saddens me because the science behind these images is usually mind-blowing. So with that in mind, here are my top five unimpressive images from space, and why they're actually amazing.
When I first found out I was pregnant I was over the moon but had no idea that as soon as the baby popped (or in my case pulled) out, I inadvertently had signed some weird invisible contract, that it appears I can't get out of for the foreseeable future.
I made him leave the room when the nurses would come to change my bag, with my mum guarding the door until she'd finished. I made sure not to take my top off around him or expose my stomach. I was certain that in order to still be pretty to him i'd have to be fully clothed at all time.
I knew that I might not survive. The cancer was highly aggressive and the surgeries were very risky, carrying a 50% percent paralysis risk. At times I was tempted to focus on the injustice of it all. I'd done nothing to deserve this, but no cancer patient ever does. So, instead of staring hopelessly at the bleakness of my situation I determined to be positive...
Fundamentally, I think being honest about motherhood means accepting women of all shapes, sizes and looks can give birth, without putting a label on what a 'real' mum looks like. A real mum is a woman who looks after her child and if she does that looking flipping fantastic or does it wearing yesterday's mascara then who are we to judge?
Your trailer. I noticed there were no BAMEs or disabled performers about the gaff. Perhaps, on this occasion the inclusion of the BAME talent in BBC Two's new season of drama, simply wasn't seen as something worth selling to the global market?
The heart of the matter is fiscal autonomy. It cannot be total. By definition, a nation cannot permit fiscal secession, independent statelets that amount to real-life versions of Passport to Pimlico.
We are now in the death throes of Sepp Blatter's ailing and failing Fifa regime. No dictatorship willingly gives up its power, but the only question that really remains is how and when it will finally fall.... It is the members of the Fifa Congress, the football associations who represent every playing nation on the planet, who have the power to bring down the Blatter regime, and pressure from the sponsors makes such a revolution more likely.
Britain is under attack. The Government is waging war on those who need support, taking out our hard won workplace rights and removing our right to privacy. But, in the face of such an assault, it's vital we fight back.
Because of my recent trip to Africa, I now understand how the Clinton family continues to serve. I had the privilege to travel to five initiatives of the Clinton Foundation in Africa. On the trip, I saw first-hand the quiet appreciation on the faces of President and Chelsea Clinton when they observed the real-life results of their work.
There has been much talk about the threat to the Hunting Act, and expectation that the government's promised 'free vote' on repeal would be mentioned in the Queen's Speech. It wasn't. Does that mean the Hunting Act is safe? No, it doesn't.
The next five years will show the Tories at their worst, without the leash of the Liberal Democrats to hold them back. Risking our membership of the EU, snooping on our online browsing histories, demonising the poor and vulnerable - today's Queen's Speech was just the beginning.
Forget the world. She should try starting at home, with the Rohingya of Rakhine. And if she won't, or can't, then maybe she should consider handing back the prize she waited more than two decades to collect.
The big corporate papers are encouraging the idea that the result of the general election means the end of the Leveson process. Although this claim is hardly surprising given their wild-eyed desperation to avoid any form of meaningful accountability, it is wrong. Here are five reasons to be confident that independent, effective press self-regulation along the lines recommended by the Leveson Inquiry is on its way.
When was the last time a BBC drama gave you that zinging sense of witnessing something dazzling, wonderful and challenging? Or opened up new areas of consciousness and forged hitherto unmade connections in your brain?
In low income countries, women and girls face serious challenges when it comes to managing their periods. They lack access to affordable hygienic menstrual products and are forced to use improvised materials, such as rags, that are uncomfortable and can lead to leaks and infections.
In his first speech following the election, the Prime Minister said that the Conservatives would govern 'as a party of one nation, one United Kingdom'. But just how far across the UK does his government actually stretch?
A week ago, I was enthused about this series of Big Brother. Feeling impressed with the line-up, launch night twist and use of this year's "Timebomb" theme, Big Brother's week one stunts had me anticipating more fireworks and a great follow-through for its first few weeks.