The economic dangers associated with the introduction of the Euro were predictable - and indeed predicted by many. Yet political leaders at the time chose to make a grand and hubristic political statement irrespective of the devastation it could bring to their citizens. The Euro is, maybe, the best example of the consequences of a political and policy elite living in their own world and totally divorced from the consequences of their actions on ordinary people.
On Monday, Ed Miliband kicked off his general election campaign with a speech in Salford. One of the lines pre-briefed to the press was that Labour would "offer hope, not falsehoods". Ed then stood up and read out a long list of glaring falsehoods.
Successive governments have failed to adequately plan to guarantee the energy supplies required for our economy, businesses and consumers. The UK has a poor track at delivering all manner of infrastructure projects. Persistent political short-termism means the UK's infrastructure ranks poorly compared to other developed nations. There is nowhere that this failure is better illustrated than with energy.
Helping genuine refugees with support into a new independent life, where they can work, learn English and to be part of this country. Letting inaccurate stereotypes fuel the debate will harm our country in the long run.
Euroscepticism used to be a very English phenomenon. But, as this year's European elections demonstrated, it now has much wider credentials... Few EU member states have been left untouched by public protest over Europe, either on the streets or at the ballot box.
The Chancellor's recent Autumn Statement generated a number of big-splash headlines with announcements on Stamp Duty, tax and savings. But there are really only two key criteria by which we will judge the Chancellor's Statement in the long term.
For decades, a company's performance has been measured almost exclusively in economic terms. Social and environmental issues such as health and safety in garment factories in Bangladesh, the use of conflict minerals in our mobiles, the privacy policies of internet service providers or forced labour on our doorstep have been seen as immaterial to how a company should be valued and how investors should assess performance. This is finally - and thankfully - changing.
The stamp duty announcement will help reduce payments for a number of older people, but it was disappointing that it didn't extend to a full exemption for older people wishing to downsize...
Their world hasn't fallen in. They don't depend on a few extra pounds in benefits to get them through the week, nor do they rely on social services to keep their families functioning. I somehow doubt that they use public libraries, or Sure Start centres, or community youth centres, or drugs rehabilitation units. Nor does anyone they know - family, friends, neighbours. In their world, nothing has changed. Executive pay continues to rise at obscene rates, and bonuses continue to be paid as if there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. So looking at the world through their eyes, yes, it's true. Everything's fine and dandy.
In the lead up to the 2015 elections we are looking at our leaders and wondering who will be best to take our nation forward. As we watch them, we don't simply analyse their words, we also want to get a feel for the people behind the scripts, to understand if they are able to put it all into action. So it seems worthwhile to analyse their actions and see what they can tell us...
Like conflict, austerity leaves people scarred, changing them forever, and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. It is ultimately self defeating. Most tellingly, it is the poorest who suffer most under austerity, as in war, whilst the richest always profit...
The Free Market isn't free. Its cost is measured in human despair and truncated lives. That we have a situation in one of the richest economies in the world where people, including children, do not have enough to eat, is nothing short of a crime.
While you might think that volunteering is a huge commitment and that you have to do it every week without fail, which for some, just isn't realistic. The reality is that you don't. Whatever free time you can spare to help out your local food bank or charity is always appreciated - regardless of whether you spare one hour a month, or three hours a week.
payers, government, council and local community will strain every sinew to see that a more suitable alternative is provided. Can GPs please get back to fitting suits and let others go back to supplying socks, shirts and bread?
The APPG on food poverty and hunger's seminal report goes beyond anything that's been done before on the problem of hunger in Britain. This powerful cross-party document validates what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time about the distressing reality of hunger in the UK, and it turns the spotlight on the specific problems that need addressing.
You can now get a Government loan for postgraduate study. You might know - or be - a young people whose stories are similar to the student who, when offered a scholarship for a masters, "burst into tears and said that it would change his life."