Attitude is Everything, the charity of which I am CEO, campaigns for improved access to live music for Deaf and disabled people and so we have an interest in both these debates.
The crash of 2008 undoubtedly cast financiers and bankers as the villains of society. Trust and confidence in financial institutions plummeted to an all time low. But amidst the aftermath of the crash, we shouldn't forget that financial markets can be a force for good.
I know that any education about the mysterious world of money would have been gratefully received. For a start, it would have made maths lessons a whole lot more interesting - and a great deal more meaningful. Personal finance and money management is, after all, maths in action.
Bovine TB continues to devastate farming family businesses in large parts of the country. I can assure you that the NFU remains totally committed firstly to stopping the spread and ultimately to eradicating this disease and recognises that this will only be achieved by using every available option.
In 2013, the government deficit, according to the latest available Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, was £92.9billion, which was 5.8% of GDP. All our major political parties are fixated on getting this deficit down by cutting expenditure and raising taxes. But should they be quite so determined to do so? Is austerity really the best way to cut the deficit?
"It was business wot won it!" That was David Cameron's message last night at the Business Leaders' Reception at Number 10, although they may not have been the exact words used by the Prime Minister. He did however make it clear that when he moved into Downing Street four years ago, the entire place, and I mean the country, not the residence, were in pretty bad shape. And there was no money to fix it.
Climate change policies have been a controversial area of UK politics for a number of years. Regular headline-grabbing claims on the impacts of these policies on energy bills have played their part in this. But equally problematic is the fact that a lot of the debate to date has centred on the upfront cost of low-carbon policies, with very little attention paid to understanding the broader economic impacts of reducing the UK's emissions.
Britain is rightly proud of its track record of job creation, but a successful 21st Century economy requires more. Ahead of the 2015 Election, it is time for all parties to face up to the changing face of the labour market, and set out their commitments to building a more sustainable, productive and robust economy that offers opportunities for all workers, and cities, throughout the UK.
When all things are taken into account, the UK is investing almost nothing in its economic future. The Coalition government may have conjured some temporary growth, but this will disappear without much more new investment and if we want to avoid long-term decline we need to act right now. The hard fact is that productivity growth in the UK has ground to a halt and there's a very simple reason for this: the UK, for the first time since the start of the Industrial Revolution, has virtually stopped investing in the type of economic activities which are capable of delivering increases in output per head of the population.
If standard class carriages generate 61% more income, then it would seem to be a simple financial decision to start converting first class carriages on their own initiative? This does depend on more demand being created for standard class.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released information on changes in self-employment, and confirms what we have said for years: the increase is an issue more of desperation than any 'entrepreneurial spirit'.
All the indicators suggest to me that the growth that we have is almost entirely due to the velocity of cash within the economy. The more times a pound is spent and re spent the greater the flow and this has an upward effect on growth.
Britain faces huge challenges to compete in a world being transformed by the pace of technological change and the rapid rise of emerging economies, which whilst intensifying competition are also creating huge new markets and new opportunities. The government is failing to meet these challenges and to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and ease the burden on households. After four years of Conservative-led government, wages after inflation are on average £1,600 a year lower than in 2010.
Today, the UK economy is in a lot better shape. Growth of 3.2% in the year to July - the strongest in the G10 - and the fears that to hold off on rate rises would create potential for dangerous bubbles in credit markets have been enough to move the votes of Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty to vote for a 25bps increase.
Our balance of payments deficit is far too high. In fact we have not had a surplus on our trade in goods since 1982 and we have not had an overall surplus in any year since 1983 - 30 years ago. As a result, we are unable to run our economy at full throttle.
Globalisation has transformed the way we do business... Governments worldwide are grappling with the challenges, albeit with mixed success. And they are looking to each other for inspiration. In my view they could do worse than seek to emulate the success the UK is starting to achieve.