Immigration is good. There, I've said it. Now I wait to be struck down by a thunder bolt. A country that attracts immigrants is a healthy country. It boasts a growing economy, a stable society, and offers a safe environment for children to grow up in. Its people live under the rule of law, with freedom of speech and of religion. It's a country of which I'm immeasurably proud to be a citizen. Without immigrants, Britain would be a much poorer place. It would be hungrier, dirtier and less healthy. It's immigrants who pick and pack the food that we eat, immigrants who clean our offices and streets, immigrants who keep the NHS going and care for the elderly in their homes and nursing homes.
If you continually cater towards the worst case scenario all sense of individuality and creativity is lost. In the arts community a defensive attitude is what leads to dull records, drab theatre and films that are so formulaic thought is not necessary. The fear factor spills over into all avenues of life. I want to remain optimistic. I want to be allowed to act with some suitable risk and courage and I want responsibility for my life...
With the publication of HM Treasury's paper 'Scotland Analysis: Fiscal policy and sustainability' the people of Scotland have a clearer insight into the personal costs of Scottish independence... But there can be little doubt that the figure of £1,400 for 20 years given in the Treasury paper greatly underestimates the costs that are facing the people of Scotland if they vote for independence.
The BBC asked me this morning if the arrival of Ukip (and even darker parties such as the Front Nationale) in Brussels would be disruptive. I agreed that it will be. But disruption, creative chaos, real change, is just what our stale, failed political system needs, just as the angry voters, lashing out or expressing frustration by either voting Ukip or staying at home (as 63% did), need to be offered hope. Our political future doesn't look like the past. Happily.
This Government believes that if you're open about problems as they arise and you tell people when things go wrong, then they will be more inclined to believe you when things are working and you want to talk about your achievements. Over time, being open builds trust.
Britons appear by nature to be pessimistic with regard to the economy. We have now had 11 consecutive months of positive EOI scores - the second longest on record, behind a 15 month period around and following the 1987 general election. If we are to see this optimism to continue into the 2015 general election, it will beat the record by a full eight months.
Today, Britain's geopolitical positioning in the world is pivoted on an axis around an Atlantic facing alliance with America and a globally renowned diplomatic and intelligence network built upon the foundations of a former empire. Yet this confident British swagger, evident today from our relationship with Brussels to Bangkok is somewhat more fragile than it might first appear.
Once you've made it through the development phase and hired your team - you certainly feel you're ready to get out there and sell your product or service. But how exactly do you get the word out? I've found that many entrepreneurs struggle with this. It's important to remember that marketing and PR is not an afterthought to your business plan. Marketing and good PR is essential for the success of any business. It may not matter how great the product or service you are offering is if nobody knows about it.
To help us limber up for the glorious five-day festival of number-crunching that lies ahead - from polling day on Thursday to next Monday's fallout from the European Parliament election results - here are some figures that might matter more in the long-run. They concern Britain's economy.
While everyone would probably agree life would be better if the bubble hadn't burst, the way the fashion industry has grown and evolved in the face of reduced investment and spend is truly extraordinary.
Rates have increased two per cent since last year (and in fact should have risen higher if the government hadn't capped them at this amount), which in this example is nearly £400, so already in real terms the amount being given back to businesses through the relief is just over £600.
Let's not create a society of the richest poor people. Let's not condescend people by saying that if you started life as poor, you'll always be that. The cards are not stacked against you in the 21st Century. Piketty's book provokes jealousy and insecurity in people rather than freeing them to create and aspire.
To enable us to compete in the world and to get back to full employment, we need an exchange rate which is about one third lower than it is now. A more competitive pound would bring back more, better quality jobs to the UK, contributing to a thriving economy.
Bangladesh needs to be open to the world, and in order to be so, it needs to live up to international standards in business and public life. Britain and the EU need to push Bangladesh to meet these standards; our government must make it clear that if the rule of law is not respected, there will be serious consequences.
With the large increases in employment seen over the last couple of years now starting to create shortages of workers in some areas, there has also been an increase in the growth rate of average earnings in recent months. The result is that earnings in real terms - that is after adjusting for inflation - are no longer falling.
A chief executive in one of Britain's biggest businesses takes home more in three days than an average employee can earn in a year. The pay gap between those at the top of the income scale and the rest of the workforce has continued to rise sharply year after year - throughout the recession and recovery.