Earlier this year the Evening Standard ridiculed Chuka Umunna MP for spending £14.99 on a mop for his constituency office. Reading this I thought it was a joke. It wasn't. We really have reached a point that the press paint MPs as swindling the public at every turn. How dare Chuka claim for a mop. I bet he claimed for a bucket too. Surely the visiting constituent with the dirtiest shoes should have paid for a mop. Scoundrel...
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.
Businesses clearly have a long way to go before there is equality in the boardroom. But market forces rather than quotas are a large part of the answer.
My colleague Chuka Umunna MP's plan for the next Labour government to introduce a US-style Small Business Administration is very welcome. SMEs comprise 99% of all UK businesses, providing 60% of all jobs and 50% of UK corporate turnover, yet the institutional structures which currently serve them often significantly underperform those of our international competitors.
Chuka Umunna insists UK banks should be broken up, in order to make them - he says - more competitive. It is a surreal experience hearing a Labour spokesman arguing the virtues of competition while the coalition insists that concentrating UK banking into five banks is in no way problematic...
This past weekend Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, proposed to work with partners to reform the freedom of movement for workers from other...
This is a topic that has been alive amongst my fellow black performers pretty much since I began my career. In fact, once I'd been in the business about five years and had decent credits to my name, it became a constant companion to the usual actor repartee; so that: "Are you working?" was quickly followed by: "When you going over to America then?"
It was Napoleon who first branded the British 'a nation of shopkeepers', a theme Adolf Hitler returned to 150 years later. But whilst these Anglophobic generals may have meant it as an insult, we British take great pride in our small retailers and jealously guard the variety and diversity they bring to our high street...
Businesses are facing their own version of this crisis - a cost of doing business crisis. We have now found out that, because of inflation, business rates are going to increase by an average of £430 from next April, at a total cost to businesses of £700m. This is happening year after year - they have already gone up by £1,500 on average under David Cameron.
It is true that there have been successful privatisations in times past but we also know there are examples, particularly in rail and energy, which resulted in sub-standard services and people being ripped off. Our goal on entering government will be to ensure that the same fate does not befall the British people in respect of the Royal Mail.
On Wednesday, Ed Miliband made a speech at Google - a business that has been making headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. To the outsider, the profitability of its business model looks plain to see. Yet of £3bn of revenue earned in the UK, it has paid only £3m in tax. Google are not alone in this seeming imbalance. The UK tax bill paid by companies from Amazon to Apple to Starbucks has raised deep concerns among businesses and families who pay their fair share. These are all prominent examples of a more general conundrum: the struggles for national governments framing tax rules for global companies.
A new type of political tactic is slowly taking shape: the social media trawl. All that information we share or is shared about us - the tweets, comments, likes, photos and so on - is quickly becoming a honey pot of political point scoring and scandal.
I am delighted that the Huffington Post UK is launching its new Young Talent page. I am sure it will become essential reading for young entrepreneurs, the restless spirits looking for sage advice. I know it will be valuable for me to get a window on your world, and the challenges you face.
Independent shops and small businesses also have a vital role to play in our economic recovery. Research by the Federation of Small Businesses reveals that 88% of people moving from unemployment into private sector jobs either start up or work for a small business.
Ed Miliband and Labour strategists must be scratching their heads behind closed doors. Try as they might, and no matter what sticky situations the Government find themselves in, they seem unable to make a real dent in the polls.
With this government, it's business as usual when business itself is saying loud and clear - now is the time for change and reform.