Over the last three years, tentative but welcome reforms have begun in Burma... But much as we welcome this progress, there is still a huge amount to be done if we are to maintain the momentum towards democracy and to tackle the continuing human rights concerns.
British ignorance of and even an element of wariness towards the Kurdistan Region have been replaced in recent years by a growing recognition of its potential by MPs and Ministers alike...
Despite the opposition of 94% of Londoners who took part in a public consultation process, as well as that of the London Assembly and the London fire authority, Boris Johnson forced his cuts through. Blood will be on his hands when - because it will be when and not if - someone dies because a fire engine did not arrive in time.
With 2014 marking the last full year before the next General Election, as well as the Scottish independence referendum and local and European elections, it might be fair to say our politicians are looking ahead with some trepidation at the year ahead.
Decisions that need to be made together like our national finances, our transport programme, our welfare provisions, our diplomatic activities, and our national defence can still all be undertaken as at present by the Parliament in Westminster. But there is clearly a need for the English voice to be heard on other affairs of State. The Scottish referendum will increase the feeling of English nationalism and rather than ignore it and allow animosity to develop, let's look towards the practical.
A recent discussion surrounding an article published by the Guardian surrounding expectant mothers and health tourism on my University feminist discussion page evolved into a full debate surrounding socialism, feminism and the need for a societal revolution...
Last Thursday, David Cameron came out in favour of a "life means life" approach to prison sentences. This seems to be the latest in a stream of exercises in vote poaching, and yet another of the Prime Minister's populist attempts at pandering to widespread right-wing sympathies.
In short, there are concerns about voter fraud but no evidence that it is widespread. Concerns more often arise from accusations of fraud made by politicians in the media, rather than concrete cases. We can expect that voter ID could reduce turnout unevenly, and party positions on the policy issue will be electorally motivated. We frankly need more research.
A jolt of energy needs to be administered to our comatose national politics, faltering on life support. Let's demand better involvement and better politicians. It's time to create a better politics.
The debate about foodbanks exposes the dark secret at the heart of this government: they just don't care. Asked about the growth of foodbanks, David Cameron always gives the same reply: that demand for foodbanks went up tenfold under Labour. He is implying that things are no worse now than before the election. The facts, however, tell a different story. One of the reasons the extraordinary Trussell Trust has proved so irksome to government is that it keeps meticulous statistics. And it refuses to suppress them.
Most of us like the idea of a Single European Market. For some it is the best reason and, for others, the only reason for the UK to remain a member of the European Union. But in recent years we have ended up with reams of legislation, introduced in the name of the Single Market, but which run totally counter to the purpose of British membership...
The media just loves the immigration debate, and Nick Robinson's programme (The Truth about immigration) is proving the perfect hook. The programme includes our most recent British Social Attitudes, finding that over 3 in 4 of us (77%) want to see a reduction in immigration.
Why do foreigners come to the UK and want to work and settle down here? It is precisely because you are a great country. When prime minister David Cameron launched the "GREAT" campaign in 2012 he was right when he said, "There are so many great things about Britain and we want to send out the message loud and proud that this is a great place to do business, to invest, to study and to visit."
This country is now very close to settling a problem that has plagued it for generations. The problem was this: how to protect ordinary citizens from lying, bullying and unjustified intrusion carried out in the name of journalism, while at the same time ensuring that journalists were free to do the job they need to do to sustain our democracy. The solution is the Royal Charter on press self-regulation.
January 1st 2014 brought a couple of pivotal moments; the end of transitional movement controls for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania and the beginning in earnest of the government's deposit guarantee scheme. One has the potential to harm a country which, whether you believe it or not, seems to be on the brink of some kind of recovery. The other is immigration.
This year, it is my sincere hope that at least one politician makes the resolution to talk some truth and sense on immigration. Negative rhetoric can start as a cheap way of wooing a particular voter demographic or selling newspapers. Left unchecked it can permeate into the public conscious...