As the EU Referendum campaign kicks-off, seasoned pundits continue to argue that the possibility of 'Brexit' remains slim, if existent at all. They are wrong.
Perhaps you'll think I'm naïve, but I still believe that when you have a debate, it's a good idea to have some facts readily to hand. So here are some facts that you might find useful next time you're thinking about that "swarm" (David Cameron's word, not mine) of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from north Africa. Why not keep them handy (the facts, not the migrants) on your smartphone, or print them out and shove them in a pocket.
These latest figures only serve to reinforce the need for a radical rethink about our second chamber, which is getting bigger and more expensive by the day. Surely it can't be right that when politicians are talking about reducing the cost of politics, they're set to stuff the upper chamber with yet more party appointees?
If the politicians in London want to end the crisis in Calais, they don't need to send in the troops, they need to shoulder a fairer share of the burden of asylum seekers in the EU, something they are currently refusing to do.
Today marks a key point in the fight against slavery in the UK. With the Modern Slavery Act coming into force, law enforcement will have greater powers to target and prosecute traffickers and additional protection will be provided to the victims of this brutal crime.
The fact that Corbyn is so far ahead and looks set to actually win, is very in keeping with what happened in Scotland in May, along with the Greens own 1 million+ votes: the fact that politics must be about contestation and ideas not 'delivery' of a copy of a copy of sound bite and cliché: the time of 'post politics' is at an end.
Perhaps we just scrap prison all together and kill anyone who breaks the law, saving on expensive admin. Here are some more innovative (ill thought out) ideas I've come up with to make prisons more effective and cheaper...
The new freedoms and greater clarity over exclusions given to head teachers is having a positive impact on behaviour. I am hugely encouraged by what schools have achieved - but parents know we cannot be complacent until all children are being taught in safe, calm and studious classrooms.
The crisis in Calais isn't going away. And while it may feel like a local problem that will eventually slip out of the news, the truth is it is part of a wider international humanitarian challenge that Europe is failing to grasp. Ramping up the rhetoric towards the rest of the world, demonising people or turning Britain inwards - as David Cameron seems to want to do - won't solve the problem. Instead Britain needs to work with other countries to set out a serious, practical long term plan.
The NGOs who signed the letter to the Prime Minister do not want to go to war with the Government. We welcome the Government's good intentions, not least its aspiration that ours should be "the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than that in which we found it". But things are going rapidly in the wrong direction.
What do the next five years hold for the NHS? The pre-election jamboree is quickly evaporating. The promise of billions more in funding now feels like a distant sound-bite. The Daily Telegraph recently set the tone with a front page headline in which Jeremy Hunt declared that the NHS now has enough money and will have to make do. However, all the talk on funding in the election debates completely missed the point.
It's been 64 years since the Refugee Convention was adopted, and although it's been modified slightly, its underlying principles have proved life saving. Fast forward to 2015. Once again, people around the world are being forced to flee tyranny and conflict on an unprecedented scale.
David Cameron may have generated a few headlines recently when he argued, in an article in the Times, that for those advocating gender equality "there has been a recent slew of good news". But the reality is somewhat different... Notwithstanding its rather clunky title, "Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage", the paper included some shocking findings. Interviews with more than 3,200 women about their experiences of being pregnant at work, or returning to their jobs after giving birth, found that 11% reported having been dismissed, forced to take redundancy or treated so badly that they felt they had no choice but to resign.
Jeremy talks a lot about seven day working in his speech. He seems to think that this is a new concept that nobody has thought about. He must be strolling around feeling rather proud of himself. Well I have news for you Mr Hunt... we already work weekends.
The next choice of leader is vital. Get it wrong and like the Tories in 2001, when Iain Duncan-Smith proved to be an even less effective leader than William Hague before him, the party could well be condemned to a generation on the opposition benches. Get it right, and there is plenty there to hold to Government to account over.
Call it Lefty, Marxist, Socialist or simply Old Labour - Jeremy Corbyn is one of a brave few who are prepared to stand up for those without a voice, who would otherwise be silenced by the Tory dictatorship.