David Cameron and George Osborne have presided over an unprecedented cost of living crisis. Yet listening to the Prime Minister on Wednesday you might be left with the impression that the economy has been fixed and that life is getting easier for most people. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Conference season comes hard on the breathtakingly long holiday that our diligent representatives enjoy in the summer. It is so long, it straddles both Spring and Autumn and would probably subsume Winter, if they did not also get a stonking great break over Christmas.
I think being a locally focused MP is almost like cabinet career suicide. Off the top of my head I can't think of anyone in the cabinet now or in the shadow cabinet whom are there purely to represent their local constituents.
When the Home Secretary said "British values will prevail in the end" against extremism, if she's talking about freedom of speech, then she's certainly missed a trick. The fact that surfaces with the revelation of these measures under the banner of "British Values" is in reality a demonization of a single community - a community just like any other.
Theresa May made her latest speech as Minister for Irony today, as she invoked tolerance, freedom of speech and diversity while announcing that a future Conservative government would introduce anti-extremist laws that can only be described as, well, extreme.
When I was younger, I claimed housing benefit and JSA solidly for a year. I did it so I could live in a place where I could find a job I could turn into a meaningful career, a meaningful existence. I grew up in an area short of prospects, short of jobs. I did not have parents who could fund a year long series of internships. I had to rely on the state to get me on my feet.
Working-age benefits will now be frozen for two years, a measure which follows an earlier 1% uprating cap from 2012. This is a way of cutting 'by stealth', i.e. letting inflation do the job that Osborne and his colleagues should be doing.
A cynical reading of the Chancellor' speech, therefore, would note that having announced that £25billion of spending cuts are needed, he only detailed where £3billion would be found. What about the other £22billion? It's a safe bet that we will not hear much about them before the general election.
A quick scan through the Twittersphere reveals plenty of expressions of disgust about Newmark's behaviour, but relatively few about the questionable morality of what is effectively a sting operation. If the editors of the Sunday Mirror had any integrity, they would sack the journalist responsible. They don't, so they won't.
Six weeks ago, I wrote: "We should be in no doubt: we, the West, are back in Iraq." And so it has come to pass. It is difficult to see how it could have been otherwise, once the murderers of Islamic State (or Isis or Isil, take your pick) started killing American and British journalists and aid workers on video. ... We have entered a bizarre Alice in Wonderland world in which Washington, Tehran, Damascus, Riyadh and Doha all seem to be lining up on the same side. The Saudis, Qataris and Emiratis even seem to have deployed some of their own aircraft, which I suppose at least proves that they do know what they're for.
To save lives and protect human rights, the genocidal fundamentalists of ISIS must be stopped. But not by the West and not for the reasons often advanced by David Cameron and Barack Obama... The truth is that if the US and UK are serious about fighting ISIS they should start by aiding the people on the ground who know the region best, have local roots and who are already leading the fight against the jihadist menace - the peshmerga army of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq and guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers Party and allied movements in Syria.
So while Alaska's newest reefer representative cleans house, in Ireland Minister Brendan Howlin is proposing a few sweeping law changes himself, in his case wiping some ancient statutes off the books. He better be careful though, as removing some of these measures could be quite unpopular.
As with the Scottish referendum, so with climate: there are two options - change, or be changed irreversibly. The consequences of either have sod all to do with politicians, but in the latter the entire planet is screwed.
Air strikes alone won't defeat ISIL. The organisation is clearly goading the West into direct confrontation. Once we get the first pictures of Muslim women and children killed by US missiles, no matter how isolated these incidents would be, that would up the ante in ISIL's propaganda war. This is when allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar will get cold feet.
The dust has seemingly started to settle after the Scottish people decided that we are, indeed, better together, but it has led to a period of uncertainty that has the danger to damage both countries, the Union and our economy if it's not resolved.
The trouble in George Square and Buchanan Street displayed how we are Better Together. Why? Because, an overwhelming majority of Glasweigans and Scots, no matter how we voted, are disgusted by this. I have seen others claim that this is what No voted for - this is the opposite of what we wanted.