If you are an intelligent person, you form your own opinion when you read the news. You understand that certain papers have certain agendas and you interpret articles accordingly. You take things with a pinch of salt. But not until I joined the recent trade delegation to China, did I realise just how politicised - and hence inaccurate - news becomes.
In the last few days, with the spotlight shining on Britain's relationship with China, there have been only warm words from David Cameron about "a dialogue of mutual respect and understanding". As Mr Cameron was still in the country, Tibetan nomad Kunchok Tseten set himself alight in protest against China's rule...
The Prime Minister's Extremism Task Force report "Tackling extremism in the UK" has apologised for not doing enough to tackle islamic extermisim: We ...
Sherborne is a postcard of upper and middle-class tranquillity in Dorset. Famous for its historic abbey and private schools. But Sherborne is a Potemkin town. Look beyond the superficiality and the poverty is very real.
It's easy to say you want a world without nuclear weapons. Nearly everyone does: even David Cameron. It's like saying there should be no global poverty: the hard part is taking action to do something about it.
In years to come people may ask where you were on Friday the 29th of November 2013. Regardless of where you were, I can tell you what one man was up to: James Wharton MP was at the end of the trying, troublesome and often tiring journey of a Private Members bill through the House of Commons.
Last Friday, along with at least a thousand others, I lay down in the road opposite Southwark tube station outside the offices of Transport for London. I joined the #TfLDieIn on foot, without my bike, to remember all those who have lost their lives on London's roads.
After several years of being underserved by my High Street bank, and as they somehow managed to confuse a £70.00 withdrawal for a £7,000.00 withdrawal, I moved at no little inconvenience to the Coop...
This Thursday the Chancellor gives his Autumn Statement. With the economic upturn shaky at best we can expect little in the way of good news and plenty more squeezing of budgets. Except, that is, for one thing. It appears that the Chancellor has £700million to spare on a measure that even its supporters claim won't any difference. So what's the truth? Are we in the grip of a near permanent austerity? Or do we have some cash to burn?
The message from Beijing is clear: the all-important political will that is so evidently present from Downing Street must be met with an enhanced commitment from Britain's business community.
The Friends and Family Test is helping the NHS become safer - steps have been taken at Hillingdon to make sure patients with Parkinson's' Disease get their medication on time, by using a simple alarm clock to remind staff when medicine needs to be taken. And Lewisham and Greenwich Hospitals NHS Trust has improved communication with patients by making sure every day each nurse introduces themselves to the patients they will be responsible for, and has a discussion about what the patient can expect to happen during the day. Those are just a few examples of positive change. There are many more.
Young people surviving in the ghettoes of Britain are at the receiving end of humiliating insults from politicians. The Prime Minister, with the best of intentions, advocates for people of any community to rise to the top - in the media, judiciary, armed services and politics. He suggests that aspirations "need to be raised". Simultaneously, the Mayor of London says that 16% "of our species" has an IQ below 85, and 2% of the population have an IQ above 130. He goes on to conclude that inequality is essential "for the spirit of envy and a valuable spur to economic activity... The income gap between the top cornflakes and the bottom cornflakes is getting wider than ever". But between the lines, he is suggesting that those with higher IQs - and sometimes higher greed - will invariably achieve greater things, and that is just the way it is.
Mr Miliband's pledge was initially greeted with contemptuousness by the Tories. More concrete evidence of 'red Eds' inability to form coherent policy. The Tories thus aligned themselves as rational, credible and market responsible, and labour as fiscal cowboys and reckless socialists.
So HS2 is another step closer to fruition, 50,000 pages of detail closer no less. I have no trouble admitting I am delighted this project is moving along relatively swiftly, despite bumps in the road so far.
We must assume that Boris Johnson knew exactly what he was doing when he delivered his typically rumbustious "greed is good" speech in memory of Margaret Thatcher a couple of nights ago. And what he was doing was giving the Conservative party - the party of which he is a leading member and was once an MP - a great big almighty shove towards electoral defeat in two years' time.
By default the prime minister is clearly one of the most vulnerable figures in the UK and we deserve to know the order of succession should the unthinkable happen. Be it the home secretary, foreign secretary or Chancellor, the government must be clear on who would be in charge in what would be a destabilising event. At a time when leadership would be more important than ever the last thing we would need to be doing is having a debate to decide on who's in charge. We need a clear line of succession and we need it now.