How like Boris to use a much-trailed speech on Europe as a sort of summer panto, a bit of harmless fun, the brass band preceding his big announcement about his own ambitions here in the UK.
The rise of Ukip, the vitriolic discussion over the relaxation of border controls relating to Romania and Bulgaria, the abolishment of the UKBA and now the problems at the Passport Office, show that immigration is, without doubt, an all-consuming issue for the public and one that is going to be at the front of voters' minds on and before 7 May 2015. However, the government, rather than shadow boxing with Ukip by continuing to make claims over a net migration figure they have no control over, should create a structure that ensures immigration is given its full attention. After all you can have as many silver bullet policies as you like, but without the gun to fire them you're never going to hit the target.
One major objective of secularism is to balance everyone's religious rights and freedoms fairly. This naturally includes the rights and freedoms of the non-religious and those of minority religions. Yet Mr Pickles chooses to portray this as secularists trying to "impose" their "politically correct intolerance" on others.
What we need to do now is go further... to imagine, and then create, a world without war. With the hideous death-toll in Gaza, the chaos in Syria and Ukraine, the turmoil in Libya, that might seem a long way from the reality of 2014. But the important first step is to say "this is possible", and then to start to plan the actions needed to bring a peaceful world into being.
When I look back over David Cameron's political career, I will remember many things. The fact that he surrounded himself with millionaire Etonians while subjecting the most vulnerable in society to sharp cuts and while allowing global corporations and oligarchs to use Britain as a tax haven.
The conventional Westminster bubble accounts of Sayeeda Warsi quitting the government rely on unpleasant Tory spin questioning her motives. In fact there is a much richer Warsi story to be written about the multiple complexities of the British Muslim communities - the plural is important - which cannot be reduced to the horrors of the Gaza conflict.
This country needs a foreign policy, but increasingly it has two. One is NATO summits, and conference calls with the White House: a global player, but whose star is on the wane. The other is as a self-declared aid superpower. DFID appears as a new Colonial Office whose role is to manage relations with poor countries.
The facts on the ground have not really changed from Boris' initial assessment of the pros and cons of membership last year. Maybe we are just one year closer to an election in which Boris needs to position himself as the tough-talking Eurosceptic reaching out for an uncompromising deal.
The current nine female commissioners have called for 10 or more women in the new team, while Juncker himself called gender balance 'a political must'. With 37% women among its own ranks, the European Parliament will be in no mind for compromise.
Libya is now in flames. This might seem to be a rather hyperbolic note on which to begin, but it is true. The country is spiralling out of control, and the city of Benghazi, the former rebel capital in the 2011 revolution against the dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi, has reportedly been captured by Islamist militants and declared an 'Islamic emirate'.
The Tory Lie Machine is desperate to distract attention from the fact that they've raised taxes 24 times, and that tax and benefit changes since 2010 will leave the average household £974 a year worse off by the time of the next election - while giving millionaires a tax cut. But when they choose to lie about Labour's plans, we're going to call them out on it.
Times have changed and girls as young as eight are becoming more conscious of their body image. Encouraging more physical activity can give them opportunities to look at things beyond worrying about their hair and make-up... Encouraging participation in sport in all areas can lead to happier, healthier women.
Like many journalists, I revel in the cacophony of voices our papers present - but that is not enough. Humans see as well as listen. To ensure balance - of news, comment or of features - we need a range of photos too.
Our criminal justice system is currently failing victims of domestic violence. There are substantial gaps in the law that allow abusers to evade justice and enforce the view that unless there are bruises, the perpetrator hasn't done anything wrong.
Twenty councils, among them Green-led Brighton and Hove, asked the government for powers to put a levy on big supermarkets in their area. The money is to be used to support local communities damaged by the business practices of these giants... small businesses and cooperatives could again flower and grow in communities around the country.
Britain has benefited over many centuries from the amazing contributions of immigrants welcomed to our shores to build our biggest companies, sustain our NHS and win us Nobel prizes. And immigration will be even more important in future in a globalised economy. But it is because immigration is so important that it needs to be controlled and the impact of immigration needs to be fair for all.