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...
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...
The prime minister will shortly begin the process of compiling his shopping list for EU reform. There is little doubt that EU migration will be at or near the top... It will take nerves of steel to walk the EU tightrope of asking concessions from the very countries whose citizens he wants to discourage from working in the UK.
Britain's National Health Service was built upon the firmly held conviction that good healthcare should be available to everyone in society - that it should be based on clinical need rather than one's ability to pay hefty sums of money upfront. Well, apparently that's no longer the case.
This is not the nicest of days, so in that context I thought I'd present a few random political thoughts! Very briefly, at Westminster it was one where the Conservative Party publically re-embraced Thatcherism, where One Nation Labour struggled to emerge further yet held on for life, and the United Kingdom Independence Party continued its long march to significance...
I have this week written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, urging a new inquiry into the death of the scientist Alan Turing, who has been finally granted a royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for homosexual relations. Turing is generally believed to have been committed suicide following his conviction and chemical castration. However, the original inquest into his death was perfunctory and inadequate. A new inquiry is long overdue, even if only to dispel any doubts about the true cause of his death - including speculation that he was murdered by the security services.
Time will tell if Cameron's tough talk will enable him to reach his personal goals both at home and abroad, though he is playing a dangerous game. At home, this episode might serve to radically shift the social thinking and ethos of British society vis-à-vis Europe, eventually leading to an EU exit which even most Tories still do not want.
I don't believe that if, in 2005, we had known the extent of migration from the previous Accession countries and the scale of the recession that would hit us, we would have agreed to the restrictions being lifted now... Even at this very late stage, I urge the government to keep the restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migration for a further five years - I can see no other solution.
David Cameron's Christmas card shows that the man truly has his finger on the weakening pulse of the nation. Not a Christmas tree, baby Jesus or Santa in sight: 'It's not very festive,' tutted The Guardian... How wrong is that?
At the beginning of this year, with the UK economy stuck in stagnation and seemingly no end in sight to the Coalition government's controversial austerity programme, the chances of a Conservative majority after the 2015 general election looked slim. Fast forward, and a fundamentally altered story emerges.
Yes, as the UK government's paper so aptly calls it 'Basically...Porn is Everywhere'. Pornography is about sex and nudity which, whether you like it or not, is a fundamental part of our being. It is also regulated and legal in the UK (that's another issue). So when it comes to protecting our children's welfare we need to address the issue of pornography in an adult way.
If Obama, Cameron and Thorning -Schmidt were inspired to whip out their camera phones and start clicking away then why wasn't Naomi Campbell somewhere in that stadium, in full hair and make up, being held aloft in front of a wind machine by Bono and Charlize Theron?