History, we are told, is always repeating itself - and it feels to me like we're currently in an early '80s-lite period, at least in politics.
Before I was elected to Parliament I spent nearly a decade working with and for some of the most vulnerable children in the country, who left me in no doubt that a good relationship with an adult they trusted mattered to them above all else.
There is one area of frequent enquiry that streams my way, where I feel that I am not ideally qualified to comment. Doctors in Afghanistan are at best soothsayers, at worse fraudsters.
All of my friends here come from far-flung places, a broader horizon that dispenses the notion that your own place of birth is best. Each fizzes your blood with unique cultural facets, we are simply part of something bigger.
I think I may have been living in a war zone for too long, and it is taking its toll. Before Christmas I was talking with a friend who had been working in regions of conflict exclusively for 10 years and he described that there are something like 59 symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and he exhibited 43 of them.
When the first Euros were printed in 1999, Europe chose a bold new future. But beneath the surface, the new European economy was built on shaky foundations. The decision is one of the biggest we have faced. The answer is clear: Europe must go for growth.
The Tories are in trouble and these elections are only the beginning of a long battle within the Party. Only time will tell if Cameron is able to lead a united Party into the next General Election, but when Cameron is at the centre of the squabbling, it is hard to see him being able to do so.
This year voter turnout was disappointingly low. Some blamed it on the rain but we need to look deeper for explanations about why so many people have lost faith in politics.
I am a Christian and will remain so. This means that there are certain beliefs I hold dear. But I can, without reducing my Christian commitment, surely accept that someone else, brought up in a different tradition, holds a different set of beliefs, holds them as strongly as I hold mine, and I can respect that person and his/her right to believe as he/she does.
My name is Martin Middlebrook. The 12 of you who read this regularly know this of course, but by other countries other conventions apply. So depending upon relative status or affection, my moniker here is either Kaakaa Martin, Mr Martin, or Martin Jan.
The Queen's Speech provided further evidence of the 'omnishambles' which this Tory-led government has become. No vision, nor purpose and no direction. This is the best way to describe the Queen's Speech.
Whatever Ed Miliband's flaws, the British people love an underdog, especially when they feel like underdogs.
Our libel laws affect what we can write, what we read, what we discuss - online and offline. The Queen's Speech on 9 May may, just, strike a blow for freedom of expression that will benefit authors, researchers, journalists, bloggers and others, not only in the UK but around the world.
Media freedom has the power to transform societies and to change the course of history. Over the past year, across the Middle East and North Africa, ordinary citizens found their voices using social media and blogs. But freedom of expression continues to be repressed in many countries and some have seen a significant decline in media freedoms. Around the world, journalists, bloggers and others have been obstructed from doing their work by being harassed, monitored, detained, or subjected to violence.
My westernised nephew said this to his father recently. "Men rule the world dad, but women control men, so really women rule the world". Very smart and intuitive, and quite possibly true in some households. But in Afghanistan women are the missing and beaten half of humanity.
The word "nuclear" is often on the front pages of the press, whether you're in Tehran, Tokyo or Tunis. In the last few weeks alone, we've seen international talks about Iran's nuclear programme and united international concern that it is developing a nuclear weapon.