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.
The proposals for a 'Pasty Tax' have certainly caused a stir in Westminster and across the country. It will have been hard to avoid the media furore on this, one of a series of measures in last month's budget which have attracted criticism from across the board.
It is difficult to justify such a large body and in an era where there is clearly a desire for increasing democratic accountability and transparency, it is difficult to justify a revising Chamber that is wholly nominated and where no member is elected.
Over the past few weeks the government's flagship energy efficiency policy, the Green Deal, has lurched from one setback to the next.
Under this Coalition government, the Foreign Office has a renewed sense of mission. It is a mission to promote Britain's national interest, while tirelessly working for a world which is more secure, more stable, more free and more prosperous. In no area is this more relevant than the fight against climate change. Today ministers from more than 20 countries will meet in London with the goal of speeding up global progress on clean energy. I am in no doubt that we must meet this challenge...
Since my brush with death at the Ashura bombing in Kabul, and my crack on the head, I have developed a disturbing ability. In the same way that bats can locate moths by echolocation, I have discovered that I can locate furniture with my shins. We never stop learning it seems. It started in Dubai when I jammed my foot into a table and sliced my toe open.
Now, more than ever, we need a World Bank that is credible, effective and responsive to the economic pressures of the 21st century. Dr Kim will take on its presidency knowing the task ahead of him to be considerable.
On my final night in Beirut, we went out to dinner at a restaurant that specialises in Chocolate dishes. If your sole intake of chocolate for three months has been Ferrero Rocher, then you are to endorphins what insomnia is to sleep - utterly deprived.
The last few years have been an exciting, yet scary and unknown time for the nuclear industry. After decades of inaction under various governments the coalition announced a major initiative to see new nuclear power station construction.
When it comes to water, the scale of the threat from our changing climate has never been laid out quite so starkly, and against such a dramatic backdrop that is drought.