In Afghanistan, officially of course, you can't get pork, as officially you can't get a drink, *hiccup* but of course it is available. But here is the rub, you find yourself eating bacon that could have been stripped from a rat, a small, infected rabid rat at that. It bears no resemblance to any bacon I have ever eaten.
Today marks an historic step in the biggest welfare revolution in over 60 years. My government has taken bold action to make work pay, while protecting the vulnerable. Past governments have talked about reform, while watching the benefits bill sky rocket and generations languish on the dole and dependency. This government is delivering it. Our new law will mark the end of the culture that said a life on benefits was an acceptable alternative to work.
At a major event in London's Queen Elizabeth II conference centre on Saturday, attended by 1,000 Anglo-Iranians, senior British jurists and MPs and US military experts called on the United Nations to intervene immediately to save the lives of 3,400 Iranian dissidents at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty in Iraq.
Next to my tent in Camp Bastion is the Vigil Ceremony Parade Ground, where those killed in action are remembered. Inscribed on the monument are the names of all the soldiers that have given their lives in Helmand. Carved into stone are these words: "When you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today."
A letter signed by 110 cross-party MPs and Peers was on Thursday delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Lancaster House urging him to ensure United Nations protection for 3,400 Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.
Why is the coalition government increasingly embracing the policy of the US Republicans of appropriating religion for political purposes? It's not even as though it works very well for the GOP. In fact, Rick Santorum's present display of religious zealotry must surely be ensuring another term for Obama.
David Cameron, as you would expect from an ex-PR man, has a smooth answer on why he wants to be prime minister, but I have the sense that the real answer to why he wants the job is simply "because it is there."
We patrolled for six hours, a wearing journey I can assure you, and whilst never blasé, you can also become a little un-attentive after a while. 50 yards behind me a soldier lost his legs a couple of weeks back, 600 yards to my left is a sniper, to the front is a compound with insurgents, we can see them watching us, and the same to our right, a compound chock full of people who rightly or wrongly wish us ill.
One of the perks of being an MP is access to a wonderful private library - the House of Commons Library. I know that MPs can ask for the Library to buy books they are interested in reading. So, curious to know which books MPs have been asking us, as taxpayers, to buy for them, I lodged a Freedom of Information Act request.
For a country like Tanzania, support for the improvement of healthcare systems and educational provision is crucial, but it is also crucial that we empower people and give them the power to build themselves a better standard of living.
The publication yesterday of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee Report on Libya is quite rightly very positive about the conduct and outcome of recent operations in that country.
Under pressure over his disastrous and unwanted NHS reorganisation at Prime Minister's Questions today - a reorganisation which is diverting billions away from the frontline and which risks 6,000 nurses being laid off - David Cameron repeatedly gave misleading answers about the NHS under the Tories.
The stakes are high, and the pitfalls great, as let's not forget - when it comes to decisions that affect children, any repercussions will not only be felt today, but potentially also for many years to come.
Over the past 18 months we've put a massive amount of effort and investment into strengthening apprenticeships in this country - and it shows. Last year more than 450,000 people started an apprenticeship, roughly the same number as those who started in higher education.
Nobody wants to cull badgers. But equally no country in the world where wildlife carries TB has been able to eradicate the disease in cattle without tackling it in wildlife too.
I will never forget seeing a very short but very powerful film featuring a young girl being assailed with hundreds of images of physical perfection. As she stands, overwhelmed by idealised bodies and perfectly constructed faces, the tag line appears on the screen: talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.