Out of the 300 million odd people living in the region, I understand my small sample of friends cannot be taken as a final representation of the Middle East. Nor do I want to gloss over the fact that thousands have been killed and millions have been made homeless. This we cannot forget and maybe, quite rightly, the media aren't letting us.
With Remembrance Day almost upon us we have entered another period of debate and discussion over the symbolism of the poppy. It's a debate which offers irrefutable proof of the increasing politicisation of this annual event, one which rather than unite the country around a shared narrative and set of values instead reminds us of a history of conflict that is contested over the question of whether it should be considered a source of pride or shame...
The last time a nation embraced these kind of ideas, six million Jews ended up dead. The left wing "witch hunt" as Andrew calls it is not about infringing upon the rights of some whining, entitled, right wing, heterosexual, middle class white guy who has enjoyed many a success at the BBC. This is about challenging dangerous ideas.
It's not wrong that the disgusting behaviour of the Rugby Club is under scrutiny, but it is wrong that positive action by the university on outreach and funding for students in need of support is apparently not worth mention - especially when it's the sort of information some students need in order to feel able to go into further study.
I'd like to welcome the proposed review. By acknowledging the problem and starting the conversation about how to address it, the Football League has taken a huge step forward. However, I am concerned that the Rooney Rule is being seen as a 'magic bullet' that will guarantee an immediate influx of BAME managerial talent....
Whichever way it goes, I will be challenging myself to remain steady in an idea of global Britishness. I won't be accepting the Scottish nationalists' invitation to think of myself as reduced and obliged to come to terms with my Englishness, but will be working to enhance strong, ongoing narratives about a Britain that embraces and integrates.
Businesses can inspire and inform the future workforce, as well as increase the scope of their ambitions and create recruitment pathways that don't leave them stuck on the first rung. We know this won't be quick or easy. But as things stand, there is a lack of genuine equal opportunity for British BAME employees of the future. There is no point continuing to ignore what may seem to be an uncomfortable conversation around race. Let's all get over that and start talking. Business and government need to take note and act now.
This is the common story for many potential new entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds trying to get their first Runner position in TV. The most junior role in the production department often means doing errands, fetching coffees and lunches, and occasionally driving between studios and filming locations. Still, both work experience and a driving license are a prerequisite.
I have just left the Young Vic in London where the Act for Change project took place. It's started after actor Danny Lee Wynter watched a trailer from ITV for their impeding TV releases and saw all white characters and decided along with his partners, a group of actors of all colours genders and ages, that enough is enough and something had to be done.