If we are ever to have a hope of rebalancing the books, meeting the future costs of the NHS, and satisfying our pension liabilities we need to look beyond capitalism. It's served a fortunate few well, but it has failed the majority. It's time to bury it alongside socialism and look for a better successor to both.
TTIP will subject Europe to American-style 'light touch' regulation for corporate take-overs and practices. It will drape a constant shadow of uncertainty over public services in the form of possible aggressive private take-overs.
More is it at stake than immediate political positioning. The agendas adopted now will define the policy space for most of the next parliament... Perhaps the present consensus on the haste of deficit reduction is deserving of greater scrutiny than is currently afforded by much of the UK's political class.
Following his landslide electoral triumph in May, Narendra Modi's first act as Prime Minister of the largest democracy on earth was to travel to the Kashi Vishwanath temple and offer prayers on the banks of the Ganges...
This week in Birmingham I seemed to spend a lot of time answering the same question from journalists. "Why is everyone here so upbeat?". My answer was always the same "Because we have a plan - a strategy - we can see it's working, and we're sticking to it."
Perhaps I'm being naive but I can no longer accept that things have to be the way they are now, that clobbering the poor and vulnerable is a rational answer to mending our future. We can do things another way, and in time I'm sure we will.
I had the pleasure of hearing David Cameron's speech in Birmingham yesterday after spending the last few days at the Tory conference campaigning for apprenticeships. To my mind, he won the election right then and there.
David Cameron and George Osborne have presided over an unprecedented cost of living crisis. Yet listening to the Prime Minister on Wednesday you might be left with the impression that the economy has been fixed and that life is getting easier for most people. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Ed Miliband's policy is ill-conceived, based on the widely held assumption that employers recruit migrants rather than invest in their UK born workers. As with much recent immigration policy, it is based on opinion rather than evidence. More importantly, it fails to recognise a real issue in the under-utilisation of migrants' skills.
A cynical reading of the Chancellor' speech, therefore, would note that having announced that £25billion of spending cuts are needed, he only detailed where £3billion would be found. What about the other £22billion? It's a safe bet that we will not hear much about them before the general election.
Whoever takes over from Boris should take heart from de Blasio's victory and be bold. This is not quick-fix politics: it calls for sustained stewardship of our city and its economy. But a brave mayor could lead that conversation, challenge the orthodoxy and change not just London but the national trajectory too.
Miliband's speech was strong on recognising the problems that society faces: his enthusiasm for meeting "real people" on his walkabouts can leave him in little doubt that the crisis many face is a real one. But a nine pence an hour real increase in low wages over the five year term of a Labour government is no substitute for the far more radical solutions that will be necessary to achieve the social justice for which he clearly yearns.
If Britain's minimum wage is to live up to New Labour's 1997 promise of delivering millions from in work poverty, change is needed. A starting point would be reforming, rather than ignoring the Low Pay Commission. The system is broken, but the fix is at hand.
Picture yourself at the gym with a personal trainer. They've got you working out on the treadmill and they keep upping the pace. You feel physically sick but you can't get off because you fear being humiliated - deemed to have failed by the Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator you hired to shout irreverent slogans at you in the hope they might make your life happier...
Collectively, it seems periods are pretty pricey. With this in mind, would you believe me if I told you that tampons and sanitary towels are deemed not essential enough to be tax free? Admittedly they are taxed at a reduced rate of 5% but this still means they are thought of as luxury items, which all sane females would agree they are certainly not.
We are entering a new era and have a great opportunity to actively shape its course. Even in an age of universal belief in technology, Europe can be confident enough to rely on the power of creativity. Because in the end, the billions of smartphones are just shells that need to be filled with creative content.