People are always interested in what goes on around them, but they don't always think the best way to influence that is to vote in local elections or write to their councillor. Many think such things a waste of time. Councillors need to be bold and imaginative if we want local government to flourish. We also have to act fast.
You heard me. This is neither joke nor jape, neither jest nor jibe. This is real, dammit, as real as the fingers on my hands, as real as the piece of corn wedged between two of my back teeth since teatime. I'm running for President of Twitter harder than you've ever seen anyone run for anything in your entire life.
In short, there are concerns about voter fraud but no evidence that it is widespread. Concerns more often arise from accusations of fraud made by politicians in the media, rather than concrete cases. We can expect that voter ID could reduce turnout unevenly, and party positions on the policy issue will be electorally motivated. We frankly need more research.
London is a city facing big challenges. Population growth is putting huge strain on our housing, transport and infrastructure. The increasingly globalised economy means that our businesses are no longer compete just with those in Birmingham or Manchester, but with firms in Shanghai, New York and Berlin. And most worryingly, rather that sharing in our city's successes, rising numbers of Londoners are being left behind, as inequality widens and poverty grows.
"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election," said Otto von Bismarck. Replacing the word "lie" with "stall" and this captures perfectly the effect the forthcoming federal election in Germany has had on policymaking towards the beleaguered southern states of the Eurozone.
There are 20 weeks to go until the electorate go to the polls and decide who they want to form the next government. Will it be a Conservative or Labour majority government with either Ed Miliband or David Cameron as prime minister or will it once again be a coalition with Lib Dems as the king makers?
The struggle either side of the elections is the most important part of the democratic process. Elections are merely very rough snapshots of an ongoing process and the fact that we fetishize these elections indicates only the extent to which we have become a largely depoliticized and de-ideologized society.
Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff has finally announced her response to the current troubles in the country. She wants to hold a referendum on political reform and create a pact comprising five pledge areas: political reform, fiscal responsibility and extra spending on health, transport and education.
Modi's divisive politics will not only be bad for India's economy and volatile foreign affairs situation with Pakistan, but it will also tarnish the key values of secularism and liberty on which India has been founded. If it really is true that elephants never forget, here's hoping that India will vote more like an elephant when it comes to polling day!