Cultural diversity has played a key role in forming the multicultural Britain of today, far more so than adherence to one set of 'national values' has. The role of the state is to enforce this tolerance through laws and expose children to the true diversity of the world they are entering in the education system.
The use of local authority borrowing powers should be carefully controlled and leveraged with private sector cash to reduce their exposure to debt risk. Local authorities should, in effect, deploy borrowings on the same basis as grants - by making contributions to projects that are serviced at a lower rate of interest.
In the light of the negative media coverage of the potential influx of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, just in the last month I have been referred for the first time as 'being of less desirable origin' because of my ethno-national background. I swept the two incidents under the carpet and moved on, as most migrants do when faced with such stereotyping.
From day one of this parliament, Pickles and Lewis have treated small businesses with contempt - and it doesn't stop there. To huge consternation in the business community they've cancelled a revaluation of business rates this year to make sure properties are tied to a 2008 rating close to the peak of the property boom.
I am happy to say that the tech community has already picked up this baton and there are a growing number of small start-ups in David Cameron's Tech City developing services that answer this challenge.
When the wider provision of support for vulnerable children and families is under systemic assault from the decimation of central and local government budgets, some old recycled statistics and 16 isolated families do not merit a reason to be cheerful.
This week offers a chance to celebrate the progress made in bringing some of Britain's 710,000 empty homes back into use. Unfortunately, there is also reason to fear some of those responsible for 'regenerating' our towns and cities remain overly-fond of bulldozers and land-banking deals with developers.
Town planners, it seems, are the people everyone loves to hate. When was the last time you heard someone spontaneously eulogise their local planning department?
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has surpassed himself in an opinion piece for the Telegraph headed A Christian ethos strengthens our nation: Religion shaped the modern British state, and this Government is proud to 'do God'.
After submitting freedom of information requests to every fire service in the land I discovered that arson attacks are on the increase, more firefighters are getting injured and casualties caused by house fires are rising. Incredibly, Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who has masterminded the downfall of public services across the country, has shrugged off these alarming facts. He lazily refuses to take any action to reverse the trend preferring to bury his ideologically driven head in the sand.
The Department of Health guidance on fair access to care services is titled "prioritizing need in the context of putting people first".
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave an Easter reception for Christian leaders at Downing Street this week at which he delivered an unctuous speech of such dishonesty and hypocrisy that it almost takes the breath away.
There will be differences of opinion and approaches in tackling this. But the constant demonisation of Muslims and their institutions by the media, and the lacklustre response by the Westminster political class to anti-Muslim intolerance, is not helpful.
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.
Secularism is essentially a political strategy that says, in the context of a diverse society, the state should not discriminate in favour of or against any person because of their religious or non-religious beliefs.
I watched intently yesterday as David Cameron announced a £450m plan to tackle Britain's worst 120,000 families. According to the Prime Minister, these families and their truancy, joblessness and anti-social behaviour cost Britain £9bn a year, and what we really need is someone to coordinate all the agencies that work with them to make them be less Shameless, more Waltons.