There are a lot of things about the Conservative Party that I cannot abide. I find the class-based self-righteousness frustrating, the disconnected behaviour of the Osborne-Cameron clique disheartening and the closed-mindedness of the grassroots depressing. However, these are of course characteristics that can be assigned to any political party, including Labour. Despite this, I feel most at home in the Tory Party.
This week has seen a lot of news on the EU, and has split opinion between those pro-EU and those sceptical of it. It seems that all EU news these days is negative, particularly since the financial crash and the rise of UKIP. But there is one piece of news from the EU that is positive and benefits the consumer...
Your home and personal belongings cannot be searched without a court approved warrant, so why should it be acceptable for governments and companies to snoop on your online activities - which are no less personal - without any safeguards?
Under the new rules asylum seekers will have a medical and psychological assessment as soon as possible, will be provided with decent detention and living conditions and have the right to apply for work nine months after lodging an asylum application.
As the Syrian conflict rages on the European Union took the significant decision in recent weeks to lift the arms embargo on the beleaguered country, paving the way for the Governments of major European countries to send weapons to rebel forces (a.k.a. the Free Syrian Army) fighting against the Assad regime.
For Romanians living in the UK it is hard to understand why they have became targets in a political and media game they neither want nor need to play. Anti-EU rhetoric and misleading predictions from nearly a decade ago have combined to create a culture of blame which allows misguided stereotypes of 'bad' Romanians to flourish, unchecked.
On 1 July the European Union will become a little more populous, a little bit bigger and hopefully a little bit better. On that day Croatia will defy current pessimism about the EU to become the latest member state.
The day is near when foie gras will be impossible to obtain in this country, and it can't come soon enough. But until then, stores such as Fortnum & Mason should simply remove it from their shelves - not because the law requires it but because it's the right thing to do.
What propels Romania into the category of 'World's First Dystopia' is the massive cyanide mining project that could turn Transylvania, one of the most beautiful and pristine parts of Europe, into a dystopic wasteland. It is also a case study in how corporate PR and marketing can convince a population that the destruction of their ecosystem is in their own interest.
The EU's reach is, in effect, non-existent because 'the EU' relies on its member states, including the UK, to implement and enforce legislation. When a member state doesn't implement or enforce legislation...
William Hague surely understands that it is unrealistic and counterproductive to return the EU to unanimity voting. The consequence of that would be complete and utter stagnation and inaction when everyone is calling on the EU to show more decisiveness and efficiency.
The European Commission has produced a proposal to make it easier for the EU to quickly tackle serious health threats. Under the plans each member state would be required to draw up, consolidate and update its national preparation and response plan for dealing with health crises in a coordinated manner.
The EU seems finally to have got it. 'Austerity Infinite' was only ever going to succeed in taking us to very bad places indeed. At the best (and I'm afraid we're going to see this anyway), violent unrest on Southern European streets.
Although no weapons will be delivered before the end of the summer and the EU insists that only weapons shall be delivered that serve the protection of civilians. One wonders what kind of weapon that might be as there are hardly any - if at all - weapons out there that have a pure defensive character. Whether rhetoric needs to be underlined by action remains to be seen.
Britain's policy is fraught with further risks. Weapons could end up in the wrong hands. While Hague insists recipients will be carefully vetted to ensure they are 'moderate', there is no guarantee they will not radicalize in the future.
Pensions are a great way of providing older people with a minimum income, but their future is far from certain. Most state pensions in Europe tend to be funded through contributions by today's workers.