The UK deserves huge credit for choosing to create a public register of companies' owners in the first place. If implemented in an effective and enforceable way, the register will set an important precedent for the rest of the world to follow. It also gives David Cameron's letter to Europe a lot of credibility. But what the UK does in relation to its Overseas Territories also affects that credibility.
Readers of my very first blog will remember I couldn't have been more excited when preparing for my inaugural trip across the Atlantic Ocean back in the early stages of 2012. There I sat, carving out the words of my long-anticipated adieu to the green and pleasant land of my birth, to live my very own American dream...
It is clear that David Cameron's backbenchers have lost faith and the public have lost trust. We all know that the EU needs to change, and we must not be complacent about the challenges that Europe faces today. That is why Ed Miliband set out last week a set of sensible and serious reforms that would work to make the EU work better for Britain.
Increasing evidence and scientific analysis is showing why these events are associated with human induced climate change. The related impacts are becoming more widespread and complex, affecting society from health issues to agriculture, from transportation to economics, and becoming more severe, long-lasting and costly with increasing frequency.
There has been a lot of talk on the Left of late about what should be done with those wicked right wingers who dare to question the extent of man's contribution to climate change. Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett called for all government ministers and advisors who question man's contribution to climate change (even those without an environment brief) to be sacked...
I got back from Strasbourg last week, where the European Parliament absurdly ships itself each month to vote on various regulations and directives. And, unsurprisingly, there was almost no mention of what happened in any UK newspaper, blog or radio station. To be quite honest with you, it makes me want to bash my head against a wall. What happens in Brussels (and Strasbourg) has far more impact on any of lives than what MPs in Westminster usually bitch and moan about.
The Ukrainian crisis has generated a lot of talk around principle, respect for the rule of law, elimination of corruption, the establishment of working democracies, giving voice to the people, and all manner of other fine sounding catch-phrases. It's all bunkum. The Ukraine is all about the balance of self-interest.