Inequality is everywhere at the moment. Scarcely a day goes by without a new take on an age-old story. Inevitably, much of this has focused around money - the super rich, multinationals, bonuses, the wage gap, housing, Swiss bank accounts, tax - all have been under the media spotlight in articles that generate anger and jealousy in equal measure.
Why is it that the composers, songwriters and performers who create this independent music are so often perceived as having little in common? Does an upcoming electronica or left field hip-hop artist really have such vastly different career development needs as, for instance, a classically-trained composer?
This has been a really exciting week for Paul Brannen MEP and me, as our team in Brussels joined us in Newcastle for 'Constituency Week'. With the help of two electric LEAF cars kindly lent to us by Nissan we travelled all over the region to meet with local groups and businesses, giving our European office the chance to see the impact of our work in the North East.
It takes a certain type of person to make a business successful, not everyone is cut out to start a business. The harsh reality is that the vast majority of businesses will fail, one in three start-ups collapse within the first three years, which is often down to having an insufficient support and expertise network.
The vernacular of 'Science 2.0' has become increasingly utilised in the debate about the future of science. Many media articles and conferences focus on this topic, and the European Commission has recently held a public consultation to better understand the impact of 2.0 and desirability of policy action to enable it.
For two decades money raised by National Lottery players has been re-invested in local communities and national projects to the tune of an eye-watering £32billion. Anyone who has ever bought a National Lottery ticket has helped to combat homelessness, tackle the stigma of mental health illness, inspired filmmakers, kept museums open and parks appealing.
What a waste of a life. All those highs and lows. All those start again Mondays, and "Damn, I've blown it now" moments. Where in this NHS plan is there a mention of health and happiness, or dealing with the psychological side of weight gain, where does it mention being active and learning to love physical activity?
What occurs to me is that in all the rhetoric, Sajid Javid has forgotten something very simple. Where is the government funding and access for keen families and individuals to learn English if they should wish it? While the will may be there from immigrant families, the financial ability to attend classes may not be.
It is estimated that more than 60,000 people will die from this dreadful disease over the next 30 years unless new treatments are discovered. Yet research into meso - the only thing that is likely to find those treatments - is shamefully underfunded, receiving a fraction of the investment received by diseases that kill similar number of people, such as skin cancer.
If Chancellor George Osborne caps welfare spending without thinking enough about those in dire need, he is at risk of making a short-sighted mistake for which children will pay the highest price. We have already seen an increasing number of children getting help only when they reach crisis point which, for many, is often too late.