In the lead up to the 2015 elections we are looking at our leaders and wondering who will be best to take our nation forward. As we watch them, we don't simply analyse their words, we also want to get a feel for the people behind the scripts, to understand if they are able to put it all into action. So it seems worthwhile to analyse their actions and see what they can tell us...
Like conflict, austerity leaves people scarred, changing them forever, and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. It is ultimately self defeating. Most tellingly, it is the poorest who suffer most under austerity, as in war, whilst the richest always profit...
Whilst many people's reaction will be 'so what?' that there won't be a busy property market at upper levels, it has the potential to negatively impact the whole market and in the long run, the economy.
In return for so little power we elect a small group of people who often have no expertise in government to run a country. In no other field of endeavour would we allow someone with no experience to take control of something so important.
Do you want my alternative, semi-serious take on George Osborne's Autumn Statement, David Cameron's PMQS gaffe and Gordon Brown's decision to stand down from parliament? Here's the political week in 60 seconds...
The Autumn Statement was the Government's last chance to ensure the economic recovery does not bypass the worst off. This opportunity was missed.
In his Autumn Statement on Wednesday, the Chancellor reaffirmed his plan to eliminate the fiscal deficit (public sector net borrowing) by 2018/19. He is also going to put the issue to a vote in parliament. He will undoubtedly win the vote, but if the next government chooses to follow this path it could be making a huge mistake.
Osborne should have moved at least a few steps towards a simple tax code with fewer types of taxes, fewer rates, and fewer exceptions. The economic efficiency improvements could then be recycled into tax cuts across the board.
From day one, George Osborne framed the debate on the economy as a debate about borrowing, debts and deficits. Unlike defensive Labour, however, the voters don't seem to buy it.
The public seem less convinced by the failed politics and failed economics of the past than ever. What people do want to see is a credible alternative to austerity that holds out hope for the future and removes fear and insecurity from people's lives.... As opinion polls show clearly, the British people don't believe in George Osborne's 'long-term economic plan'. And nor, it seems, does he.
In today's autumn statement, the Chancellor George Osborne has cleverly used a mix of spin and deceit to hide the biggest, unaddressed issues in the British economy: the national debt and deficit... Only Ukip, it seems, is being truthful and honest with the British people on the realities that we face on our budget deficit and national debt in an ever competitive world.
As the Chancellor rose to his feet this afternoon to deliver the last Autumn Statement of this Parliament, he had a real opportunity in front of him - a chance to set out both a bold vision for the longer term and to help families struggling now.
BUDGET CUTS. The headline has been blasted on the front pages of every newspaper (apart from the tabloids obviously, who opted for more cultured titles such as 'BUDGET CUTS MORE DIFFICULT TO EXPERIENCE THAN THIS VIDEO OF A PREGNANT HAMSTER' and 'PAGE 3 GIRLS USE QUOTES BY PLATO AND ARISTOTLE TO DESRIBE GEORGE OSBOURNE').
While within Westminster the debate continues to go round and round, here in Newham the urgency for Government action is clear. Tomorrow, the Chancellor should start to reframe social security as a long-term investment rather than a bill in which to find politically easy yet socially damaging short-term.
We can't go on just trying to cope with the effects of problems, we need real commitment to preventing them or reducing them early. Without this, we will continue wasting young people's potential, and wasting money that would have been better spent earlier.
In the first 10 days of #CameronMustGo trending on Twitter there have been in excess of half a million tweets using the hashtag. Behind in the polls, with Ukip snapping at his ankles like a Pekingese, the mass vote of no confidence in the prime minister is the last thing he needs as he hurtles towards the general election...