The prologue to this election has been a narrative of disaffection and apathy among the public over a lack of real choices, real differences between the main players. But I don't see that - I see big differences, and very clear choices.
Delivering stronger economic growth and sustained rises in living standards for all working people is the economic policy challenge for our generation. A new progressive policy agenda is needed to achieve this. And it won't come by either turning our backs on the world economy, or hoping that traditional right-of-centre economics - laissez-faire, trickle-down, deregulation - is going to turn the tide of stagnating wages and rising inequality. That's the conclusion of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity, which I have co-chaired with former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and reports today.
The £10 billion government has saved businesses over the past four years is a great start but if it doesn't do more to cut red tape for British SMEs, it's only a matter of time before we dip straight back into recession.
As long as the public continues to accept the assurances of the rich that we have to suffer so that they don't have to, the bitterness created will continue to create divisions between ethnic and religious communities that should be working together to destroy zero hour contracts and ensure proper funding for the NHS.
Thank you for your early Christmas present to British under 30-years-olds who want to do a Masters degree. Among others issues in your Autumn Statement the news that the Government will provide postgraduate course funding of up to £10,000 to British people from 2016 perked up my ears.
Their world hasn't fallen in. They don't depend on a few extra pounds in benefits to get them through the week, nor do they rely on social services to keep their families functioning. I somehow doubt that they use public libraries, or Sure Start centres, or community youth centres, or drugs rehabilitation units. Nor does anyone they know - family, friends, neighbours. In their world, nothing has changed. Executive pay continues to rise at obscene rates, and bonuses continue to be paid as if there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. So looking at the world through their eyes, yes, it's true. Everything's fine and dandy.
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.