As an institution, the BBC is not very popular. Over the last decade it has been involved in so many scandals that it's difficult to know where to start. The announcement that the government is looking to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence fee is not such a big surprise. The government have been talking about it for so long, and it would be such a popular move, that it's very likely to go through.
In a bid to improve quality the Government has taken its eyes off the money. Back in 2010 the health service was set the mission of improving productivity by £20 billion. As many leading independent voices and the Government itself recognised, achieving such savings would only be possible by fundamentally transforming how care is delivered and organised.
Young people leaving care are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, more likely to become homeless, be unemployed and spend time in prison. Some will have been subject to abuse or neglect, and as vulnerable young adults they are likely to need someone to turn to, even after they have turned 18. It is time to end the misery of living alone too young for vulnerable youngsters, by giving every child in care the chance to 'stay put' until they're 21 - not just those in foster care.
The UK is a massively ageing population, and whilst I am not advocating letting grannies freeze to death, there does need to be a redistribution of money from somewhere towards providing young people with opportunities. Young people are ultimately the future drivers of an economy and we should be investing in their future, whilst attempting to diversify our economy.
The future for Bahrain is uncertain. However, one certainty amidst the chaos, is that change is Bahrain will remain a mirage so long as the king is bolstered by so much international support. Let's not beat about the bush, the British government is publicly supporting a oppressive and undemocratic government in Bahrain.
Scotland weren't the only Brits celebrating in Rome last Saturday. Whilst the Tartan Army was scoring points at the Rugby, people from all parts of the UK were at the Vatican watching Pope Francis elevate the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, to the College of Cardinals and I was proud to be there too as part of the UK's official delegation...
Politics is about running a country, or at least trying to get into Government in order to run a country. That is why there is one question that really matters if you are voting in Scotland's independence referendum. Can the Scottish Government be trusted to run a country? Providing an answer is no easy task. You could argue that the SNP has been in power since 2007 and the country has not imploded, but you could claim that total implosion is unlikely as it is propped up by the UK Government. Either way, the unprecedented nature of the debate makes judging on track records a potentially perilous endeavour.
With a Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who is dubious about the very existence of man-made climate change and who has cut spending in the area by over a quarter in the last year, what hope do we really have of defending ourselves against the changing weather, let alone attempting to bring it to a halt?
Twenty-five years ago today, loyalist gunmen sledge-hammered their way into the Belfast home of lawyer Patrick Finucane and shot him dead in front of his wife and young children. By anyone's definition, this was a murder with collusion written all over it. Yet, twenty-five years on, the UK government still refuses to establish an independent public inquiry into his death. The Finucane family and the public are denied the full truth.
The floods have exposed the gossamer thin argument for austerity and the cold, cruel ideology that underlies it. The inescapable truth is that we all rely on properly funded and resourced public services - maybe not directly every minute of every day but, nonetheless, all the time, because the alternative means abandoning people when they most need our help.
The 'debate' this week in Parliament regarding smoking in cars with child passengers had me hanging my head in disbelief. We are talking about an activity that puts more than 4,000 chemicals into the air, a number of which are known to cause cancer. Why are we debating it at all... and why are people in our government still opposing it?
Wednesday 5 February, National Voter Registration Day. Politics and students. Not exactly a frequent sight to see those two words in the same sentence. However, during this day at Middlesex University first year students began their campaign for Bite the Ballot to encourage young people to register to vote.