The pain of a national EU divorce was never going to be comfortable - particularly in the short-term. Nonetheless, fed up with what people viewed as a less than accountable EU, voters were prepared to take that risk. The long break-up has thus begun. Despite my natural caution and concern about the fallout, today I actually feel overwhelmingly optimistic about Britain's future. I also know that isn't where most people right now. Not yet anyway. Many have criticised the lack of planning for this outcome, so here are some thoughts about what Britain should do now in order to prosper in the future.
Prime Ministers who are primarily administrative in nature often flourish and are good for settled times in our history. But last Thursday's vote means that the United Kingdom now needs the kind of inspirational leadership that very few can actually offer. As David Cameron said, a new heading requires a new captain. That new heading involves sailing through some potentially very choppy waters, so we will need a captain with real character, plenty of foresight and the vision to carry the nation forward.
The truth is that we must hold both sides accountable for the extremists in their midst and for the violence that they commit. And the best tribute we could pay to the poor, innocent people who have been killed is a recommitment to genuine peace and justice, rather than a strategy based on, to quote Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "a heavy hand".
From today people will get the opportunity to sign up when they visit the Oyster Online or Contactless pages on the TfL website. If we can make sure that as many people as possible know how to register and we make it easily accessible to them in their everyday lives we really will be able to make a real difference and save lives.
A government with a selective memory should come as no surprise to anyone, yet on this issue there is a distinct double standard, and this agenda, which trivialises public sector strikes as mere trouble-making, is a grave reflection of a society that undervalues its public services.
The next election is upon us and the Tories have a new weapon in their arsenal - it's called road trip 2015. This involves young future Tory politicians going out on the streets campaigning on issues that matter to local communities.
One final statistic that helps to explain Shapps' #epic fail is that his use of the pronoun "they" to reference 'hardworking people' would help to alienate daily Twitter users in particular since 51% are in full-time work or self-employed compared with the average of 44%.
My view is that the BBC is simply not transmitting an accurate account of reality. Over the space of the year it has ignored significant news and spun events to present something quite different from what those involved witnessed.
The 25th of October was a day like every other, a bit nippy maybe, but otherwise positively unremarkable. However, for me, and maybe for Grant Shapps it was more significant than your average Friday.
This week, I went to Manchester to the Tory party conference. Not as a Tory this time, but a happy Ukipper... The excellent IEA event - a 'Fag and a Pint With Nigel Farage' was a chance to showcase the man, our policies, our philosophy and where we stand on many issues. Again, the room was a little cosy and Nigel was on good form. The Tories were in denial that we were there.
The tragic death of comedian, actor, writer, director and producer Mel Smith will cause many to pause for thought.
The Left are finally taking Ukip seriously because we are taking their votes. We have seen a recent spate of bad news stories directed at Ukip. Ukip's founder, Alan Sked is setting up and alternative 'left wing Ukip' and Miliband advisor, Stewart Wood, let slip that Labour will probably sign up to a referendum before the next election.
The government's line - repeated several times - is that these claims were fraudulent or cheats. Without directly saying so, Grayling implied in 2011 that because "the vast majority of new claimants for sickness benefits are in fact able to return to work", it is right to assume that many current Incapacity Benefit claimants are able to work - interpretation, many are cheats, frauds or otherwise manipulating the system.
This week offers a chance to celebrate the progress made in bringing some of Britain's 710,000 empty homes back into use. Unfortunately, there is also reason to fear some of those responsible for 'regenerating' our towns and cities remain overly-fond of bulldozers and land-banking deals with developers.
I won't lie. I was starting to give up on humanity. I was feeling generally miserable about recent reports of record amounts of melting ice in the Arctic, Mitt Romney's eternally moronic campaign in the US and our current situation of ever rising economic destruction and damning of human rights by the Coalition.
Social Services have the most to gain from the proper operation of the top up since it allows them to achieve savings against more costly care solutions. One respondent actually cited this as an unhealthy conflict of interests. However, the overall saving is to the public purse and therefore no conflict can be allowed to exist.