So far no one seems to know exactly who installed these spikes, but whoever it was ought to be congratulated on artistic grounds, if nothing else. Because what they have done, however inadvertently, is produce a haunting symbol of the institutionalised amorality and social cruelty that defines our era.
For too long violence against women has been viewed as 'a women's issue'- and when it comes to politics, the issue is usually given to the 'gender ministry' or tagged onto the role of a female minister whatever her official portfolio might be. Whilst working at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), I remember how civil servants were scurrying around trying to find a woman (Lynne Featherstone as it turned out) to be the government's champion on violence against women and girls globally. But at the time she was a Home Office Minister. Why weren't we asking the male foreign secretary to be the champion? The person who has the ability to discuss these issues at the highest levels with their male counterparts?
I have been a user of the welfare state and social care most of my life as well as being involved in its development in one way or another from many perspectives, and this has provided me an broad insight to its strengths and weaknesses, and how it could be developed for the benefit of everyone, providing a system suitable for the 21st Century.
I'm now on a plant based, gluten free, sugar free, high nutrient, anti-inflammatory, juice infused, smoothie obsessed, rotation diet. I very rarely eat anything out of a packet (even if it fulfils my diet criteria), and I spend most of my daily energy on preparing my food. I have slip ups (it's normal when you make such dramatic changes), but I know that what I'm doing is right for my body.
During my years in Bosnia, both during the war and afterwards I heard and saw evidence of horrific stories of mass rape and sexual violence committed during the war. Thousands of women and children suffered terrible abuse and the physical and mental scars could stay with survivors for the rest of their lives. Years later, sexual violence still remains entrenched in conflict zones around the world and children are often the most vulnerable. Children suffering in conflicts are growing up in a world where they face the daily threat of rape and abuse and sexual violence is considered the 'norm'.
UNICEF is providing humanitarian assistance to millions of conflict-affected children and families in Syria, including through support for safe drinking water and to the on-going polio campaign. It is essential that life-saving assistance reaches all those affected by the conflict, particularly children and women, no matter where they are in the country.
Introducing spikes to move rough sleepers along is a selfish response to an issue we should all have a stake in tackling, be it social or economic... Anger has been understandably focussed on 118 Southwark Bridge Road, but that anger now needs to be focussed on finding a cure for what is just one symptom of a broader problem.
The historian Howard Zinn observed: "You can't be neutral on a moving train". If we listen to two different reporters covering the same story, we will hear two different versions. Each will have his own unique approach and interpretation.
Last week the House Of Lords debated Lord Faulkner's Assisted Dying bill. The bill argues that that people with six months or less to live should be able to call on the medical profession to assist them to die, as an act of mercy for those who are suffering...
Football is too often seen as a problem, something which provokes violence, drunkenness, and irresponsible behaviour. Women's Aid knows that actually football is one of the greatest uniting forces in this country, and it has enormous power to bring people together and tackle problems.
Seeing a whale in the wild has always been on my bucket list. The grandeur of the creatures is undeniable. People I know who have become involved in organisations like the Sea Shepherds talk of their first encounter with a whale to be this all encompassing moment of epiphany that changed the course of their lives.
Nigeria has the potential to be a thriving nation with a thriving economy, a beacon in a region that has been through decades of difficulty. Boko Haram is preventing this vision becoming a reality. It must be stopped.
Afsana is 16 and has just heard she has passed grade nine of her secondary school. This is cause for celebration because she is the first female from the Indian village of Mehluka to achieve this level of education.
When I was a teenager I had youthful exuberance and disability demons in abundance. Quite a weird combination. So much of me wanted to see the world and change it at the same time. However having Spinal Muscular Atrophy meant feeling it was all impossible for poor little me.
It is extraordinary to think that slavery of any kind still exists in the modern world. For many slavery is a remnant of a bygone era; an unpleasant and unrepeatable portion of human history. So it's shocking when you learn that slavery not only still exists but is happening across the UK today.
The benefits to the UK economy of ensuring fracking commences sooner rather than later are pretty obvious. With the tensions in Eastern Europe showing little sign of subsiding, there are growing concerns over our energy independence in the long term, particularly with regard to gas.