Like any country with a reputation for extremism, it's history will always be judged on the actions of extremists. The usual saying that history is judged by the victors does not yet apply to Northern Ireland, as it sometimes seems that the state of conflict has never really ended in the minds of much of its population.
Getting a group of people to agree anything is hard. Ask a room full of people the best way to make a cup of tea and you'll get a phalanx of opinions. So imagine how hard it must be to get 27 people to agree priorities for the future of the world. And then imagine them all being from different countries, from diverse backgrounds and with distinct interests.
Forty years ago, as a young journalist, I learned that 'there are no indiscreet questions, only indiscreet answers'. In general, the same applies to polling. We do not create public opinion; we measure it. That opinion may give us pleasure or pain; it might reassure us or frighten us. The issue is whether it is better to know how people feel or to remain in ignorance.
Children with disabilities are some of the most disadvantaged people in the world. They are often last in line for services like healthcare and education and are at greater risk of being poor than other children. They are four times more likely to be subject to violence than their peers. It's time we did something about it.
It seems the political has become personal with the very heated controversy over the same sex marriage bill. It's suddenly no longer just the 'live and let live and love' argument. It's an emotive subject as it forces us to question our religious, moral and ethical views.
At a time when across the developed world public finances are under pressure, we must ensure our aid investments are cost-effective. Tackling child malnutrition could add $125 billion to the global economy each year by 2030. Yet only 0.37 per cent of aid globally is spent directly on tackling the problem. This is clearly a missed opportunity.
It would appear that men are feeling increasingly alienated in modern Britain, but could it really be true that we're sticking to the outdated 'stiff upper lip' adage, and refusing to talk about the problems we face as a result of losing our 'breadwinning' status?
23 May, 2013, Idlib, Syria. A young British-Asian Muslim from Willesden dies while working in a field hospital. Dr Isa Abdur Rahman was volunteering as a doctor in a country where medics treating civilians have been tortured and killed. Hospitals are routinely attacked and there is a dire shortage, therefore, of medical staff willing to work under such circumstances. Isa was my nephew. He was 26. His name means 'Jesus', who is also named as a prophet in the Quran. In the Quran, Jesus' death is different but he still dies a young man striving for good. Isa felt this was his 'jihad', his 'struggle for good'.
I'm not ashamed to say it, I do share some of the Ukipper concerns. I think we should probably leave the EU, toughen up our borders a bit and accept that religious people have legitimate concerns when it comes to gay marriage. But that doesn't make me want to vote Ukip. Why?
Like many lost second generation immigrants in Europe who have gone before him, Abedolajo--who was first alienated, addicted to drugs and confused about foreign policy--appears to have found a short-term psychological fix to his derailed life and its accompanying psychic pain in the militant jihadi ideology.
Individuals have, and will continue to, invoke the word of God to justify the most horrendous crimes possible; but if someone is hell bent on destruction then they'll use any means necessary to give it credence.
Finally! A politician who speaks my language! Who understands my needs! Finally, if all goes to plan, next summer I can marry my mum! Thank you, Lord Tebbit. People said - 'you're gay? I presume you'll be wed to your mother then?' To which I replied, 'you betcha! After all, lesbianism is just another word for tax-avoiding incest, isn't it?!'
There can no longer be any doubt, this Bill wrecks marriage. Labour's amendment, scrawled on a dog-eared scrap of paper and hastily tabled in the Commons at the eleventh hour. The Bill to wreck marriage has social liberals giddy with delight.
When Anders Breivik, self-styled member of an 'international Christian military order', massacred 77 innocent Norwegians, most them children, in July 2011, did we indict Christianity? Sadly, we hold Islam and Muslims to a separate standard...
What has happened in Woolwich is unbelievable. A British soldier brutally murdered in broad daylight. The attackers then calmly stand and wait for the police before apparently getting what they so desperately long for-martyrdom.
What is sad, and a tad frightening, are the undeniable gains that Ukip has recently made in membership and in elections. Despite the party's claims to want to protect Britain, what Ukip represents is not the deeply ingrained British values of liberty and equality, but actually, everything opposite to that.