By signing so much dissent-strangling legislation, by playing to the most reactionary elements in Russian society, by crushing popular protest and by harassing civil society, Putin is dragging Russia away from its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to respect freedom of opinion and expression.
This country is now very close to settling a problem that has plagued it for generations. The problem was this: how to protect ordinary citizens from lying, bullying and unjustified intrusion carried out in the name of journalism, while at the same time ensuring that journalists were free to do the job they need to do to sustain our democracy. The solution is the Royal Charter on press self-regulation.
Can you imagine living with one half of a bread loaf a day? With soy salami instead of meat? With the same pair of grey shoes, clothes and life as the next person? With two hours a day of TV programmes transmitting state propaganda? With being forced to have as many as eight children because contraception was illegal, carrying a jail sentence? Everyday.
Mums and dads of wannabe writers, encourage your darlings to sharpen their pens, read newspapers, blog, tweet and watch late-night showings of All The President's Men, The Front Page and Five-Star Final (hunt it down, it's brilliantly nasty). They may not end up changing the world but I'm fairly confident that journalism will soon be more lucrative than it is now. And it'll save them from investment banking.
You might have already heard of Crowdfunding - the phenomenon by which an idea for a project or invention is relayed to the public, usually via the internet, in order to attract funds and become a reality. This year it has hit the mainstream with a bang - with celebrities such as Zach Braff and James Franco using it as a way to attain revenue for their own movie projects.
There have been very few direct threats towards international journalists in the country, but getting caught up in the crossfire, being robbed, or even sexually assaulted are all daily risks. Some writers still managed to get the story out from a distance, relying on telephone or email interviews, and press releases from Human Rights Watch or Doctors Without Borders to embellish their copy. So, what changed?
Is gender equality an issue that can be assigned to the conventional notions of left and right? Undoubtedly, it stretches across the political pantheon. But more importantly - is anti-Islamism now a stance the left and right can unite over? This is a discussion that needs to take place outside Westminster.
It's difficult to think of a greater embodiment of wealthy people being able to purchase advantage for their offspring and puts me in mind of an excellent Simpsons scene where Montgomery Burns attempts to buy a place at his alma mater for his son, who is so stupid that Yale set the price of entry as being 'an international airport'.
You might not have guessed it from reading this week's education headlines, but schools in England are actually getting better. Nearly eight out of 10 are judged good or outstanding in the annual report from the schools inspectorate, Ofsted - the highest proportion in the watchdog's 20-year history.
The freedom and sense of community that comes with social networking is a wonderful thing, perhaps the most wonderful thing of the online age. But it comes with responsibility. If you intend to write about current affairs, publishing your unmoderated comments to however many pairs of eyes around the world, you must have an understanding of what you can and cannot say. It is no longer good enough to simply say "I didn't realise."
We should lower the voting age, and introduce compulsory voting- with a 'none of the above' option - in local and national elections. Russell Brand's performance with Jeremy Paxman was electrifying TV, but dangerous. People should get involved. They should vote. And they should get into politics in whatever way can make a difference.
At the end of 2013 I will be stepping away from blogging until June 2016, by which time I'm sure blogging will be obsolete. It feels excellent to discard a cultural practice which sounds and has begun to feel like a combination of bragging, slogging, slobbing, blabbing, blubbing, gobbing, gagging, dragging and blagging.