Politics is a game and we the British people are losing.
In 2008, while sitting in opposition at the House of Commons, Tory leader David Cameron goaded then prime minister Gordon Brown about an unwillingness to agree to pre-election television debates.
If they choose to align with Labour, party leaders will be sending a clear message to Scottish constituencies that the change they keep voting for will never truly come. Other parties will rise in the wake of that lost mandate, and Nicola Sturgeon's grip on power will diminish.
Here in Britain too, progress has been too slow. A hundred years on the pay gap is still far too wide, violence towards young women is increasing, and women are being harder hit by this government's policies. That's why International Womens Day matters more than ever. And here in Britain, its also why women need to be at the heart of our politics and the General Election.
For now the Green party are an obvious choice for students wanting change. Fears of climate change and the scrapping of tuition fees, social welfare policies, high representation of women and LGBT candidates are all reasons why.
More than two years ago David Cameron promised, at Prime Minister's Questions, to require the energy companies, by law, to put all customers on the cheapest tariff. Quite an undertaking, you might think. Yet research I've published today has revealed that despite 17 solemn promises, 75% of households are still not on their supplier's cheapest tariff. Or, to put it another way, three out of four households are being routinely overcharged by their energy supplier. And not just by a little bit, they're being overcharged a lot.
Ed Miliband looks like a man who's taken a crash course in interpersonal communication without making it his own. The Labour leader is betrayed by two signature gestures which just about sum up his style. One is the 'point without a point'. The other is the 'head jab'. Together, they embody a man who looks so pressured it's obvious he's still not ready for prime-time.
The Labour party's Mansion Tax on houses over £2million will send middle income households into debt and cause a crash on the south-east property market. It is quite simply a disaster for London, and a disaster for already squeezed middle income families.
The way our transport system works, with an apparently acceptable amount of death and injury, has to stop. We need serious investment in change. £10 per head per annum on cycling is a drop in the ocean. We need much more than that if we are to turn the juggernaut around and let our cities and cycling thrive.
Despite a sickening slew of Labour loyalists now wishing to preen Labour's red plumage, and a depressing amount of students seemingly mesmerised by the sham feathers, we should be under no illusions what has happened here: a slightly less neoliberal party has offered a slightly less neoliberal policy.
I enjoy poking fun at politicians. It's good for them and keeps them on their toes. But I also acknowledge that we need them - honest, capable men and women who are prepared to put in long hours getting on with the kind of mind-numbingly tedious, detailed business of politics that would drive the rest of us to distraction.
As this week's dialogue takes place, Europe must reaffirm that short-cutting human rights through short-term security responses alone, can never be a long-term answer to the terrorist threat. The war against terror may indeed have returned. But the difference this time is that it's a war which Pakistan appears to have declared against itself.
In many ways the 2015 General Election has now taken on the qualities of a guerrilla campaign. Attacks and mishaps that would cause serious damage to a regular force are brushed off by the plucky insurgents of Ukip, the SNP and the Greens, who know their terrain and often have the mobility to evade their more powerful but cumbersome opponents.
For some time now, it's been clear that our criminal justice system is not up to scratch in the way it treats victims and witnesses. The very people it is designed to serve and protect have been ignored and mistreated. In some cases, victims have themselves been treated as criminals... While the current Victim's Code of Conduct is an improvement on its predecessor, it is still too easily dismissed by those working in the justice system. It is toothless, and the time has come to give it teeth. Putting it into law would strengthen victims' rights in a whole raft of areas.
At a time when trust in politicians and politics remains perhaps at an all-time low, this week has been another bad week for Westminster... The truth is outside interests contribute not to the richness of debate in the House of Commons, but simply to the richness of individual MPs. It's time we did something about it. Every time the Tories and Lib Dems defend the status quo, their MPs may be richer, but our politics is all the poorer.
Many current students at Bournemouth University appear that to have now accepted £9,000 tuition fees as the norm and are even prepared for the possibility that the next Government could increase them further. They described fees to me as "money that you don't see", and were instead far more concerned with day-to-day survival...