Recently, I found myself involved as a "Twitter expert" in a "radio debate" about swearing on social media. It went so well that they missed out publishing that week's show podcast and I said "sir" live on air, which while it isn't a swear word, is a feature of my speech that really annoys me that I'm trying to eliminate.
There have been some heartfelt and heartwarming tributes to Tony Benn today from people across the political spectrum, but it is necessary to unpick some of the narrative that is woven into these tributes.
Martin Luther King left us in no doubt that "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." In such moments, throughout his long political career, history will record that Tony Benn stood with the people.
It is a testimony to Benn's mindset that he was befriended by those whose political beliefs were shivering polar opposites to his own. He will be missed by both sides of the House more than any other figure I can recall.
Tony Benn's speeches were often punctuated with the same quotes from the Bible to Chinese philosophers. He passionately opposed cynicism and urged people to engage in politics. He was a tremendous Parliamentarian throughout his fifty years as an MP yet his political authority was as great outside the House of Commons as in the chamber.
A few years ago, when I was compiling an anthology, modestly entitled Democracy (published by Mainstream and also available as an e-book, since you ask) I wanted to include something from Benn's battle to renounce his peerage. Ever generous, he gave me a copy of the speech he was not allowed to deliver, and which had never been published... This is what Tony Benn wanted to say.
Ed Miliband's announcement that the Labour Party would only commit to an in/out EU referendum in the event of major EU treaty change sets up a significant fault line between his party's policy and that of the Conservatives.
Electoral fraud should be taken seriously, but abandoning postal voting would risk disenfranchising millions of voters. In seeking to protect our democratic processes, we must always stay vigilant about unlawful practices at elections.
If Mr Miliband becomes the Prime Minister he says, in contrast to Mr Cameron, his administration will not seek to spend its first two years seeking to renegotiate Britain's relationship with Europe and then submitting the outcome of any such renegotiation to a defining referendum in 2017.
Last week Sir John Oldham published his long awaited report on health policy for the Labour Party. In his foreword Sir John describes one of the key political challenge of successful reform...
One of the bugbears of being a politician is the risk that a controversy might erupt at any time about things that have little or no direct connection with their day-to-day work. Recently David Cameron has been criticised for surrounding himself with alumni of his own school, Eton, who (so the charge runs) cannot understand the day-to-day lives of normal people. Other stories down the years have concerned politicians' finances, sexual affairs, family connections and youthful indiscretions. What really irritates voters? YouGov set out to find out in a survey...
Ed Miliband, I have created a far more efficient policy for you to use; the publicity of apprenticeships! Naturally, it doesn't have to be Ed Miliband who develops this idea - so long as somebody showcases the usefulness of apprenticeships any politician should endorse this plan.
Like thousands of other Britons across the country, I begin my days by catching up on the latest news. And, on an increasingly frequent basis, it is often enough to make me feel like crawling back under the covers - or search for the latest "21 Cutest Animals Ever!" Buzzfeed...
The threat UKIP poses to a Conservative victory in 2015 is widely recognised, less so the damage it could cause Labour. If recent revelations regarding UKIP's electoral strategy are to be taken seriously, the threat to Labour could be equally as potent.
The government is unable to admit that there are different kinds of immigration: immigration that works for Britain and immigration that doesn't. For example, in his first speech, the new Immigration Minister James Brokenshire didn't seem to differentiate between a highly-skilled engineer coming to work in the UK, or postgraduate students carrying out research and low skilled migration.
Despite the effected disinterest of some of their English MPs, the breakup of the union could shatter the Conservatives. After all, what would be the purpose of a right-wing party that can no longer uphold the most basic and fundamental tenant of conservatism - the preservation and continuation of the nation.