I was one of the 10 participants on a trip to North Korea in March 2013, involving students of the London School of Economics (LSE) and undercover journalists of the BBC. When I saw the BBC's apology, following an inquiry by the BBC Trust, I was baffled - it was an apology which I neither needed nor asked for.
Gender segregation is the latest tactical error from the feminism movement - which, in conjunction with the embarrassing bans on the ambiguous pop song Blurred Lines at twenty student unions, as well as trivial matters like Jane Austen on the bank-note - indicates there is a wider strategic problem.
The issue for me is what the purpose of the meeting is meant to be. If it is just a public relations exercise then it seems pointless. If on the other hand real concerns are being debated, for example where religious hatred is manifesting itself in society and people are stirring up violence, such dialogue may help people to appreciate what is happening in their community.
What does the use of these 'smart drugs' reveal about the pressure students are under? Clearly, if students, not only at LSE, but at Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester and many other well-known British universities are going to such lengths as taking Class B drugs (Ritalin is Class B), then what's driving them to do so must be serious...
The decision of the BBC and John Sweeney to enter North Korea undercover with a group of LSE students raises a number of important questions relating to the ethics of the media. Chiefly whether they were putting the students in harm's way, but also if they'd made them fully aware of the risks involved beforehand.