The role of great British institutions is currently under the microscope following the Culture Secretary's promise recently to 'fight their corner' when it comes to public funding. Maria Miller issued a rallying call to the cultural sector, referencing the significant and profitable impact it has on the UK economy and the success it heralds abroad.
It is no secret that London is regarded by many people as "the world's divorce capital". That label does not necessarily refer to the number of separations handled by that city's courts or even for its making world record-breaking settlements. Rather, it could be argued that London has developed a unique appeal because of its being regarded as "wife-friendly" in terms of the way in which marital assets have been divided in recent years.
The fact is, as you know, tourists don't flock to this great country to watch the footie, or eat in the restaurants. They come to visit the stately homes, for example. How much are all the volunteers who work in these places worth? Culture, one industry that is actually growing , has always punched above its weight. It is one of the key factors in making the UK the Number One nation in the world for the arts.
It almost goes without saying that the arts have an intrinsic value - the 'arts for arts sake' argument has been made countlessly and convincingly. But, clearly we are living in tough times - and we therefore need to make sure that the incredible instrumental potential of culture is both appreciated and maximised.
The Leveson Inquiry provided a fascinating, if voyeuristic, catharsis for all those appalled by the excesses of media intrusion into people's lives - most notably the phone-hacking scandals of celebrities and other members of the public. But the resulting press regulation has thrown up a lot of questions - and confusion - over who exactly is to be regulated.
A recession usually means that for lots of people- and not the people making the decisions about what gets funded- things are going badly and are set to get worse. The old aphorism may be a cliché, but it serves as a warning: some people are so poor all they have is money.
Friday is International Women's Day. And it is an opportunity for us to celebrate women in all walks of life. It is a chance to look at where we are now, how far we have come, and what needs still to be done. It is also a time to reflect on the work which is improving the lives of women across the world. It is also an opportunity for us to reflect on the vital role women are playing in our own society, be it in business, education, entertainment, public service or in the home.
There is a new generation of active older women who have led very different lives from their mothers. Now in their 50s and 60s, they are the first generation of women to have been "doing it all". They have worked, as well as bringing up children. They've got educational qualifications and then when their children leave home, these women regard themselves as being into their stride and in their prime.
This week, there was promising progress in the ongoing battle for football fans to get their voices heard. After mammoth efforts from organisations such as Supporters' Direct and the Football Supporters' Federation, as well as individual fans, the Culture, Media and Sport select committee have recommended what is surely obvious - that supporters' opinions deserve to be heard.
Does the government think that all same sex partners' sexual morals are so louche that the idea of a monogamous relationship is alien and therefore adultery is not needed to support a divorce petition? Does the government think same sex couples' sexual appetites are so voracious that no same-sex marriage could possibly remain unconsummated?
We have been very clear that we will protect religious organisations that do want to conduct same sex marriage and as things stand that includes the Church of England.
When the voters look at the record of the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems on gay rights, they won't side with the one whose leader let his MPs repeatedly punch a gay guy in the face to prove he wasn't homophobic.
Newcastle City Council's Labour leader Nick Forbes claims he has no choice but to axe much of the Council's arts spend; but is he instead trying to execute a dangerous bid for more government money by holding the city's culture hostage?
There's an awful lot of nonsense spoken and written about women and employment. Airy generalisations slug it out with specious stereotyping and the simple reality gets lost in the clatter. Because the truth is, that women are at the heart of this country's economic growth strategy. And if we're serious about recovery - and we are - we must to do everything possible to maximise their contribution to the workplace.
The BBC's predictable enemies are beginning to use the scandal to attack the very idea of a publically-funded, non-commercial broadcaster.
The energy spent discussing abortion time limits detracts time and attention from genuine problems in women's reproductive healthcare. Were the MP for mid-Bedfordshire really as 'pro-woman' as she claims, here are some of the themes she could be tackling which affect women across the spectrum of reproductive needs. For example, some 40% of women using BPAS' contraceptive counselling service following an unplanned pregnancy report problems accessing contraception.