The 12 people that died this week were not just heroes, they were martyrs. They gave up their lives in the name of freedom of speech. It is for this reason that 7 January must be remembered as a day of enlightenment once the pain and grief ebb away.
Ahmed Merabet's death is not the first I've witnessed on screen, but it has troubled me in ways that other deaths have not. Warnings of "distressing scenes" have it backwards. This is not about us as viewers. It's about him as a human being.
There are many arguments and opinions abuzz on the social media networks, some radical, many shocked and sad. I can only speak for the ones I am exposed to, but these seem to fall within two camps - The Freedom of Speech vs. The Responsibility of Freedom.
For those over the years who say they support freedom of expression but with opt outs, or who have argued that freedom of expression doesn't extend to articles, photographs or cartoons which offend them, it should be made clear that freedom of expression gives everyone the chance to debate opinions, and that right is vital.
Russell Brand, poor Essex lad turned Comedian and Actor, remains a divided figure throughout the electorate; YouGov's poll in November 2014 showed that 46% of Britons had a negative view of Brand, compared to 13% who felt positively about the comedian. However, one cannot deny he has inspired thousands to question the current system we are living under...
It is legitimate to ask why none of the mainstream UK press decided to print those images on their covers, unlike for example the Belgian and German press. Instead, there was much carping about attacks on freedom and a number of photographs of a dying French policeman... Why the mass self-censorship? I think it was two kinds of fear.
In the aftermath of an atrocity as horrifying as the Paris murders on Wednesday, it is more important than ever to be crystal clear about the freedoms that we hold most dearly. Freedom of expression, which must always include the freedom to offend and to ridicule. Satire is an essential part of a democracy. Incitement to hatred and to violence are crimes; incitement to mockery is not... Freedom from fear, including the fear of being different, or of speaking out, or of questioning majority beliefs. Above all, the freedom from the fear of being murdered.
Katie Hopkins does not represent fat women, in fact she doesn't represent women in the UK at all, so despite her attempt to speak on behalf of us all... she can't possibly. I will not be watching the show and I implore you not to, not even for curiosity's sake.
Had I known that GPs were, of course, the root of all the problems in the NHS, with their daily failures to diagnose cancer, whilst simultaneously over-referring for all cancers, and ridiculous ideas that patients may share some responsibility for their own health, I would have instantly dismissed this career option. Instead I found myself working for the hundred, probably thousands of surgeries which are failing their patients. I was out on the streets, inviting half a million illegal immigrants to register and use the entire NHS free of charge.
Did you enjoy watching my alternative, semi-serious take on each week's big political stories across the course of 2014? Or maybe you hated it. Either way, you watched it, right? So we've pulled together the best (worst?) bits of me doing my round-ups - from me pretending to do keepy-uppys to me trying to speak German to me telling Owen Jones to eff off. Here's the past 12 months in 60 seconds.
1. Dancing at home to old vinyl records was the best way to see in 2014. Dancing with no inhibitions makes everyone happy. 2. London is a wonderful city and I'm lucky to live here. Walking to work through Regents Park, exploring hidden canals, swimming in ponds, trying new cuisines, hanging out in cosy pubs - it's got everything - even the weather on occasion.
The good news is that the dark tyranny of North Korea under Kim Jong Un, according to Izidor Urian, who knew Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung, is doomed to end. The bad news? That happy ending could take "thirty, forty, fifty years."
'Tis the season of Nativity scenes. But here's a question to consider: would Joseph and Mary even have been able to reach Bethlehem if they were making that same journey today? hatever your view of Jesus or Muhammad, if you are a Palestinian resident of the West Bank you are a victim of the longest military occupation in the world.
In their 10 o'clock bulletin, the BBC spent their time asking shoppers how busy it was (very, obviously) and following a family down a packed Oxford Street. If that is what's newsworthy, rather than Britain's social divide and economic progress, we should despair for sections of modern journalism.
In the immediate wake of the horrific siege in Sydney earlier this week the focus has quite rightly been on the bravery of those hostages and the awful situation that unfolded when Australian special forces stormed that café in a hail of flash bangs and bullets. But as the new scycle inevitably moves on, perhaps there's an important point to be raised about my old colleagues in the Australian media.
Moving back to London this year and covering stories in this part of the world has reminded of one important historic reality: Western Europe is a political, social and economic miracle. Think about it: A mere seven decades after one of the most deadly and genocidal wars in human history, the mere idea of conflict in this region is unthinkable.