Austerity, and online petitions have much in common. Both are dominant online topics, and both have a polarising effect on opinion as to whether they can ever truly yield successful outcomes. Petitions seem to be becoming the reposte of choice for those affected by the worst effects of austerity, and today I read about a case that exemplifies this brilliantly.
When the UK is hosting a two day international summit on the illegal wildlife trade, involving two future kings of our country and world leaders from fifty nations, all invited by the prime minister, why does the Met police have a team of only five people to fight an illegal trade estimated to be worth $19billion a year? Isn't it time we got serious about this crime?
But the anger about the death of Mark Duggan was never just about the man himself. It was about long standing issues between communities and the police. So anger about this week's verdict of "lawful killing" is about so much more than the technicalities of the case.
Comedian and Broadcaster Simon Amstell guested on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and was pressured to apologise and branded a racist across on twitter and other social media networks after making an apartheid reference about Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
As the moment of lifting restrictions on the labour market approaches, it seems that, for a part of the British media, Romanians are the perfect scapegoat to be held responsible for almost everything that goes wrong in the UK. A recent article published by Daily Mail claiming that "Romanians arrested at seven times rate of Britons" is just another unfortunate example.
Tuesday will mark the latest stage of the undercover police scandal when the judgement is expected in the legal appeal by the victims of police spies against the Metropolitan Police Service. I'm surprised to find that I admire much of the work done by the Met Commissioner, which makes it all the stranger that he is mishandling the historical mess that undercover police have made of innocent people's lives. Bernard Hogan-Howe is now taking a Janus faced approach when it comes to undercover police having sex with the people they are spying on. He says one thing in public but his lawyers say the opposite in the High Court.
The human trafficking industry - already the most profitable international criminal enterprise after the drugs and arms trades - is posting higher profits than ever. In 2005, UN estimated that it was a $32billion per year industry, based on International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million people suffered from forced slavery.
I am a firm advocate of our right to free speech in the UK. However, this right must be balanced against other human rights. And in this instance it must be balanced against the right of the people of Tower Hamlets to a peaceful home free from people whose sole aim is to create hostility and incite racial hatred.
So Doreen Lawrence is to be made a Baroness? As I write this I notice that the news hasn't been covered in the broadsheets so I am stating a caveat now, that I am still going to discuss this even though it may turn out to be a spurious sound bite. After all there has been no official announcement either by the Labour party among whom she would sit.
Every time Islamophobia is mentioned in the media, certain professional naysayers immediately leap into action to dismiss, detract and wag the accusatory finger. What they refuse to acknowledge is that in doing so, they repeatedly ignore the very real people who experience harm, pain and suffering.
It was taken as part and parcel of a girl growing up that she would get some "hassle" from "lads". Boys will be boys, and all that. It seemed like boys' "misdeeds" were all part of them growing up, whereas if a girl had "hassle" - well, there was a good chance she might have brought it on herself.
We found that in many cases people felt the police didn't understand mental health or its implications for how to handle an incident. We heard of a lack of empathy, respect or compassion, which has damaged relationships between individuals and the police.
What came out over the four week trial at Woolwich Crown Court gives rise to serious questions over whether kettling thousands of protesters in a confined space without warning or explanation does more harm than good - inflaming tensions, provoking conflict and increasing the number of injuries and damage that it's supposed to prevent.
Jimmy Savile was a "predatory, serial sex offender" but he did not "groom the nation". He was allowed to continue abusing because he was a 'celebrity'. Pretending that he "groomed the nation" allows those who knew to minimise and deflect their guilt. Those who knew and did nothing are guilty of helping Savile in sexually assaulting hundreds of children and adults. I say hundreds but we will never know how many. The term "grooming the nation" only serves to silence victims. It serves those predatory, serial sex offenders who are still harming people.
The mainstream media's representation of women and its normalising of pornography should be one of our first ports of call when searching for the causes of sexual violence. As we start the new year and look to what we can do to make a difference, let's not forget the young women bearing the impact of a society that does not take media objectification of women seriously. Sexual violence does not exist in a vacuum. One way we can show our collective disgust at its existence is by refusing to accept that women as sex objects is the norm.
Today is Ada Lovelace day. Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by encouraging peop...