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...
Sir Ian Blair, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, wrote a piece in The Times this weekend headlined "Ian Tomlinson is our Rodney King moment". A warning from such a figure of authority must be taken seriously.
A report launched at the beginning of June by the Victims' Services Advocates (VSA) has called for the police in London to be much more sensitive when listening to the victims of serious crimes, after highlighting findings that satisfaction with the police is extremely low.
Knocking on someone's door to tell them someone close to them has died - possibly a husband, wife or child - is one of the most difficult jobs the police do. In the Metropolitan Police it was called a 'death message'.
For those of you that don't read Polly Toynbee on a regular basis, Dr Eoin Clarke's blog, the Green Benches, is a poor man's version