MEP Geert Wilders is the Dutch politician who believes he can become the next Prime minister of the Netherlands in just a month's time, thanks to his anti-Islam/anti-migrants' stance and thanks to both Brexit and Donald Trump's win in the United States. What would his win mean for Britain's Brexit and for the EU?
"This is not your country" - my neighbour said to me 20 years ago after a louder-than-usual party the previous night... An Irish friend came to my rescue, telling her that England wasn't his country either and that she should be ashamed of herself. Now, after 25 years of living, working and raising a family in the UK, the same is happening again: friends and strangers are coming up to me to remind me how much I am part of this country.
Peace in Cyprus, has the opportunity to show the world that there is another way. We don't always have to point fingers and seek out a scapegoat. Even where there is little hope, and after 42 years, many Cypriots had lost hope, with determination and drive, anything is possible. I wish the leaders and those involved in the final stages of these peace talks endless luck. If they are successful, it will not only mean a great deal to my family and fellow Cypriots, it will also mean a lot to a world that at times feels like it has lost all hope.
Maybe, just maybe, if we stopped worshipping national flags, stopped considering dying in the name of a flag as anything other than a shameful waste - maybe if we instead valued a child's comfort blanket or toy a little bit more - we might finally move beyond the curse of partition. Until then, I, for one, desperately need a comfort blanket of my own.
All things considered, I am no longer sure I want to stay. The only consideration keeping me here is last year's £18,000 university fee - it would really be a waste not to graduate. I can only hope that as Britons are confronted by a longer non-EU queue at Charles de-Gaulle's airport and the need to apply for a visa for a weekend break in Stockholm, these attitudes will change.
Is it just me or is the world slowly becoming a shittier place? When terms like "social justice warrior" and "feminist" are pejorative, know that you are living in a world that is in regression. I am exhausted by the casual yet subtle racism, sexism and homophobia I see every single day, and frankly I am tired of ignoring it for the sake of grace. What does tolerance and diversity really mean? And how do these concepts shape our ideas and communities?
Forget the stereotype that Asian kids as shy and reserved. I was surprised myself at the level of enthusiastic participation from across the classroom: whilst I was expecting a few outgoing students to speak up for their friends, the majority of the cohort had raised a question, and even two or three at times.
Within the huge influx of members into the party there may come echoes of nationalism's uglier face, puffed up with notions of the innate superiority of the Scots to other races. Hence the kind of racial abuse that Yen Hongmei Jin experienced. Is the Party's Chief Executive Peter Murrell on top of his brief on this?
Far from being two unrelated news stories, the Tunnock's saga is the other side of the coin to the migrant crisis. At a time when our nations have shown themselves to be less welcoming and more insular than we might have hoped, convinced that we share an identity with each other and willing to demonize and reject those of other nations, we need also to ask what role apparently innocent symbolism, from Tea Cakes to the Bake Off, plays in the construction of this unwelcoming attitude.
On Sunday, the UK's foreign secretary Philip Hammond spoke candidly on the Calais situation, and more generally Europe's 'migrant crisis'. In a series of comments made in Singapore, he decried a situation where "Europe can't protect itself, preserve its standard of living and social infrastructure if it has to absorb millions of migrants from Africa."
This is an enormous debate and affects countries far beyond the UK, but the recent UK election demonstrates clearly how the public are losing faith in a traditional approach to politics. Democracy can be difficult for most politicians to swallow, but if they don't listen to the people it's going to choke them all.