This is not the nicest of days, so in that context I thought I'd present a few random political thoughts! Very briefly, at Westminster it was one where the Conservative Party publically re-embraced Thatcherism, where One Nation Labour struggled to emerge further yet held on for life, and the United Kingdom Independence Party continued its long march to significance...
It's difficult to think of a greater embodiment of wealthy people being able to purchase advantage for their offspring and puts me in mind of an excellent Simpsons scene where Montgomery Burns attempts to buy a place at his alma mater for his son, who is so stupid that Yale set the price of entry as being 'an international airport'.
I am agreeable to politicians being paid £71k a year, it is a decent salary for a decent day's work, we should not cut corners here if we value real management leadership, or talent will go elsewhere and do something else - which it clearly is currently. What I am questioning is the quality of the fools taking the cash.
It will not be an easy journey, it will be an extremely rocky road with very hard decisions having to be made and at times it may seem impossible but, in the words of the late and great Nelson Mandela, an inspiration to many, including me, "Everything seems impossible until it is done".
The shared parental leave policy is a step towards helping parents juggle the cost of childcare for the first year of their baby's life. But it still leaves the thorny question of how parents will pay for childcare until their child is eligible for 15 hours of government-funded care as a three-year-old. Will childcare ever become a universal offer like school? Or will it remain market-led where parents bear the brunt of the cost.
Politicians can expect public frustration to mount if they only see those at the top reap the rewards of the recovery. A fairer way would be to acknowledge the role of workers at all levels of firms that are contributing to the task of getting growth back in the economy. So go on Mr Clegg, propose a 'worker's bonus' in the real sense - as a just reward for effort.
By default the prime minister is clearly one of the most vulnerable figures in the UK and we deserve to know the order of succession should the unthinkable happen. Be it the home secretary, foreign secretary or Chancellor, the government must be clear on who would be in charge in what would be a destabilising event. At a time when leadership would be more important than ever the last thing we would need to be doing is having a debate to decide on who's in charge. We need a clear line of succession and we need it now.
Where we were only meant to have a short amount of time the Deputy Prime Minister stayed much longer really wanting to understand what we were saying and understand more about the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and our own experiences of community projects...
If there's anything worse than watching an out-of-touch politician squirm his or her way into a debate on sex, it's watching an entire gaggle of politicians squirm their way into a debate on our children having sex. Well, it's turning out to be that kind of week.
I had dinner with Boris Berezhovsky in 2007. He said to me, "Your socialist Gordon Brown has turned your country into Monaco. I had an English girlfri...
I was very interested at the range of responses and I was particularly pleased that a cross-party consensus emerged from the debate to keep the age of consent at 16. That reflects the broad consensus that exists in the country: the age of consent is a good indicator of the age at which we think people will be mature enough to enjoy and take responsibility for their sexual decisions.
As a member of parliament for Bolsover in Derbyshire since 1970, Dennis Skinner - the man once dubbed The Beast of Bolsover - continues to hold fast to his socialist ideals, while his presence in the House of Commons serves as a reminder of the need for more open political debate.
In effect, students are being asked to contribute more towards our tuition fees without seeing anything in return. The money isn't trickling all the way down the institutional hierarchy; it is stopping at the pockets of the most senior members.
Profiteering by the energy companies is no longer a moral issue it is quite literally an issue of life and death for the most vulnerable in society, currently facing the winter with the dread of people who've just been handed a death sentence. Each year over 7,000 people perish in Britain as a direct result of fuel poverty. This is before the most recent price hike.
Prior to the party conferences, Ed Miliband's personal ratings were at an all time low, with even Labour supporters losing confidence in him. More than half of the public did not know what he stood for. Fast forward a month and Mr Miliband is the most popular (read: least unpopular) leader of the three main parties.
© Electoral Commission - Victor the Voter With the next general election approaching in 2015, ...