The Lord Rennard saga has greater implications for the country than simply exposing what he did or didn't do. Nick Clegg famously took a swipe at "the self-appointed detectives in the Press" in relation to the allegations against his party's former Chief Executive...
As the stigma recedes, the true unmet need for mental health services is beginning to show. Demand for talking treatments is outstripping supply, despite significant investment. The need to help people with mental health problems to find and stay in work is becoming increasingly apparent.
Given that we all know how stressful it can be to support someone experiencing a mental health problem, but how crucial it is, why does the NHS still have a mental block when it comes to supporting carers?
While such questions remain, the Liberal Democrats should not rush to welcoming Lord Rennard back to a position of prominence in parliament and in policy-making. To do so would be to show that it's 'business as usual' in the old boy's club of Westminster, and would make the Liberal Democrats outspoken apologists of an abusive political culture.
Should we be preparing for a Lib-Lab Coalition in 2015? Possibly. Given their current problems and the added strain of preparing an election campaign whilst being tied into an unhappy government, the idea that the Lib Dems could work with the Tories again seems unlikely.
The Bill would massively restrict the amount that campaigning charities and other UK community groups could spend in the year before an election whilst silencing us with unnecessary red tape. And if you're wondering why US-style funding systems don't yet exist in the UK, it's because they're already illegal.
The dawn of a New Year is a looking forward to what is to come and for reflection, a time for taking stock. There are two things we know will happen during 2014...
The government is desperate to promote what's clearly a wrong policy direction - which does provoke a question... why? There's an almost religious fervour opposed to renewable energy, particularly wind farms, in elements of our Parliament - what you might call the Ukip-tendency of the Tory Party, that Mr Cameron is determined to placate.
In the run-up to the general election, I'd say we're going to see a lot more of this kind of stuff - a wide-ranging sea of politicians falling over each other to try to sort of sound like they maybe might kind of agree with someone on the other side on a couple of things. Keep your eyes open for little worms of compliments being cast across the floor of the House by hopeful political fishermen...
Either it's an election year, or Nick Clegg has suddenly discovered some principles. This week, George Osborne announced that there would be another £25 billion in spending cuts after the 2015 general election and around half of that would come from the welfare budget. For Clegg, who must have been given a spine at Christmas, it was apparently the straw that broke the camel's back.
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.