Workfare is not only bad economics it is morally wrong. Workfare is a modern form of slavery. This may seem an extreme statement, for we tend to associate slavery with racial oppression, when black people were forced to work for white farmers. But slavery is not always racial and it is not always achieved by violence.
The reason the Tory candidate is struggling is not because of Ukip. It's because Tory voters in Eastleigh are increasingly aware that the party is no longer what they purport to be. To all intents and purposes, David Cameron is a social democrat.
The Lord Rennard affair is in many ways the perfect PR crisis, combining as it does what appear to be genuine operational problems with an undeniable failure to communicate these problems in a coherent or open manner.
If anyone sees a female Lib Dem MP can they let us know? Given that there are only seven women out of the 56 Lib Dems in the Commons, it is rather conspicuous that only one of them has spoken publicly about the allegations against Lord Rennard.
Crisis communications, whether political or corporate, have changed massively in recent years. Twenty-four hour rolling news, blogs and now Twitter mean that speed is critical, and leaving a vacuum - even for a few hours - can see a story escalate rapidly beyond manageable means.
It's time the gag was lifted on straight talking and a real representative voice in politics spoke on behalf of the people. This is what Ukip represents. When you meet people, like I did, who say they haven't voted for thirty years but they are going to the election box to vote Ukip, you know you are on to the right thing.
So whatever the truth about the Rennard allegations, Nick Clegg is doomed. Regardless of the circumstances, the media will make sure that he suffers.
A meeting in the House of Lords today will consider the latest in a series of massacres of the Hazara people in the Pakistan province of Balochistan, and its connection with the wider sectarian attacks on Shi'as throughout Pakistan.
The media has become obsessed that Ukip is taking votes from the Tories. But it's simply not that simple. Look at all the recent by-election results and I think it's clear to see we are having an impact across the board.
The half-term general election rehearsal currently underway in Eastleigh might be fascinating those in the politics business but the result won't begin to restore the electorate's trust in politicians.
Being honest about the limits that face us but having a clear set of priorities shaping our actions allows for a more honest, more human and more humane politics to be shaped.
Potential MPs should only be able to stand as a candidate if they'd done a year long work placement (paid at the going rate, let's not stoop to their level). I don't care where - could be in a solicitors, could be in a cafe, but they should know that where they choose could affect the voters' choice.
There has been a great deal of misleading commentary about the Child Poverty Act framework in the last few months. First of all, many make the mistake of thinking there is only one target and the targets are only about income, but as anyone can read in sections one to seven of the Act, this is completely untrue.
Modern politics is all about framing. Due to decades of public skepticism towards politicians, party leaders no longer wish to be seen as dogmatic ideologues, they would much rather be thought of as pragmatic managers of public life.
A key component in the mix of measures required to reduce child poverty is to make childcare more affordable to poorer families and thereby encourage more mothers into work. This is central to the approach of countries like Denmark, where 84 per cent of mothers are in employment, compared to just 67 per cent in the UK.
Today I met a future doctor, accountant and engineer. They were all 13 year old girls. The aspirations of these Ethiopian girls is heartening. The engineer says she wants to train to help "build up her country". I wouldn't bet against her doing just that.