Few events in the political calendar underline quite so graphically the power of the government and the impotence of the opposition as much as the Queen's speech. Backed by all the pomp and finery the British state can muster, the Gracious Address, to give it its proper title, affords the government the opportunity to draw a line under past difficulties, and turn a somewhat dry recitation of its legislative programme into a demonstration of its political priorities. The shadow cabinet should seize on this year's Queen's speech to provide its own 'shadow Queen's speech' as a way of demonstrating how Britain could be different under Labour.
British politics at the moment is in a complete state of disarray. I often don't know whether to collapse laughing or cry endlessly whilst ripping my hair out.
David Cameron said that he thought the next big political scandal after MPs' expenses would involve lobbying. Sadly, but one might say predictably, the next big political scandal has involved a party fundraiser attempting to encourage a company to give money in return for access to policymakers.
The European Parliament has always argued that the EU should have its own resources. Today 75% of the EU's budget comes from national contributions based on gross national income. A contribution based on value-added tax accounts for a further 11%, while traditional own resources such as customs duties, agricultural duties and sugar levies come to 13%.
Today hundreds of people will march on Parliament to protest the closure and diminished service of their public libraries all over the country. Public officials simply do not understand why libraries are important - and that is because they are all of an age and an income which, for some reason, makes them believe that libraries are a thing of the ancient past.
Is the civil service accountable to parliament?
David Cameron, as you would expect from an ex-PR man, has a smooth answer on why he wants to be prime minister, but I have the sense that the real answer to why he wants the job is simply "because it is there."
One of the perks of being an MP is access to a wonderful private library - the House of Commons Library. I know that MPs can ask for the Library to buy books they are interested in reading. So, curious to know which books MPs have been asking us, as taxpayers, to buy for them, I lodged a Freedom of Information Act request.
What is the collective noun to describe an assembly of home secretaries, past and present? A rage? A choler? A fury? The better term might be an impotence.
If there is one source of energy less reliable than sun from Scotland, it must be oil from the middle east, especially now the Iranians are threatening devilment in the Straits of Hormuz, through which we are reliably informed a fifth of the world's crude passes every day.
There is much to celebrate in child protection from 2011, but we need a radical rethink if we are to make a real difference in 2012. This has been a year of significant change in child protection, much of it for the better. And it was also the year that saw ChildLine celebrate 25 years of helping vulnerable children. Over a quarter of a century it has helped 2.6 million young people since it was launched by Esther Rantzen... But sadly, serious abuse and neglect still occur. On average around 50 children are killed each year in England and Wales, most by those that were supposed to love and protect them.
The Cabinet Office have published their draft bill, supposedly to allow the public to recall their MPs when they've done something wrong.
I'm a lobbyist. I'm really proud to be one.After the last few days of headlines you would have thought I would want to keep my head down. Not at all. Now is the time to stand up for transparent lobbying and to drive out of the industry once and for all those who not prepared to stand up for transparency.
The time for talking on this subject is over. We are facing a major humanitarian disaster. If nothing is done to prevent another attack, a far worst catastrophe should be expected, and the people of Iran who are a nation holding their breath for a democratic change, will hold those capable of doing something about this situation, completely responsible, for the murder of their brothers and sisters at Camp Ashraf.
As someone who submitted evidence to the committee's inquiry, I'm glad they see both the need for a real strategy to tackle deprivation and the inadequacy of the government's response (in England, anyway: the Scots and Welsh are more enlightened).
As we enter November, we reach the 21st anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's resignation as prime minister. Despite the melodrama of more recent political events, it's hard to imagine what Westminster must have been like in the three weeks between Geoffrey Howe quitting the cabinet and Thatcher leaving office. Or is it?