When the moment finally arrived, Leyla Hussein was asleep. Since July last year, along with her anti-FGM colleagues, she's been tirelessly campaigning to secure the 100,000 signatures necessary to qualify her petition for a Parliamentary debate on Female Genital Mutilation. Then at about 4am on Friday morning, the campaign finally crossed that particular finishing line.
I'm trying really hard to remember a time when we could go a whole week without having to have a national moan about "Europe"*. I mean I get it, I really do. All that great food, fantastic culture and nice weather. Not to mention Germany and France's positively infuriating collective predilection for paying people properly and according them proper employment rights.
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.
Decisions that need to be made together like our national finances, our transport programme, our welfare provisions, our diplomatic activities, and our national defence can still all be undertaken as at present by the Parliament in Westminster. But there is clearly a need for the English voice to be heard on other affairs of State. The Scottish referendum will increase the feeling of English nationalism and rather than ignore it and allow animosity to develop, let's look towards the practical.
Last year, the government was outvoted in parliament. Against minister's wishes, MPs repealed the section of the Public Order Act 1986 that outlawed "insults"; deeming it to be too sweeping and a threat to freedom of expression. This year, in apparent revenge, the government has, in effect, reintroduced in the insult prohibition under another name.
Iran has a chance to demonstrate its traditional position as a country content to live within its existing boundaries. And now that the distrust and antagonism raised over Libya has eased, the U.N. Security Council is at long last working together.
If MPs are against the pay increase, they can stop it; after all, they set up IPSA in the first place. If they're not, and I suspect many of them actually tacitly support getting more money (and on a human level, wouldn't you?), they need to say so. And they need to justify it. Needing to do so could be the best stimulus for reform of how money is influencing politics at the moment.
As Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK Committee on Climate Change, warned this week, the need to decarbonise is greater than ever.
On this subject, as on so many, MPs are damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they say they will take the pay rise they are greedy; if they claim they won't they are not believed. When trust is so low, and respect for their leadership is so lacking, it is hard to persuade anyone that you are sincere. Effective communication becomes impossible.
Since MPs' pay has clearly fallen below this level, a one-off increase - combined with a rolling back of the expenses structure - is entirely reasonable. The message this conveys in the current climate may not be perfect, but sometimes substance needs to trump symbolism.
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.
The Care Bill is good news for deafblind people and will hopefully lead to a better provision of social care. I believe that this new piece of legislation will be an important step forward for disabled people but we need to ensure that local authorities have the money to back it up and provide the amount of social care that people with disabilities so desperately need to not just get by, but to live full and active lives.
Employee representatives would make the UK fairer for all. They would reduce the excessive salaries we have seen in recent years: energy bosses raking in millions while crippling their customers with eye-watering price rises; or bankers gambling with customers' money while raking in bonuses, despite their losses... Directors won't like it, but it is time the UK economy started working for everyone, not just the 1%.
Whether you agreed or disagreed with Brand's call-for-a-revolution speech, the point I'm making is this - young people DO care about politics. Brand's anti-politics rant struck a chord with young people because he echoed the underlying feeling of a generation frustrated with a political system that they feel 'doesn't represent or care about them'. But that doesn't mean they don't care...
Over the first week of the UN climate change negotiations in Poland we have seen the alarming results of studies showing increased decline of tropical forests. It is clear from newly available data from satellite monitoring stations that there are now growing areas being deforested as a result of illegal logging, agriculture and mining.
Five years' on, maternal health is a UK Government priority, has massive investment, and we are seeing a huge reduction in the number of women and children dying in childbirth globally. Choose the right issue at the right time, and a Parliamentary inquiry really can change the debate - and more importantly, change lives.