Barack Obama's meteoric ascent to US President started on October 2, 2002, when he addressed an anti-Iraq War rally in Chicago, repeating several times the mantra that he did not oppose all wars, just dumb wars.
Public service broadcasting in the UK is the result of some 90 years of deliberate and carefully considered policy. In the Communications Act, Parliament for the first time incorporated that policy comprehensively in legislation and set up the review and reporting process to support it.
You can be sure that most of my colleagues in the European Parliament do not embrace the concept of the free market. Day after day, I hear them speaking up for state intervention or attempting to regulate away risk. However, there is one area where there is a genuine coalition of interests and that is the need for banking reform.
I am increasingly confronted with the notion that the outside world just isn't the concern of the United Kingdom, and this represents a great isolationism, which I believe to be irreconcilable to a generally internationalist - and truly libertarian - foreign policy.
On Thursday, 29 August, we chose to abandon the Syrian people in their hour of need. I am wracked with guilt and feel ashamed. Yes, democracy had its day and yes, perhaps Parliament is all the stronger for asserting the will of the people. Nevertheless, I still believe it was the wrong decision.
Last Thursday, the House of Commons defeated the government motion to use force '"if necessary" by 285 votes to 272 in light of the government's belief that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people. From across the political spectrum, yesterday was heralded as a wonderful day for parliament.
The coalition of the willing done a good job of creating just the opposite, seemingly. Large majorities in both the UK and US still do not support attacking Syria, and it is those most passionate about politics who seem to most object. For the antiwar left, any use of force by the West is neo-imperialism and repeats the mistakes of ten years ago...
It is sometimes bewildering to contemplate the technological advances made in just the last couple of decades and the impact which they have had on our work and our sense of well-being. Established businesses have been transformed for the better (and worse) and entirely new industries created by automation and software.
This self-congratulatory, politicised and crass narrative is cynical and vacuous. Thursday constituted a colossal tragedy: a tragedy for the practice of politics, a tragedy for Britain's role in the world and a tragedy for the people of Syria.
It is so useless that even Lynton Crosby - the tobacco lobbyist at the heart of Downing Street - wouldn't be covered by it. Both transparency campaigners and the lobbying industry agree that the government's toothless register is actually a step backwards from the codes of conduct and sanctions that already exist. The government should rename it the Let Lynton Lobby Bill.
The politics of military intervention in Syria is such vintage Malcolm Tucker, you couldn't make up. The farce of front-bench politics would be hilarious if the subject matter weren't so serious.
As a country, we have shirked this challenge. We have ran and hid from that bully Assad, far away from his Sarin strikes, and his blatant disregard for both human life and the tenements of International Law. We should not be running scared, we have both the means and the morality to stop him in his evil re-conquest of a former fiefdom.
There were a number of news items that caught my attention this week: the vote in parliament on "intervening" in Syria; the anniversary of the March on Washington; and the passing of the great Irish Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney.
On the one hand, the British public, clearly sceptical of intervention in Syria, had their voices heard. Last night was, however, also a profoundly bitter moment because of what it says to the world about the morality of the British people. Is it not ironic and tragic to be celebrating the triumph of democracy and freedom of speech through ignoring the cries of the Syrian people for exactly the same rights?
On Thursday morning, I'll have the pleasure of giving evidence to the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, addressing the Government's lobbying plans. Those plans have been set out in its Transparency of Lobbying Bill, and they make for disappointing reading.
We all know business and politics are dominated by men. In a rather pathetic indictment of the situation, there are more Eton graduates than women in the Cabinet. But why are we resorting to quotas to address the problem? What happened to skills and talent?