There is a real problem for the Labour Party over aspiration and social mobility - and it goes to heart of the major fault lines that exist in its founding... The Labour Party and the trade union movement have a proud record of helping the aspirational. They should be making more of it, not less if it. And Sadiq Khan should be celebrating the social elevation that aspiration and perspiration brought to his life. Without it he would not be a prospective candidate to replace Boris. And we, the public, would not have been able to decide on his merits, or otherwise in the forthcoming mayoral race.
It was no surprise when Charles said, after being challenged about his loyalties after the 2010 election: "I will go out of this world feet first with my Lib Dem membership card in my pocket." I am just devastated that it has happened so soon. Our liberal political family has lost one of its most admired advocates. British politics has lost one of its best storytellers. This House has lost one of its warmest wits and most loyal Parliamentarians. If we could all carry ourselves with a little more of the honesty, wisdom and humility of Charles Kennedy, politics would be held in much higher regard than it is today.
With 355,000 people a year in need of palliative care in England alone, this conversation seems long overdue. The recent 'Dying without Dignity' report highlighted the problems and failings of a system that has the knowledge of what needs to be done but fails to make it happen.
Labour's path back to power need not be long; rebuilding support is a collective endeavour that many will choose to embrace if Ed Miliband and the Labour Party are honest, profound and forthright in how they communicate with the people.
I don't bulk-buy my opinions. I don't rely solely on emotion, polls of the general public or even the views of "people like me", to determine my position on where the balance of the law should rest. I consider the evidence.
Contrary to pro-hunt propaganda, the Hunting Act was not brought in to stop people killing foxes (or deer, hares and other mammals traditionally hunted with packs of dogs); it was brought in to stop these animals being killed in the cruellest of ways.
Proposition Leyla Gumusdis ...
Life experiences really shape the way we see the world and Parliament needs to reflect a diverse range of experiences and worldviews. Women are a part of that. But this isn't just about women, it's about LGBT, race, disability and social economic back grounds. Parliament make and change our laws, it's not good enough to be waiting so long to finish the work of human rights campaigners. There is a very easy way to make sure our parliament is as current as we are, it is this: representation, representation, representation.
In all the pre-election excitement/apathy/hype/horror (make your own selection and delete as appropriate) I have a novel idea for politicians of all parties everywhere. Promise, if elected, to do as little as possible. I'm convinced it's a winner.
Despite the uncertainty, one thing we do know is that the 2015 Parliament will be more representative of the country as a whole. Less male, less pale and less stale. When trust in politicians has been so low, this will be a welcome outcome.
At the League Against Cruel Sports, our key focus means that we know a lot about what goes on in the world of animal 'sport', much of it unsavoury, much of it hidden. Our own election manifesto therefore focuses on five issues that are key to reducing the suffering of animals, and we believe that many voters will share our concerns.
My hope, is that my constituents will conclude that I have delivered on my promise to work hard for them and my City and that my colleagues in parliament, new and old, will understand in the next parliament, that backbench MPs can achieve good things - it's just that it takes so much time and energy! But I do know that the last five years representing the area where I have always lived with my family have been unforgettable, and I'm looking forward to hopefully, stepping back into the Commons Chamber, but this time finding a new seat on the government benches.
What makes them 'anti-police' (apparently) is that they challenge the misuse of those powers, sometimes emotionally, sometimes robustly, often persistently because they see that things haven't changed or they're not changing quickly enough. They're not waiting 30 years, they're raising it now, because it is happening now. If that's what makes someone anti-police then I, like 'them', am guilty as charged.
You support a ban on the sale of puppies anywhere unless their mothers are present and of course this includes pet shops, garden centres, online, and through puppy dealers. Brilliant. Now we are finally getting somewhere.
We need major reform to ensure May's increased representation of women doesn't become a new 'glass ceiling'. Reforming our archaic voting system, and encouraging wider citizen participation in parties and democracy more generally, could help ensure that the progress we are likely to see this May is not the end of the story.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the BBC Free Speech audience yesterday, when Ed Miliband was invited. It was an interesting experience and encompassed questions from the depths of domestic discourse, to the far reaches of foreign policy. This is my take.