Arms sales are not apolitical acts. On one hand, they bolster the buyers by giving them a British endorsement as a fig-leaf of respectability, but they also buy the UK government's political support and compliance. As the crackdown continues to escalate it is becoming increasingly clear that decisions being made in support of arms sales are having serious consequences for the victims of state repression.
87% of girls aged 11-21 believe that they are judged more on their looks than their ability. It's an unbelievable figure - but you can see why girls think this way. The belief that they don't look good enough and that they are judged most on how good they look is preventing girls from putting their hands up and saying 'I can do anything I want to do'
Let's start to take notice of a generation that is being ignored, and let's bring the energy and ideas of the 17 million Brits in their 20s and 30s into politics, and change our country for the better as a result.
Farage is endlessly indulged by most UK journalists, notably the increasingly Eurosceptic BBC. He will survive this latest manifestation of how rickety his political edifice really is. But for those who place hopes in the European Parliament as an institution of prestige and democratic importance, this latest comedy is not encouraging.
Bring on the debates. Nigel Farage should be in two or three debates, not one - and if that happens, why shouldn't the Greens have a go at one debate? If they have the support to justify it, then however bizarre their beliefs democracy dictates that they should be given the opportunity.
Do you want my alternative, semi-serious take on Lord Freud's latest gaffe, on the disabled and the minimum wage, on the ongoing Tory/Ukip love-in and on how Dave is trying to dodge the debates? Here's the political week in 60 seconds.
These retiring MPs will be inspired by the likes of Ruth Kelly and James Purnell before them. All stepped down while still relatively young, having recognised that political comebacks here are few and far between. But what the likes of Kelly and Purnell have also shown is there is life away from the public eye, the media spotlight and well beyond the ruthless world of politics.
What great news to hear that Nicola Sturgeon is to become the leader of the Scottish National Party. When she is formally announced as leader of the party on the 14th November, she will simultaneously become the first female First Minister of Scotland.
The morning of September 19 was a dismal day for those of us who voted yes. I can honestly say, it felt like a death in the family. That kind of despair you feel deep in your soul...will we forever be the tail attached to the arse of the dog that is called Westminster?
We hear a lot about the perceived negatives of immigration, which it turns out can be pretty much anything if you hate facts and can be inventive enough with your arguments; but we never hear about the absolute, basic, inarguable economic fact that immigration is essential to our wellbeing as a nation.
Economists trying to figure out what is going on in the UK economy, and specifically why the number of people saying they are self employed is so high, should perhaps look no further than recent data on on-line selling by households from the Office of National Statistics...
One of my earliest memories is as a 5 year old singing 'Hark the Harold Angels sing' during Christmas 1964. I sang 'Harold' partly because I'd never heard of a herald, but also because I thought it referred to Harold Wilson. With dad being a local councillor, and mum also politically active, names of political figures were regularly mentioned at home. ..
Recently I was on BBC Radio, discussing Ed Miliband's speech at the Labour Party Conference. As you may have read, he spoke without notes, without a lectern and sadly, as a result, without mentioning some critical points.
I do not believe that we are seeing the 'End of Politics'. I do, however, believe that we have reached the culmination of a steady, 40-year shift away from class-based voting. The two will feel, to many, like they are very much the same thing. Indeed, if the main parties do not face up to the change that has taken place, they could become so.
The self-importance of the Greens is astonishing. In case you've missed the pandemonium, the Greens have threatened legal action over TV broadcasters excluding the party from the planned TV debates during the run-up to next year's general election...
We need a non-sectarian Iraqi government and a non-sectarian response to ISIS - so say the politicians, all singing from the same hymn sheet. But it's easier said than done of course. Not least when powerful Shi'a politicians in Iraq continue to shield their religious brethren with the AK47s and a record of using them against Sunni civilians.