The post-Thatcher Conservative party has morphed into a strange Hayekian-Faragist hybrid, where the logic of fear of others is bound up with a refusal to countenance economic alternatives to modern crisis-producing, financialised capitalism.
Today Oxfam published some shocking figures that show just how deeply divided Britain is. Just five families have more wealth than the poorest 20 percent of the entire UK population. That's nearly 13 million people, the same number as those officially classed as living below the UK poverty line.
As only the second female Lord Mayor since 1187, I found International Women's Day on Saturday 8 March an important opportunity to reflect on how attitudes towards gender and diversity have changed over the 106 years since it was first held, and to look to the future to see the challenges that still need to be tackled.
If not specifics, then, what will the Chancellor be hoping to achieve with the Budget? He will want to try and convince voters that the economic recovery is bringing some benefits for them, their families and their households...
Like countless others, I was inspired and enthused by Tony Benn and his passion for politics. And I consider myself lucky to have appeared on telly with him. Once.
Welsh councils have finalised their financial plans and set council tax rates for 2014-15, without the luxury of measures introduced in England to keep bills down.
The crisis engulfing Crimea is a grave one. Vladimir Putin's armies have cut the region off from the rest of the nation, and are insisting on an illegal referendum in order to give elusive legitimacy to a brazen act of aggression. Now is not the time for the West to take options off the table - even rather unpalatable ones.
With Russia integrated into the borderless world economy, all sides have a great deal to lose. Unless the West is willing to engage militarily, the only obvious way to get Putin's attention is by imposing real economic sanctions that have a real effect. However the New Russia cannot be isolated by sanctions without severely damaging Russia's trade partners and investors in the West.
There have been some heartfelt and heartwarming tributes to Tony Benn today from people across the political spectrum, but it is necessary to unpick some of the narrative that is woven into these tributes.
Martin Luther King left us in no doubt that "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." In such moments, throughout his long political career, history will record that Tony Benn stood with the people.
It is a testimony to Benn's mindset that he was befriended by those whose political beliefs were shivering polar opposites to his own. He will be missed by both sides of the House more than any other figure I can recall.
Tony Benn's speeches were often punctuated with the same quotes from the Bible to Chinese philosophers. He passionately opposed cynicism and urged people to engage in politics. He was a tremendous Parliamentarian throughout his fifty years as an MP yet his political authority was as great outside the House of Commons as in the chamber.
A few years ago, when I was compiling an anthology, modestly entitled Democracy (published by Mainstream and also available as an e-book, since you ask) I wanted to include something from Benn's battle to renounce his peerage. Ever generous, he gave me a copy of the speech he was not allowed to deliver, and which had never been published... This is what Tony Benn wanted to say.
There has been a lot of rhetoric by politicians and commentators claiming that what we are seeing today is Cold War behavior and a resurgence of Soviet Russia. Not only is this view wrong, it completely misunderstands Vladimir Putin's intentions. What we see Russia doing in Crimea today is not Cold War Russia, it is Imperial Russia.
Do you want my alternative take on the reaction to Bob Crow's death; David Cameron's visit to Israel and meeting with Tony Blair; and the explosive allegations against Ukip leader Nigel Farage? Here's the political week in 60 seconds.
In many societies women are considered as second class citizens and deprived of innumerable fundamental rights enjoyed by their male counterparts. Those who sincerely dislike this discrimination have espoused a struggle to obtain a parallel position which unfortunately, to date, confounds them to the more progressive states.