I don't dismiss Brand outright; I've heard what he has to say and it makes me despair. I will, and so should you, tell him that he's deeply mistaken. He is capable of understanding these issues and that's what makes some of his tirades so repulsive.
September 18th 2014 has changed the politics and governance of the UK radically and irreversibly. But let's please be clear about what we are seeking to do and for what purpose; and then let's get to it!
The fact of the matter is that Muslims have always spoken out against groups like ISIS. Yet it is worth noting that after these extremist groups act, Muslims across the globe (and in particular the Western world) are left stranded in the centre of an imperial dichotomy which labels them according to "fundamental" and "moderate" Muslims.
I have lost count of the number of times that I've heard the Labour Party say "Of course the EU needs reform..." but when they have the chance to vote for even the mildest of reforms, they do the opposite.
Police must protect people's right not to suffer from inhuman or degrading treatment and serious crimes inflict just that. This rule will be there to help children in Rotherham to make the police investigate abuse and not neglect it as they did in the past.
Unlike Ed Miliband, I won't sit around deriding improved employment figures. There are problems we must fix instead of running negative campaigns - for instance, ONS estimates suggest that the average (median) income of the self-employed has fallen by around 22% since 2008, at least in part because many of the self-employed are working fewer hours than they would like. As the economy improves in the years ahead, some may prefer to move back for the security of full-time employment - if so, they will take with them valuable experience of huge benefit to the organisations they join.
At the moment, Labour and the Tories both behave as if we're still in the early half of the 20th century, when they commanded 90+% of the vote between them. They patronise their critics on the left and the right. They reject anything that doesn't correspond with their centrist world view.
The intention of this proposal is to provide adequate documentation to keep financial records and also to provide legal disclaimers for the purposes of protecting the account operator and user in a court of law if legal action was taken against them....
Brand has undoubtedly empowered some of the politically apathetic young to criticize and question - like Tony Benn did on Da Ali G show - and such an achievement shouldn't be denigrated simply because one man doesn't have all the answers. The reality is that the young are often disinterested in politics and it might just take someone weird and wacky to offer them some sense of hope.
Yes, the applicants for asylum look bedraggled and unkempt when you see pictures of them huddled outside Calais. Yes, some of them get into fights and cause problems for the police. They don't look too great when they are pulled from the Mediterranean after a ramshackle boat provided by unscrupulous people-smugglers has capsized and sunk.
I have seen how detention is bad for the physical and emotional wellbeing of those detained, especially those who are kept there for months, not knowing when it will end. It is important to remember that these are not criminals but people who have been refused asylum or broken immigration rules - complex systems which few people understand. I believe that if an asylum seeker has the reasonable reason to stay within the government rules they should grant them asylum or send them home with dignity -not keep them in detention for a long period. Detention breaks the soul.
oday we have the collective duty to protect our people and our environment. It's time to reign in the arbitrary actions of corporate power and create the conditions for a more just and respectful world.
The political class in this country are not in it to serve you. They are not in it to give back to their country. They are not in it to improve life for the ordinary hardworking people of this country. No. They believe that they have a right to rule, and they think that anything they do to stay in power is alright.
Do you want my alternative, semi-serious take on the Ukip 'Calypso song'; their new Holocaust-denying ally in Europe; and Obama's coolness versus Cameron's coolness? Here's the political week in 60 seconds.
Files discovered recently by campaigners, and brought to my attention, reveal that, in 1967, a Paediatrician at Queen Mary's Hospital in London, Dr. Isabel Gal, found a link between Hormone Pregnancy Tests such as Primodos, and spinal congenital malformation in newborn babies.
If we are going to go ahead with spending tens of billions on High Speed Two then at the very least we need to be sure that we are getting the best value for money and ensuring that the maximum benefit is felt, both for the economy and for the people in cities such as Stoke-on-Trent. The proposals as they stand fail to meet any of these criteria and this should be to the utter shame of all those involved.