Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ's unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another. Although it is not an easy message to follow, we shouldn't be discouraged; rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be thankful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading that love to others, whenever and wherever we can... There's an old saying that "it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness". There are millions of people lighting candles of hope in our world today. Christmas is a good time to be thankful for them, and for all that brings light to our lives. I wish you a very happy Christmas.
Now that the political spectacle once dubbed 'the most un-predictable election in history' is over, and the Tories are at the head of their first majority government since the 1990s, what will they do to deal with the UK's housing crisis?
There is only so much we can draw from the Queen's Speech - as with any government, it will be judged on results rather than promises. Clearly, for the economy to really thrive, it's vital the Conservatives foster an environment which allows businesses across the UK to flourish. Only time will tell if David Cameron's Tories will succeed.
We as politicians have to understand that the greatest threats to our security are no longer conventional military ones. You cannot nuke a famine. You cannot send battleships in to stop the destruction of a rainforest. But you can spend money on clean technology transfer that enables countries to bring their people out of poverty without polluting their future
Freedom of speech is a human right, and the foundation upon which democracy is built. Any restriction of freedom of speech is a restriction upon democracy. We must defend democracy using its own mechanisms, through explaining and exemplifying its merits rather than through the heavy-handed and arbitrary silencing of its critics.
What kind of country do we live in? This must be at the back of the minds of everyone listening to or reading the Queen's Speech, but is it the wrong question? Shouldn't we be asking what kind of world would bring us happiness?
The Queen's speech has now set out the list of bills planned for the coming year. In many ways it is as much the symbol of victory for the Conservatives over the Liberal Democrats after five years of Coalition as over Labour. It may seem odd therefore, that success has been crowned with a number of measures, announced or anticipated, which in Coalition days would have been 'blamed' on the Lib Dems.
The proposed bill will have much deeper effect than simply adding a few more names to the list of already banned substances. In particular, it could lead to some wholly unintended consequences, whilst failing to solve many of the issues surrounding new psychoactive substances (NPSs) in the first place.
Now the dust has settled on a general election that confounded pollsters and politicians alike, it's time to get to work. Wednesday saw the first Conservative-only Queen's Speech in almost two decades - and it's already clear that our new Government will be providing plenty to keep those concerned with civil liberties busy during the next legislative year... When Liberty was established in the 1930s, founding member E.M. Forster described our work as "the fight that is never done". He was right. In 2015 the fight to defend our rights and freedoms will be a tough one, but with the support of our members it's one we can win.
It is not just teachers who are bearing the brunt of a system led by league tables and Ofsted results. The same pressures are felt by pupils. We now have a generation of young people who are anxious, stressed and disaffected... We are testing children within an inch of their lives and the vibrancy and love of learning that should be at the centre of the curriculum is all but lost.
The heart of the matter is fiscal autonomy. It cannot be total. By definition, a nation cannot permit fiscal secession, independent statelets that amount to real-life versions of Passport to Pimlico. But, at present, the funding system is badly imbalanced, tilted in Whitehall's favour. A correction is needed, to give local government much greater authority to set taxes. In Australia, 87% of local government spending is self-financed. In Canada, the figure is 83%, while in France it is 72%.
We do not want the Government to be unable to carry out reasonable surveillance to protect the state and all those resident in the UK. We have written this letter to ensure proper Parliamentary scrutiny of any such provision and to ensure the Rule of Law is followed.
Well here we are again! A new Government - albeit one that has the remnants of the previous - but nothing new in the UK's drug policy, at least in terms of what can be deemed progress by any rational measure. No, instead we have full blown regression, encompassed now in "New legislation [that] will ... ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs," it was announced Wednesday in the Queen's speech.
The speech which the Queen makes at the opening of Parliament is always something of a mixture and that is never more so than immediately after a gene...
What more do we know now the Queen has sat down that we didn't know last week? We know there will be a housing bill and that extending Right to Buy will be part of it, but that's about it. Quite how much of the detail has been worked out behind the scenes and how much is still up for grabs remains to be seen.
The next five years will show the Tories at their worst, without the leash of the Liberal Democrats to hold them back. Risking our membership of the EU, snooping on our online browsing histories, demonising the poor and vulnerable - today's Queen's Speech was just the beginning.