It has long been known that positive interaction with members of other groups (ethnic, religious and so on) promotes more positive attitudes to others. Why, then, is it sometimes claimed that diversity poses a challenge to modern society, makes people withdraw from interaction, makes us less trusting of one another?
The 'Plebgate' row involving Andrew Mitchell MP, who resigned following his alleged use of the derogatory term, reopened the wounds of a heated debate about the British class system... Whether Mr Mitchell uttered the word or not, 'Plebgate' is a microcosm of the injustice faced by millions because of where they come from and the opportunities available to them.
Michael Gove, Education Secretary, is determined to raise academic standards and few would argue against that. However, schools are under pressure to become autonomous, to set their own curriculums and budgets and to move away from local authority control and there is an argument that this policy together with a greater focus on narrow performance measures and less money is undermining the arts in education.
It seems clear that the heated debate on immigration will last at least until the 2015 elections - driven by the popularity of UKIP and the panic in the other Parties not to be seen soft on immigration. Another thing seems clear - the debate will seldom be objective or rational with virtually no claim too silly to be believed by someone.
I know I could smash a glass ceiling or two if I put my mind to it, but actually, when it comes down to it, I'm not sure I'm all that bothered. I'd rather be able to stroll through the park at teatime once a week and pick my kids up from school. And the fact is, plenty of women - and increasing numbers of men feel the same.
If enough people take up the challenge, we might collectively achieve some "crowd-research" which might be useful to those who research the influence of depictions of guns and gun violence. Either way, it might stimulate much-needed debate about the casual normalisation of violence in our society.Whilst we hear much debate about whether gun violence in films or computer games can propel young men or boys (for they are almost always male) to commit mass murder or violence, we rarely hear about the effect of images on film posters.
Russell Brand told us it was time for a revolution. And we can see the logic to his reasoning. People are suffering as never before, through no desire or fault of their own. And when the Appeal Court twice in one week have deemed government action illegal - over aspects of the NHS privatisation and on Workfare - it could seem that now is as good a time as any to revolt.
Things have been a little hyperreal of late. It all started three weeks ago with the Damscene conversion of Tommy Robinson and his decision to quit the English Defence League (EDL).