Expectations of the Queen's Speech, in terms of economic measures, were low. Sadly, they turn out to be right. Nothing that was announced today will make much difference either to growth in the economy in the short-term or its potential to grow in the medium-term.
Over the last session of parliament we have seen a remarkably thin legislative agenda from the government. Swathes of parliamentary time have been left unfilled and the bills that they did produce have been chaotic, badly drafted and badly managed. I have calculated that since the last Queen's speech, the government have u-turned on average once every seven sitting days. If No10 briefing is accurate, they are u-turning on this Queen's Speech before it's even been delivered by dropping minimum alcohol pricing, plain cigarette packaging and their register of lobbying interests.
This St George's Day we - 22 very different faith organisations, plus anti-racist groups - are reclaiming St George, plus people of different ethnicities and different religions (even the Welsh!). St George does not belong to extremists.
When I first touched down in Heathrow on 2 June 2012 I was broke, had one tattoo and was engaged. Now, I'm still broke, but I have collected 21 more tattoos (soon to be 22 - sorry Mum), and I'm definitely not engaged anymore.
I send Simon Price a message to verify if he identifies as straight; he does, but adds that he is "culturally queer." That'll do. He says I'm "Wide of the mark" to call Hilary Mantel's remarks bitchy. Why? "Because it demeans the valid points she made and implies that her remarks were made with personal malice, when her beef wasn't personal."
While The Queen has spoken approvingly of the UK's many races and faiths, for six decades she has ignored LGBT Britons. If she treated black and Asian Britons in the same way, she'd be denounced as a racist. Why the double standards? The monarchy is homophobic - if not by conscious intent, then certainly by default.
London now suffers more countries-per-monarch than any other city in Europe. This economic burden is just one of many constitutional injustices our head-of-state inflicts upon her subjects. So why did support for the monarchy reach a record high in 2012?
So where our Royal Family is concerned, let's make 2013 not a year of scandal, but a year of celebration. Let us give them privacy and eagerly await and then celebrate the arrival of a young Prince or Princess.
As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes. In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama.
As austerity measures bite even harder, there's little festive cheer for many queuing up to receive donated food. That amongst those lining up for the hand-outs it's not just individuals on benefits, but plenty of men and women who work, is a harsh reminder of life in Britain today. "So many people who need to use the food bank actually think of themselves as someone who gives to the food bank, not who receives," Louise Wratten, who runs the Trussell Trust's Salisbury Food Bank, told The Huffington Post UK.
I love Britain because the single best thing to come after a night at the pub with pints filled to the top is a full English. I'm not scientist, so I don't understand exactly what the curing factor is. But I've tried croissants, chow mein, burritos... nothing else comes close. You've absolutely nailed it.
Today, 20 November is the 20th anniversary of the fire at Windsor Castle. It was a sad day in 1992 when, during refurbishment work on the 900 year old castle, a spotlight was believed to have overheated and caught fire to one of the curtains by the altar.
The motion to abolish the monarchy won the vote in the end and sense won out.
Like Freud before Heimans, Annie Leibovitz with her dark photographic take, or the purpling rigamortis skin of Antony Williams' 1996 effort, this painting, like all before, fails to tell us anything meaningful about the monarch.
This is not a dig at the Queen personally. She just happened to be born into this world; she didn't do anything to be put in this position, which is exactly the point.
Poor Prince Harry. He stepped straight out of his clothes and into a furore about badly behaved royals, the strangulation of the press and the stripping of his title; and it's all because he got a little wild in Las Vegas.