My journey into this flourishing two-wheeled world was certainly eye opening. There is a whole cycling scene that I simply had no idea existed. Lets kick off with 'Critical Mass'. Who knew that on the last Friday of every month hundreds of cyclists meet under Waterloo bridge for a "self-organized, non-commercial, celebration, spontaneous gathering
This must not be mischaracterised as an issue of freedom of speech. The right to free speech must be balanced with the right for women to seek advice and treatment in confidence and free from intimidation. Anti-choice campaigners are free to protest in public spaces, but it is unacceptable for them to be positioned outside clinics where women are trying to enter. These are not political protests. The campaigners' tactic is now to make women feel so scared, ashamed and insecure that they refrain from accessing a service they are perfectly entitled to.
Apparently, on most of the rest of this planet, Christmas crackers aren't a thing. Nobody knows what they are, and nobody much cares either. Crackers are a thing in the UK, Ireland, and a few commonwealth countries like Australia, South Africa, and Canada. Nobody else has a stocking-stuffing CLUE what they are.
70,000 people are languishing in a form of legal limbo in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - neither charged nor free. More than 5,000 of these people have been on police bail for more than six months. Indeed, some entirely innocent people have been left on pre-charge bail for years before their cases have been dropped or thrown out of court.
As it happens, I'm not one of those who believe that Blair is evil incarnate. I met him on only a handful of occasions during his time as prime minister, and I was always left with the impression of a man possessed of almost messianic certainty that he was put on earth to make it a better place and rid it of bad people. I do believe that he made an appalling error of judgement in backing President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. It was an error that involved the UK in one of the biggest foreign policy blunders of recent times...
At 19 years old I was hideously unprepared for the caring role thrust upon me. Yet, when my girlfriend's health deteriorated overnight, I willingly stepped up to meet the challenge. We're now married and I give my wife full-time, around the clock, care. Along with millions of other carers in the UK, the avoidable cost of caring has changed my life beyond recognition.
Precisely because it is such a frequently used criticism of religious faith, the argument that war is a product of religion is worth considering. After all, we have recently had some horrific imagery from the Middle East that seems to suggest that religion is a bad thing. Nevertheless a number of points strike me.