The UKIP successes in these local elections are influential in the short term. However, the long term impact of UKIP is still up for debate. While UKIP have been on the rise in recent years it is true that even these results have taken many analysts by surprise.
Whether you're Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, UKIP, Green Party or other, you will have good people in your party. It also goes to say that whatever your affiliation, you'll have bad people in your party too.
Starting in the early hours of tomorrow morning, we shall be bombarded with analyses of the local election results. Are the gains and losses for each party above, below or on a par with expectations? Is Ed Miliband on course to become Prime Minister? Has UKIP overtaken the Liberal Democrats?
Whilst it is true that a handful of Ukip candidates have caused us embarrassment, others have been quite unfairly traduced. After the election I will go into details of false allegations and the downright intimidation that has happened to some of our good people.
Let's get this straight: a vote is never wasted as long as you use it. And the people who say this are wrong.
The Abu Qatada saga demonstrates the challenging complexity of extraditing suspected criminals and terrorists through bilateral arrangements. Of course there are special features in that case and it concerns a non-EU country, but it still serves to highlight the sheer absurdity of the Conservatives' desire to pull out of the European Arrest Warrant.
My, we are a gloomy lot. Last week, I discussed the possible impact of a triple-dip recession. Last Thursday's GDP figures suggest that Britain's economy has so far avoided this fate. However, it is also clear that the government's hopes of steady growth of 2 - 3% a year have yet to be realised. And YouGov research for the Resolution Foundation finds that five years of economic troubles have left a deep mark on public opinion.
Let's get one thing straight. UKIP do not provide a credible alternative in local politics.
Being encouraged by Cameron et al, to celebrate the life of Mrs Thatcher an apparent champion of freedom, while the current PM and his expensively educated brethren seek to implement their equivalent of Thatcher's poll tax is just adding insult to insult.
The Euromyth has fuelled journalists for many years. Some of the stories have been ludicrous, some have been genuinely funny. Plenty have been disingenuous.
I am the first person to stand up and bang the drum for Newbury - we're a great market town with a great sense of community. We're above average in almost every respect - most notably in employment and affluence, yet still we seem to be letting our young people down by failing to provide them with the education they so badly deserve.
What are nuclear weapons? Cold War relics? Necessary evils? Indiscriminate bombs? The ultimate insurance policy? The answer of course depends on your personal outlook. But here's another way of putting it: for the UK, nuclear weapons are over £100billion of taxpayers' money.
In a world where bank loans are getting smaller and government initiatives have limitations in terms of their effectiveness in supporting SMEs, crowdsourcing stepped in as the social media answer to the SME funding question.
I suspect in some ways the Ancient Greeks would have embraced social media as a medium for complimenting direct democracy and involving citizens in the political process, because it helps stimulate conversation, foster greater understanding of the political process and can act as a breeding ground for ideas.
When welfarism fails most spectacularly, it is usually because it attempts to treat a perceived social or economic problem without understanding -- le...
The most welcome element of Osborne's budget is the introduction of the Liberal Democrat policy to raise the personal tax allowance to £10,000 next year, taking the poorest earners out of income tax altogether. The rest, I'm afraid, fails to be sufficiently progressive to satiate the social liberal majority within the Liberal Democrat party membership.