Conference season comes hard on the breathtakingly long holiday that our diligent representatives enjoy in the summer. It is so long, it straddles both Spring and Autumn and would probably subsume Winter, if they did not also get a stonking great break over Christmas.
A wondrous event took place in London town last night. A premiere like no other, vInspired's Swing The Vote set out to reveal what's remained a secret 'til now: exactly what will get the UK's 18-24 year olds to the ballot box next summer.
In order to strengthen citizens' trust in democracy, there needs to be extensive and tightly enforced cooling-off periods between the time a person spends holding public office and their move to a job for a private company in a related field. We need to introduce such a cooling-off period across the EU; three years would be a reasonable minimum length.
The Liberal Democrats decided early on that the politically expedient thing to do was to take ownership of all the government's actions even when they ideologically disagreed with them. Voters may accept parties changing policies over time, but they will not forget the hypocritical positions taken by a party simply to look 'governmental'.
This was an all-too-rare case of Labour and the Liberal Democrats coming together to defeat the Conservatives... I think we may see more of these two parties working together before polling day in May next year.
How can you tie individuals to a workplace yet offer no guarantee of work or pay each week? Don't even get me started on the fact that these rogue employers often get away with denying their staff any sick pay or holiday pay!
Between 29 July 2013 and 28 July 2014 MPs spent an astonishing 115+ days sending Tweets, posting a total of 426,406 original Tweets and re-Tweeting a further 292,025. That's without adding up the time that the 461 MPs on Twitter will have spent browsing the site. The question is whether this is a good or bad spend of our elected representatives' time?
When people steal from the state through benefit fraud (usually out of desperation), there's public outcry. But when the state steals from the people by failing to provide even a basic standard of living, whilst corruption and tax evasion runs unchecked, we're told it's all part of a necessary strategy for economic recovery.
As Norman Lamb and I announced at the weekend, the Lib Dems will put carers front and centre of our manifesto with a package of support designed to ease the strain.
Nick Clegg's personal poll ratings are dire officially the worst since polling began, and worse even than Michael Foot, Iain Duncan Smith or Gordon Brown.
Twenty councils, among them Green-led Brighton and Hove, asked the government for powers to put a levy on big supermarkets in their area. The money is to be used to support local communities damaged by the business practices of these giants... small businesses and cooperatives could again flower and grow in communities around the country.
You'd think a book would be the least dangerous thing you could send to your friend who's just begun their summer holiday. Nothing could be much safer, it might seem, than relaxing on a deckchair, in a peaceful garden or hotel poolside terrace, with a book and a cool drink. But this is Northern Ireland, and when we send parcels, we have to risk assess.
The removal of a truly dreadful secretary of state - who in the badger cull demonstrated his broader contempt or total failure to understand scientific evidence - is something to celebrate. The departure of education secretary Michael Gove is also cause for celebration. Again, his replacement is largely an unknown quality, her vote against gay marriage a cause for concern, but there's an opportunity here for the government to draw a line under a truly awful period for English schools.
Outlaw zero hours contracts and instead ensure that any individual entering a work contract is given a legal guarantee of the number of the minimum number of hours they should be required to work. It might increase the costs for corporations and may in the short term lead to a rise in unemployment, but if the economy is growing as fabulously as George Osborne announces, then the number of jobs should increase to combat this problem.
The Westminster circle of power seems to have awoken to the realisation that our NHS mental health services cannot go on without adequate funding. After all the talk from MPs on equality in funding between physical and mental health, there is still no visible action.
The current UK coalition government has worked remarkably well. Everyone I speak to who is not personally embedded in the political process seems to agree. Yet there are calls from parts of the grass roots of both governing parties to abandon the coalition. Why? And are they the right calls?