The Guardian newspaper this week printed one of those immortal headlines that not only boils the blood but leaves one frozen in incredulity. It reads: 'People despise politicians but whose fault is that?'
If the proposition to withdraw all chemical weapons were agreed, it would almost certainly be sufficient to bring about an accompanying ceasefire. It would also be an impetus to start the planned conference in Geneva to negotiate a peace settlement.
From this year, there is an expectation that young people will continue in education or training up to the age of 17. This goes up to 18 in 2015. There is so much mis-information about the rise of the education participation age, some of it unfortunately making its way in to some of the media coverage, that I feel I need to do something about.
One of government minister Vince Cable's first headaches this autumn will be to decide whether to allow the public to find out who really controls 2.5 million companies in the UK. You could be forgiven for thinking that such information is already out there, perhaps on the internet or from Companies House - but you'd be wrong.
A positive Conservative vision for EU reform has to fight for a less regulated, protectionist, subsidised, and taxed single market which can compete in the global economy and credibly champion global free trade as the best means of raising the most deprived countries in the world out of poverty.
The public - and the Green Party - understand that privatisation and outsourcing have been disastrous, built on putting public funds straight into private profits, cutting the pay and condition of workers and the quality of services. And all too often, as we've been finding with the water companies - the piling of debts on to essential public services, while capital is extracted to further boost private profits and financial risks multiplied.
Zero hours contracts often provide uncertain lives for workers, who are only nominally employed and must be on permanent standby. They have an erratic stream of income which makes it challenging to manage budgets, bills and other commitments.
Parents can despair when they hear their seven-year old daughter complaining about feeling fat, or see their teenager struggle with insecurity about her looks. Young girls in particular are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images of beauty - images they can never live up to. The images of beauty we see in the media are all pretty much the same - it's as if there's only one way of being beautiful. I'd like to see a much broader mix of people in magazines and on TV, to help young people of every size, body shape and skin tone feel that there is a place for them.
In 2012, 56.5 million people travelled abroad from the UK for the purposes of tourism. Suppose each of them were asked to pay a cash bond of £3,000 by their host countries, where do you think that number would stand?
The banks are lying. This may come as little surprise to most of us, given their appalling record of not taking responsibility for their behaviour both during and after the 2008 crisis. However it now seems that even Vince Cable, the business secretary, appears to have swallowed their most insidious lie.
There has been a great deal of praise directed at the Church for their stance on pay-day lending. I'm an atheist and I too think they're doing the right thing, even though I'm still uneasy with the Church unilaterally trying to increase the role it plays in our daily lives. But the fact remains that the Church shouldn't have to intervene.
A party's stance on renewable energy could be a decisive issue in the next general election due to eco-efficient policies becoming ever more inextricably linked to the state of the economy.
The UK is currently at a crossroads: we can choose to become a world leader in disarmament, non-proliferation and the verification systems necessary to realise the eradication of nuclear weapons worldwide, or we can choose to contribute to global insecurity, nuclear proliferation, and increase the risk of nuclear terrorism through the modernising of our nuclear arsenal.
There's been a major breakthrough in the financial sector this week, as Vince Cable announces a panacea for the long-term woes that banks have been facing. All they need to do, apparently, is 'get people to trust them'. That, seriously, is what Vince's big announcement boils down to.
Vince Cable has detailed what the government wants to do with our Royal Mail. For him in an ideal world the public will line up in droves to buy a few shares in the business they already own. In the real world that will not happen. Instead, major financial institutions such as pension funds will be encouraged to buy chunks of the business. The government estimates that the 60% of Royal Mail that they want to sell will be worth around £2.5billion. It's no small amount and of course those who speculate with large sums of cash will want to be assured that their investment will grow at a satisfactory rate.
While 68,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses here every year, HIV/AIDS no longer needs to be a death sentence. I am in Malawi to see how the Department for International Development's support is making an impact on the ground and reviewing how British development aid can be made even more effective.