Every time something cruel happens, the reflex is go into the rattle bag of clichés of condemnation. What that does is prevent serious thought about the politics and ideology behind the decision to fly a plane into the World Trade Centre, murder Daniel Pearl in Pakistan because he was Jewish, and now butcher James Foley because he was American.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released information on changes in self-employment, and confirms what we have said for years: the increase is an issue more of desperation than any 'entrepreneurial spirit'.
The Nationalists care more about breaking the political union across the UK than preserving the common benefits of the economic and social union. Their vision is for two countries - Scotland and England - competing against each other with lower taxes, lower terms and conditions and lower wages. A race to the bottom.
What we see today - the radicalisation of young British Muslims, the alienation and marginalisation from mainstream society and joining ISIL / Islamic State - has not happened overnight. It has been a slow and painful slide into the abyss.
This forthcoming debate is an exciting step in combating the cruel practice of irresponsible, unethical breeding of puppies and kittens in the UK, as well as the perfect opportunity to raise awareness, and educate the public about choosing a dog responsibly ie from ethical breeders e.g. Kennel Club Assured Breeders, or by adoption from legitimate rescue organisations.
Trafficking continues to be a global epidemic, with 600,000-800,000 men, women and children trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80% are women and girls. Up to 50% are minors. (US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2013).
Behind all the spin, there is a growing interest in how the coming election might actually be contested. Many look to the US for some indication of what developments might feature in the 2015 campaigns.
Following the horrific killing of the US photo-journalist James Foley, international anti-Islamic State rhetoric has gone up a notch. World leaders are all inveighing against the group. But in truth it's still not really clear what's being done to help the Yezidis, the Christians, the Shi'a Turkmen, the Shabaks, and indeed anyone in Iraq (including Sunni Muslims) threatened by the Islamic State and other armed jihadi groups.
Sarwar and Ahmed, both of whom pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last month, purchased Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. You could not ask for better evidence to bolster the argument that the 1,400-year-old Islamic faith has little to do with the modern jihadist movement.
Instead of arguing that we should all remain unhappy in the UK for the sake of futile and abstract 'class solidarity', let's wake up to the fact that Scottish Independence offers the best opportunity for radical change that we on the left will see in our lifetime.
The first step should be for the European Union to follow US policy in putting Igor Sechin on the sanctions list of individuals subject to travel bans and asset freezes. The US included Sechin on its list because of the immense influence he has exerted during Russia's lurch towards authoritarian nationalism.
There has to be a balanced approach by world leaders and humans in general to the death of civilians irrelevant of race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. President Obama's selective wording in which crimes a 'Just God' would stand by and stand against is as farcical as his statements on global peace and stability.
Britain faces huge challenges to compete in a world being transformed by the pace of technological change and the rapid rise of emerging economies, which whilst intensifying competition are also creating huge new markets and new opportunities. The government is failing to meet these challenges and to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and ease the burden on households. After four years of Conservative-led government, wages after inflation are on average £1,600 a year lower than in 2010.
The charges against David Cameron over his Iraq policy are well founded. But there are extenuating circumstances... It is time for a root-and-branch review of the principles of British foreign policy, so that they reflect two essential things: the world as it is and not as we would wish it to be; and the British national interest. Or, to put it another way, don't do nation-building and don't intervene in other people's civil wars - we usually make things worse, as in Iraq, and the waste of blood and treasure is unforgivable. If this means hobnobbing with dictators, so be it. Only genocide and threats to world order merit military intervention, as with IS.
Psychological abuse and coercive control are just as damaging as physical abuse and even though our laws don't yet reflect this, they now have a chance to catch up to the common morality. Moreover, our government is now aware of the fact that our laws are leaving victims of a domestic violence vulnerable at the hands of their abusers.
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.
Our balance of payments deficit is far too high. In fact we have not had a surplus on our trade in goods since 1982 and we have not had an overall surplus in any year since 1983 - 30 years ago. As a result, we are unable to run our economy at full throttle.
There is an amazing political discourse running across Scotland that brings in so many people who, like me, have no interest in being part of politics and who have nothing personal to gain from the outcome on September 18th. But for the first time in a very long time we all go to the polls knowing each one of our votes really counts.
Desperate men, women and children are the modern chattels of the modern multi billion-dollar slave trade in people trafficking. This business according to UN research is worth $15billion dollars a year and involves the control or forced labour of 20million persons.