Northern Ireland is the most homophobic region of the UK and one of the most homophobic regions of the EU. This intolerance is stirred primarily by the dominant Democratic Unionist Party, the main political wing of Loyalist protestantism. Its policies on gay issues echo the homophobia of the BNP and European fascist groups. Many Northern Irish people are not homophobic. Even within the DUP, there are members who would not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. But senior party figures hold sway and they dictate an anti-gay agenda.
The new psychoactive substances bill that is being debated in the Lords today is arguably the worst piece of legislation in living memory. The plan to ban the sale of all substances that are "psychoactive" is supposedly designed to reduce the harms from so-called legal highs... The best estimates we have of deaths from legal highs in 2014 from UK experts such as John Ramsey is about five. Most deaths from recreational drug use (excluding alcohol that kills 22,000 per year) come from long-illegal substances such as heroin and other opiates (around 1,200) cocaine (around 200) and amphetamines (around 60). So why the hysteria around legal highs, particularly drugs such as nitrous oxide than in its 200 year history hasn't killed anyone?
Yes Friday is a good day to be gay and a good day for the American people but we cannot forget that we have a long way to go. Let's take this victory and carry on with a renewed vigour to make the rest of the world better too.
Today, I want to set London a new new goal. I want to raise £1bn every year for a Londoner's Fund, and invest this money to create a London endowment to support our good causes. This £1bn can be raised through a new London Lottery and a Hotel Tax on Tourist stays which is a real money-maker in many other European cities - but has never been tried here. These provide a fantastic untapped source of revenue, without imposing punitive taxes on Londoners.
If ever a cause was unworthy, that cause was the US Confederacy. If ever a cause was righteously defeated in battle, it was the cause of the US Confederacy. And if ever a flag was and is an insult to human decency and dignity, it is the Confederate flag.
For a journalist, covering the EU has always been one of the toughest gigs around. Brussels? Oh. So. Boring. But not any more. The coming months will see the EU front and centre of the political debate not just in the UK but in many other member states as well.
With the much-touted Investigatory Powers Bill looming - it's in the Government's interest to make this black and white: either you believe in stopping terrorism and serious crime or you believe in the fundamental right to privacy. One or the other, you can't have both.
The Tories more than doubled the number of ethnic minority voters it won and started to close the gap on Labour. While Labour still held a distinct lead, securing over 50% of the vote from ethnic minority voters, the Tories support grew from 16% in 2010 to 33% by 2015. These results must act as a warning to Labour - we simply cannot take any voters for granted.
If you get a bit seasick when you see a celebrity showing support for a humanitarian cause or being vocal about politics it's because your boring, staid, rigid boat has been rocked. Shame on your limited expectations, they need to embrace a healthy open-mindedness.
Understanding government can be a complex business. The stated reason for a policy and the real reason for it are rarely the same. So it was this week when Amber Rudd, the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change came to make a statement to the House of Commons heralding the end of onshore wind...
Our collective response to the plight of the Yazidis was the right one. If we fail to replicate that standard in Rakhine, our moral authority will be further diminished and it will be our enemies that pedal examples of the West's indifferences towards the Islamic world's suffering who alone will be the beneficiaries.
As Mark Carney and others have said, greater fairness is needed, because without it, the social contract that binds us together is weakened. When people feel that the playing field is far from level, that the rules are rigged by those with power and influence to work against them and their children, society begins to feel the strain.
There is work to be done to break the low pay trajectory of women who never properly get themselves into a situation to be able to work full time. This is about free pre-school childcare, and the ability to retrain while at the same time having an income and sorting out a family: issues which our benefits system has traditionally found it hard to grapple with.
If this longstanding institution is to live up to its potential as a global model of diverse states working to tackle common challenges and seize common opportunities, it needs the right leadership at this crucial moment. For the sake of the people and the countries that rely on the Commonwealth, and those who could benefit from its flourishing, let us hope their governments choose wisely.
I believe that London is the greatest city in the world but it is beset by the mortal threat of deepening inequality. I wholeheartedly agree that if London is to continue to thrive we must deliver change to ensure the city functions for all, not just a privileged few. I know I can be the mayor to deliver that change.
With the budget fast approaching, the funding of social care should be uppermost in the Chancellor's mind, and in particular the proposed cap on the cost of care.
If the EU is to be serious about its opposition to torture and the ill-treatment of human beings it must put its full might behind effective, comprehensive and adaptable controls on the instruments of torture. We believe that the legislation currently under debate in the Parliament can do this: we just need the political will to see it through.
The need for more information is given greater urgency by the words of Commander Richard Martin, head of intelligence and covert policing at the Met. In the article Commander Martin states that Communications Data is now routinely used in almost every criminal investigation.
The book is not just about Farage and Ukip, but also about a journalist in a world he had always wanted be in, but not sure what to do once he got there. I hope pro and anti-Ukippers read the book. I think both groups will have their views challenged in some chapters and affirmed in others.