Following the conviction of Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek for the murder of four-year-old Daniel Pelka, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: "his death should be on all of our consciences." This is not a sentiment likely to be echoed by the media or the general public, who perhaps understandably lay the blame squarely on the professionals whose job it is to protect children. In the media blitz that accompanied the conviction, Mr Clegg and former children's minister Tim Loughton rushed to reassure the public that the government is doing everything possible to "reduce complexity and bureaucracy" in the child protection system, and that deaths like Daniel's are isolated cases. Government spin belies the reality of child protection.
After submitting freedom of information requests to every fire service in the land I discovered that arson attacks are on the increase, more firefighters are getting injured and casualties caused by house fires are rising. Incredibly, Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who has masterminded the downfall of public services across the country, has shrugged off these alarming facts. He lazily refuses to take any action to reverse the trend preferring to bury his ideologically driven head in the sand.
For many of us, the British Chancellor's annual budget announcement is a familiar ritual. We watch out for the extra couple of pence on a pint of beer or a glass of wine. We wince at the inevitable hike at the petrol pumps and wait hopefully for a few pounds back in tax credit or personal allowance. But the UK budget doesn't just matter to 60 million Brits.
Today hundreds of people will march on Parliament to protest the closure and diminished service of their public libraries all over the country. Public officials simply do not understand why libraries are important - and that is because they are all of an age and an income which, for some reason, makes them believe that libraries are a thing of the ancient past.
Asking peers to accept an arbitrary one year time limit for Employment and Support Allowance payments for cancer patients and others to recover from their gruelling treatment and get back behind a desk or onto the factory floor was always going to be a tough sell, and so it proved yesterday evening.