I am the first person to stand up and bang the drum for Newbury - we're a great market town with a great sense of community. We're above average in almost every respect - most notably in employment and affluence, yet still we seem to be letting our young people down by failing to provide them with the education they so badly deserve.
I am sure you of all people do not need to be reminded that people claiming JSA or any other benefit to which they are entitled are not criminals, that jobcentre staff and benefits advisors are not their parole officers, and that the nation's benefits system was brought into being after a hard fought struggle by previous generations of trade unionists and working class men and women in this country to ensure a minimum of protection and justice for working people in periods of economic turbulence, ill health or any other crisis which might occur in their lives.
This week, four committee members - including the entire team behind the social media campaign largely responsible for raising awareness of the Glasgow movement and the lobbyists responsible for garnering the council's permission to march on George Square - resigned over the "politics" which sprung up in the first meetings of the Federation.
Richard Wright died on 28 November 1960. The Afro-American writer paved the way for future writers like James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison and prepared the ground for the civil rights movement. Both his memoirs Black Boy and Native Son were instant bestsellers and changed the literary scene in the US over night.
In my new political incarceration as a 'striver' I am angry. I got out of bed this morning knowing that there is nothing that my company, the people I work with or many of our clients can do. I feel stupid in the knowledge that the decks are stacked against us, we are not on a level playing field and their is nothing we can do.
A year on from the riots which gripped parts of London and other cities up and down the UK, it is worth recalling that they were a predictable outcome to the economic and social pressure the communities impacted were under from a Tory-led coalition government, which had begun to dole out its punishment to the poor in response to an economic recession not of their making.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations are thankfully behind us, but in their wake they have left a mark of shame at the sheer amount of public money involved not only in paying for this event, but in propping up the Monarchy year after year, an institution as ludicrous as it is pernicious in the 21st century.
Sixteen years after Mitterrand's death, the ghost of the first (and, before now, only) left-wing President of the Fifth Republic looms as large as ever. Over the past weeks, as once more the spectre of a Socialist in the Elysée has haunted Europe, commentators have dredged up the radical programme introduced by Mitterrand on his 1981 election.