Seventy years ago in October something extraordinary took place in Europe. Standing in solidarity with their fellow Danes, the people of Denmark organized a large scale rescue of the Danish Jewish community, bringing the overwhelming majority to the safety of neutral Sweden and thus preventing their deportation by the Nazis to extermination camps...
Relying solely on the ballot box will not fulfil the democratic ideal of a legitimate government by the people and for the people. Election results in both Egypt and the UK demonstrate the need for the political process to be anchored much more in a highly participatory civil society, with high levels of ongoing social engagement both before and after elections.
Editors, we hear, are filing one by one through the door of Downing Street, bending the prime minister's ear about royal charters and press regulators. You must do something, they warn him, or there will be an impasse, a stalemate. They are wrong. There is no impasse; there is a process. Lord Justice Leveson foresaw that some editors and proprietors would stubbornly resist change and he made provision for this.
What many do not realize is the European Parliament has an impact on almost every aspect of life in the UK, whether it is trying to cut the costs of a mobile phone call while you're on holiday to protecting your employment rights when you're at work or trying to ensure the very air you breathe is clean.
Fortuitously the start of my work placement with Unlock Democracy, a lobby for constitutional reform, coincided with the reassembling of Parliament post-recess, which heralded the passage of the trumpeted "Transparency Bill" in to legislation. It revealed to me - a huge politics geek - a lot about how public policy is made and influenced in the United Kingdom.
As a country, we have shirked this challenge. We have ran and hid from that bully Assad, far away from his Sarin strikes, and his blatant disregard for both human life and the tenements of International Law. We should not be running scared, we have both the means and the morality to stop him in his evil re-conquest of a former fiefdom.
Welcome to the slaughter mad house that has become Egypt. I have no words of comfort. Freedom always has a price, and often the generation that pays it never gets to reap what they sow. Patriots hope to live to see such freedom, but know their actions and those of their fellow countrymen and women can bring such an end that they may never see. In history, it is the only thing that ever has.
I met Prince Charles recently in Wales. Joined by my colleague, journalist-historian Hywel Williams, the two of us were invited to meet the Prince of Wales at Coed Darcy, where a small group of guests had been invited to see how Neath Port Talbot council, BP, the Welsh assembly and developers St Modwen are trying to turn one of Europe's biggest brownfield sites into a healthy, flourishing community.
The struggle either side of the elections is the most important part of the democratic process. Elections are merely very rough snapshots of an ongoing process and the fact that we fetishize these elections indicates only the extent to which we have become a largely depoliticized and de-ideologized society.