Anyone seeking elected office needs to rely on the media to help spread word of their activities and policies. This is particularly true for independent candidates, who lack access to an active supporter base that are well used to running campaigns, distributing leaflets and contacting voters. That has not happened here and while it is understandable that some object to the very idea of electing PCC's that does not change the situation: there will be an election for them on Thursday and voters should have been better served in learning about the candidates and their policies.
Being seen to say 'no' a lot is probably the biggest risk that the unionist parties face. Whenever any change has been suggested, whether it was the founding of the parliament, the AV referendum or the scrapping of section 28, the NO campaigns have tended to be very negative. It's an easy message to maintain for a couple of months, but not for two years. Even if some of their predictions are true then they risk being undermined by a wider narrative that is seen to be painting too gloomy a picture.
The idea that consenting adults should be allowed to make their own decisions is under threat. Can I suggest that we all think twice before second guessing the nanny state, or worse, letting it dictate every little aspect of our lives 'in our own interests'? Is that the truth that's really too dangerous to let out?
There's an awful lot of nonsense spoken and written about women and employment. Airy generalisations slug it out with specious stereotyping and the simple reality gets lost in the clatter. Because the truth is, that women are at the heart of this country's economic growth strategy. And if we're serious about recovery - and we are - we must to do everything possible to maximise their contribution to the workplace.
Investors and business leaders - on whom the country's economic recovery depends, can no longer be certain of the UK's liberty and protection under the law. At the very time other crisis economies are cutting costs and increasing certainty, business in the UK will have to contend not just with statutory rules and the costs they impose on employers. They will also face the consequences of pressure-group politics, in which politicians abandon the labour market to the unpredictable operations of twilight law.
It's good to see senior politicians acknowledge the central role that female employment must play in raising living standards in the next decade. And it's true that improvements can be made by, in the DPM's words, "shaking up rules and arrangements". But just as the coalition is finding on childcare, shuffling the pack can only get you so far. In the long-run, we have to invest more as a country in supporting parents to work, particularly mothers who often find that work doesn't pay. That means putting our money where our mouth is.
Today's evidence from R3, the insolvency practitioners, that the rapid and rabid growth of Britain's payday loan industry is leading people to go hungry in order to repay these debts, is saddening but not surprising to me.
At the age of sixteen, I can now legally join the army, get a full-time job, leave home without my parents' consent and get married, yet people my age still find themselves denied the right to vote, one of the most important rights you can have in a democratic country. How can it be that anyone of my age can get a job and pay taxes towards a government whom they are not even able to vote for?
The pips are squeaking. As the deadline approaches for Lord Justice Leveson to make his recommendations on press regulation to the government, the public debate gets more strident. Rumours abound that he will recommend a role for the state. The chairman of the Press Complaints Commission urged him in a speech last night not to go down this path.