Tom Midlane is a freelance journalist who writes for the Guardian's Northerner blog and the Press Association. He can also be found ranting verbosely about everything from fast food jobs to banking reform on his own blog, The Golden Latrine.
When not working, he can be found with his nose in a dusty book or stood on the terraces at Blue Square North tiddlers Stalybridge Celtic.
Empathy is an absolutely crucial part of the political picture. Take the Coalition's spending cuts. It's easy to see a policy in terms of numbers and strategies. It isn't until you seem the damage they have wrought up close that the human element begins to loom into focus.
To say that burglars are cowards is to play into the conventional political and media narrative that criminals turn to illegal activity because they are too lazy to make it straight. Which simply isn't true.
The idea that this is a genuine exercise in localism just simply isn't credible, because the coalition is only interested in devolving power to two sectors: the private and the voluntary. If you want to know what Cameron and Osborne really think of local government, go and count the number of empty offices at council buildings across the land.
The global financial elite is operating in a mirror world, one in which black is white and up is down but, as Nigel Green makes clear, to do so would be a gross dereliction of duty to your shareholders.
The decision to hand over the court interpreting contract to Capita is simply yet another example of the bull-headed belief that subcontracting out services to private firms always leads to a sleeker, more efficient service.
Failure, it goes without saying, is a relative concept. For most of us mere mortals, failure is the feeling that creeps over you when you realise you've spent the entire day by yourself on the sofa, eating a whole packet of bakewell tarts and watching Jeremy Kyle reruns.
09/08/2012 15:42 BST
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