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Who is Labour’s WikiLeaks “bully and sex pest” ?

Lots of names and embarrassing detail is gloriously published in the Guardian’s WikiLeaks exclusive today. Yet the blushes have been spared of a Labour minister who was forced to apologise for sexual harassment and described as a “bully”. The newspaper is witholding his name (do you think that would have been the case if it had been a Conservative or Lib Dem minister?), but I...
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A brief encounter with Michael Crick

My pulse rate increased when I spotted Newsnight’s terrier Michael Crick sitting a few inches from me in a Westminster coffee bar. I was passing time there as I was early for an event in the House of Lords to promote Abbeyfield’s future care home strategy in the UK, and I wondered if I should seize the moment and invite Michael along. Michael had his head down and was flickering with...
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Tuition fees and student unrest

My grave concern about tripling university tuition fees is that it is a flawed business plan. A bank would not lend thousands of pounds on the pretext that it might be paid back ONLY IF the students secures a job with a salary of £21,000. With the proposed changes mature students, for example, can take out a loan to pursue their own academic interests and have no intention of working afterwards....
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David Ruffley’s neighbourhood coalition

We all know you can choose your friends, but not your neighbours. It means that suddenly the Lib Dem and Conservative coalition has a whole new meaning as Tory MP David Ruffley has inadvertently moved next door to his former Lib Dem parliamentary rival David Chappell in a village near Bury St Edmunds. It could prove a little bit awkward, especially if they both contest the next general election....
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Combating loneliness in old age

Loneliness is one of the biggest fears for older people today. But this is nothing new. One inspirational man who recognised how loneliness affected the older generation back in the 1950s was Richard Carr-Gomm who resigned his commission in the Coldstream Guards to became an unpaid home help and learned about loneliness among the old and vulnerable. He was determined to help them overcome their...
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Congratulations to Francesca and her second Mexican Takeway!

I had some wonderful news over the weekend. There’s nothing that beats putting a smile on my face than the arrival of a new baby. I love them all!! The mother is an inspirational woman who is campaigning to reduce bureaucracy over adoptions in the UK, Francesca Polini. She has just successfully adopted her second baby in Mexico with husband Rick, a boy called Luca, who is an adorable...
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Monitoring Social Media

I’m sorry to miss this unmissable event in London next Monday as it could provide the elusive answer for PR, marketing and social media professionals about how to measure ROI on the internet. Entitled Monitoring Social Media 2010, it includes some great speakers, and I will be sorry to miss one of my favourite bloggers, Neville Hobson, who is chairing a discussion on Monitoring for Brands....
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Trying the new Nescafe Dolce Gusto

Nescafe is confidently taking on the Italians as King of Coffee with its new stylish coffee making machine, the Nescafe Dolce Gusto, and its mouth watering collection of recipes, including the scrummy sounding, waist expanding Chocolate Butterscotch Latte Macchiato – what a mouthful, literally! I know just the person who might like one of these neat coffee machines for a Christmas present,...
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Nick Clegg cornered by Oxford graduate over soaring tuition fees

A week after violent protests by students over the proposed tripling of university tuition fees, Nick Clegg was cornered by Oxford graduate Portia Murray who asked him to defend the promise Liberal Democrats made not to increase fees in their 2010 election manifesto. He gives his answer on this video, appearing uncomfortable at times, and states that as his party is not in power, they are unable...
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Prince William and Kate to be married

So Waity Katy has bagged her Prince Charming and will one day be our Queen following today’s announcement that the couple plan to marry next year. We are told that they became engaged last month during a private holiday in Kenya after dating for eight years. I observed from this recent photo of them taken at a friend’s wedding that she seemed to radiate an inner glow which came from...
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The Chandlers are freed by Somalian pirates

What a breathtaking weekend for releases from captivity. First, the Burmese demure pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed yesterday by her country’s dictators after spending more than 15 years under house arrest. And now British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler have been released by Somalian pirates after spending over a year in captivity. I thought everyone had forgotten about...
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Is a “mercy killing” murder?

We need an urgent political debate in this country about “mercy killings” following a decision by the Court of Appeal today rejecting a mother’s conviction of murder after she fatally injected her brain-inured son with a heroin injection to end his “living hell”. Why wasn’t it reduced to manslaughter? Frances Inglis, 58, of Dagenham, was jailed for life at the...
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Will Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi be freed today?

This is terrific news. There are reports that military authorities have signed an order authorising the release of Burma’s jailed democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a woman whose dignity in adversity and oppression has won her worldwide admiration. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has spent more than 15 years in detention, most of it under house arrest at her home, for her political beliefs...
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Cambridge student protests from the 60s and 70s

With student protests in the headlines over rising tuition fees, I thought I would delve back and see which issues fired up Cambridge students in the past, particularly the 1960s and 70s. Since then, student life in Cambridge seems to have been much quieter, barring the incident when a student threw a shoe at the Chinese prime minister last year. Ian Kitching has recorded past student actions on...
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Will you buy the new Sinclair electric vehicle?

Sir Clive Sinclair has designed a new electric vehicle following his C5 battery model which flopped after it was launched in 1985. It had a top speed of 15 miles per hour and was intended to transform the way people travelled, but ended up losing its inventor £6 million. Undeterred, the entrepreneur has unveiled his the X-1, which is similar to a battery-powered bicycle with a battery that is...
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