Opinions

Government has steered our economy away from disaster

Councillor Tom Smith recently gave full vent to DUP ‘little-Ulster’ nationalism, in a letter supposedly critiquing the government's economic policy and accusing it of conspiring to benefit the rich, by removing the 50p tax band.  Anyone with an ounce of concern for the UK’s national finances realises that the current government has steered our economy away from disaster with its prompt action to tackle the deficit.  

Government making sure armed forces in good nick

Harry Stephenson is right to praise the bravery of the armed forces in his letter to the Belfast Telegraph, dated 7 September, but he is wrong to accuse the government of neglecting its military.  The UK is rightfully proud of punching above its weight in the international arena and events in Libya have proven, once again, that our forces are among the very best in the world.We currently spend £35 billion on defence annually.  By 2015 the government will still spend that amount of money.  That means the UK has the fourth largest defence budget in the world.  There is an ongoing process to make sure that our armed forces remain at the highest possible level: streamlined and prepared for the challenges of the modern world.  By the end of that process the UK will have a nuclear deterrent, a brand new fleet of submarines, a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, new destroyers and new fighter jets. The government is giving the British military the backing it needs and deserves.  The prime minister is hugely proud of the job the armed forces did in Libya.  In conjunction with Liam Fox at the ministry of defence, David Cameron will ensure that our forces are prepared for any challenges which may confront them in the future. 

Grammar schools right to query entitlement framework

Grammar schools are right to highlight problems with the Department of Education’s ‘entitlement framework’, which requires all secondary schools to provide a broad range of courses in both academic and practical disciplines.  There is a very real danger that forcing schools to provide courses which only a tiny number of pupils want to study will stretch resources for key subjects to breaking point. 

"Big society" at the heart of David Cameron's riot response

In his column (18 August) Liam Clarke asks “whatever happened to the big society” in the aftermath of riots in England.  If Liam cares to read the prime minister’s speech, delivered last Monday, he will find that the big society is right at the heart of the government’s response to the violence.

Conservatives stand up for Northern Ireland

I’m encouraged that Alex Kane is taking such a keen interest in the future of the Northern Ireland Conservatives and our electoral prospects.  To be clear, the fact that I did not confirm or deny any if his conjecture in July 16th’s News Letter does not mean that I endorse it.  Like any political party we continually discuss various strategies and ideas and will continue to do so.  However, just as I took issue with some of the conclusions in that article, I must also contest the analysis in his latest column. Letter published in 2 August News Letter.