Opinions

Britain’s Response to the use of Chemical weapons in Syria

A week after Parliament was recalled to debate and vote on a potential military response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the ramifications of the motion’s defeat continue to resonate across the international community as does the debate itself. Reflecting on a tumultuous few days in parliament, here are some personal observations which I hope will explain why I supported the motion.

Technical Baccalaureate

More great news for young people as the Government announces the introduction of the Technical Baccalaureate, a high-quality vocational education on a par with the A-levels. 

Climate Week 2013

There's no doubt Green business is now big business. Here in the South West alone there are over 4000 'green industry' companies, employing almost 80,000 people. And it’s not just the domestic market that is growing but our regions’ exports are now valued at almost £1bn a year.So what better way to promote this important industry than through a national week of activities which showcase practical solutions to the problems arising from climate change from every sector of society?

The Coalition Government is now mid-way through its term

The Coalition Government is now mid-way through its term and whilst there is still plenty more to do, the past 2 and a half years have set Britain on the right track. A quarter of the deficit has been cleared and some difficult choices have led to bold reforms in welfare, the NHS, education and our immigration policy.

Upgrading UK Influence in the European Union

So no EU budget deal in Brussels last month – but one significant positive did emerge: British leadership and determination kept together a coalition of countries that stood up for European taxpayers and forced high spenders to recognise that when national governments are taking tough decisions about their finances Brussels must too. It illustrates what British influence and diplomacy in Europe can achieve. What a contrast to the profligate EU budget left to us thanks to the last Labour Government’s lack of such determination.

Renaming the Clock Tower – a tribute to the Queen

2012 has been an incredible year for Great Britain with the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, reminding the world, and indeed ourselves what it is to be British. Both events served to illustrate what a proud nation we are and the influential role the monarchy plays in defining who we are, what we stand for and how we are perceived. And for this, Her Majesty the Queen has for 60 years played such a pivotal role, she is arguably the most respected and admired public figure in the world.

The Democrat Convention – Charlottesville North Carolina

Charlottesville, a growing east coast city, named after the wife of King George III, is probably too small to host a US convention (hotels up to 50 miles away were required to accommodate delegates), but in such a tight race it is capital to one of seven battleground states and with 15 points (helping secure a target of 270) up for grabs, worth a visit by the Democrat Convention bandwagon.

Recognising the unsung heroes behind our Olympic Legacy

In a very British way, the nation took some time to embrace the full impact of our hosting the Olympics. How do you follow Beijing? Will that rain ever stop? And how can we run a dozen Olympic venues if we can't even get Heathrow right? With the Army suddenly drafted in to fill security gaps, expectations were not high.

Army 2020 - The transformation of UK Land Forces

To illustrate the changing demands placed on the modern soldier a US Marine General, Charles Krulak, introduced 'The Three Block War' concept where soldiers might conduct full scale military action, peacekeeping/stabilisation operations and humanitarian aid within the space of three contiguous city blocks