Contrasting approaches to maternal health

Earlier this year, as hosts of the G8, Canada’s Conservative government pledged to make maternal and child health in developing nations a G8 priority. However laudable the initiative, the government was heavily criticised for stating it would veto the use of any of its funds to provide women with access to safe abortions – even in countries where abortion is legal. Fast forward a few months to the very end of 2010 and we learn that the UK coalition government, led by Conservative PM David Cameron, will put contraception and safe abortion at the heart of its efforts to help save women’s lives in poor countries: Two documents set out plans for international development, which has a ringfenced budget. One […]

Tempest in a teapot

As promised, the Telegraph has made public the opinions of three other Lib Dem ministers in the Coalition government, opinions the ministers thought they were making to constituents, when it turns out they were talking to reporters from the Telegraph working undercover posing as concerned constituents. There isn’t anything particularly earth-shattering revealed this time around. I don’t think anyone’s really that surprised that Michael Moore, Stephen Webb and Ed Davey have some reservations about the policies the government’s put forward or that they’re not exactly keen on the more extreme members of the Tory party. I am willing to wager that if the Telegraph had conducted the same sting operation with Tory MPs and ministers, they would have heard similar […]

By-election discontentment

For the past few weeks, there has been a very interesting discussion about the nature and future of the UK Conservative Party. It was spearheaded by ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie, starting with his first blog post which sought to define “Mainstream Conservatism“, which Montgomerie believes is what most Tory Party members want instead of the “Liberal Conservatism” that is being practiced now by the Tory party in a coalition government with the Lib Dems. Several other people have contributed blog posts to the debate, and the debate has spread to other fora, such as the Spectator blogs. It’s quite interesting to read the discussions. Many commenters feel the entire exercise is either confusing or a waste of time or a bit […]

Cameron’s conference speech

I watched most of David Cameron’s keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference today. I was at work at the time, so did miss bits and pieces here and there, but managed to catch the high points, I think. As some commentators had forewarned, Cameron did seem to be channeling his inner JFK. First there was the announcement of a UK version of the Peace Corp, the international citizen service, which would: give thousands of our young people, those who couldn’t otherwise afford it, the chance to see the world and serve others. Last century, America’s peace corps inspired a generation of young people to act, and this century, I want international citizen service to do the same. There were […]