View from City Road: Sir Michael says he is sorry
Wednesday 10 November 1993
For the first time in many years, the defence budget suffered critical scrutiny even in Conservative newspapers. But Sir Michael is being super-sensitive if he supposes that the nascent public debate is anything more than a reflection of the reduced threat to these islands thanks to the end of the Cold War combined with the reduced circumstances of the exchequer.
The Government is facing a borrowing requirement worth 8 per cent of national income at a time when defence is taking 4.1 per cent of national income, a higher share than that of France at 3.4 per cent or Germany at 2.2 per cent. The last substantial review of defence spending - Options for Change - took place in 1990, before the full scale of the Soviet collapse had been appreciated.
There is no reason to believe that the Treasury relaxed its normal rule, which is that it never briefs the press during public spending rounds. The Treasury simply does not believe that public debate helps the control of public spending, since it merely excites special interests.
Indeed, the Treasury is probably the Whitehall department least committed to open government. Should Sir Michael or anyone else doubt this, we can assure him that we asked the Treasury for a briefing. And we were refused.
Long after his career in English football has ended, Emile Heskey's impotency in front of goal remains an object of ridicule.
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...