TUV Westminster Candidate for East Belfast David Vance sets out his Party’s position on Caitriona Ruane’s proposal to remove funding for pupils in preparatory departments. The issue, he says, is further evidence of dysfunctionality at the heart of the Executive and reinforces his Party’s demand for voluntary coalition…
A lesson in dysfunctionality…
By David Vance
Education Minister Caitriona Ruane is ideologically driven to dismantle Northern Ireland’s academic system. She follows in the tradition of Martin McGuinness who started the ball rolling and her latest attack on the funding of Prep Schools demonstrates the utter dysfunctionality that lies with the currentform of devolved Government.
TUV, like our fellow Unionist Parties in the DUP and UUP, advocates the primacy of respecting parental choice. Ruane has no such interest and is determined to impose her will on parents who wish to send their children to Prep schools. She does this by financially undermining the Prep Schools and this may well lead to the closure of some. This would be in line with Sinn Fein dogma about limiting choice and creating a monstrous system which removes academic selection from academia. Naturally she can count on the support of radical egalitarians in the education system whose leftist values coincide with her nihilistic republicanism.
The core issue is the fact that Ms Ruane can impose her will despite the fact that the majority of other political parties have grave concerns on the direction she is taking. This is a crunch issue for TUV since it illuminates the failure of the current model for government. This is not coherent government. The little Ministerial private fiefdoms within the Executive enable those such as Ruane to ruin our Education system, humiliate the Prep Schools, punish the Grammar Schools, and cause misery and anxiety to parents, teachers and above all children.
TUV calls for an end to the mandatory coalition system and encourages other Unionist Parties to recognise that what we have doesn’t work nor can it work. We have to tear it up and start again. That’s where voluntary coalition scores. In this model, parties must agree a shared platform for government and then other parties can rigorously oppose them. This lends to a robust form of democratic government where the electorate is empowered and able to throw out of government those who introduce policies it does not like. In this regard, Ruane’s vicious attack on the Prep Schools should act as a lesson of what is to come unless we make a change for the better.