Rail monopolies in NL and DE caught out – again. NS fined Euro 40m; poor old taxpayers.

Lord Berkeley

The Netherlands rail incumbent, NS, has been fined Euro 40m by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) for abuse of dominant position in the regional tendering process. ACM found that NS has submitted a lossmaking bid in order to shut out competition on the regional tendering process. The other bidders were not able…

Poland – from bad to worse

Baroness Deech

I have written on previous occasions about Poland’s slide towards authoritarianism and its reversion to its past system of dictatorship (sometimes there is little to choose between the fascist and communist regimes, especially from the perspective of the oppressed). http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/02/18/poland-is-the-problem-continued/ and http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/01/23/poland-is-the-problem/ The situation is now even worse, to the extent that it would not…

The rotten heart of Europe

Baroness Deech

Despite all the talk about the importance of maintaining our membership of the European Convention on Human Rights, it is increasingly seeming to be a dead letter in other European countries.  Here is a very brief rundown. It is sad that space does not permit coverage of yet more appalling situations in member states of…

“Syria: from Destruction to Reconstruction”

Lord Hylton

This was the title of a conference, organized in London by the Cambridge-based European Centre for the Study of Extremism, director Dr Makram Khoury-Machool, on 5th and 6th April. Lord Williams of Oystermouth (formerly Archbishop of Canterbury) gave the keynote address. Other speakers included Lord Eames, formerly Archbishop of Armagh, Congressman D Kucinich of Ohio,…

“Our Common Good” by John Nickson – book review

Lord Hylton

(published Biteback 2017. Hardback) ISBN 978-1-84954-803-8     411 pages The first 11 chapters in part 1 discuss the problems facing British society – for example concentrations of wealth and inequality; the dysfunctional housing situation, with homelessness and destitution; the reduced role of the state; youth alienation; and dissatisfaction among those barely managing. The second part concentrates…

“Will not be tolerated”

Baroness Deech

This has become the most defensive, and most meaningless phrase in the English language recently.  Corbyn’s response to vicious antisemitism in the Labour party – “racism will not be tolerated in any form”. Lord Chancellor Truss on prison violence – will not be tolerated. Likewise Councils on fly tipping; domestic abuse – dishonesty in divorce…

EU Citizens in the UK and British Citizens in the EU

Lord Hylton

You may have seen that the House of Lords approved amendments to the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill by a majority of 102.  This will oblige the House of Commons to think again whether this country should guarantee the continuing rights of EU citizens already resident here. I would have voted for the amendment had…

Academics for Peace – Urgent Call for Xerabe Bava in Turkey

Lord Hylton

Academics for Peace members in Germany and the UK have issued an urgent call to draw attention to a round-the-clock military curfew imposed on the Kurdish village (Xerabe Bava – Korukoy) in Mardin-Nusaybin, in Turkey (221.2.2017): “As Turkey’s constitutional referendum is approaching, we are, once again, witnessing an intensification of state violence in the Kurdish…