Evolution not revolution

Lord Tyler

For years some Peers’ strategy in the face of all reforming governments has been resistance and then snail-like reluctance in retereat. Witness the hard fought, last ditch rear-guard actions of the hereditaries to the Blair government’s removal of much of their number in 1998/99. Their watch word was always as little as possible, as slowly…

A fond farewell…

Lord Norton

Yesterday, the House broke with tradition and burst into applause.  The occasion was the valedictory speech of Lord Jenkin of Roding.  Under the House of Lords Reform Act, which took effect earlier this year, peers can now resign from the House.  The Procedure Committee produced proposals, agreed by the House, to mark the retirement of…

French Nobel Prize winner slates French rail reform

Lord Berkeley

President Hollande of France has welcomed the award of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Economics to Jean Tirole as being ‘good for France.’   French economist Jean Tirole’s award was for his work on the financial crises, oligopolies and network industries.  He is one of the most influential economists of our time; his publications on industrial organisation…

The cost of cohabitation

Baroness Deech

On Friday 12th December the Lords gave a Second Reading to Lord Lester and Lord Marks’ Cohabitation Rights Bill that would give many marriage rights and responsibilities to those who cohabited for two years, or who have children.  I have blogged about this before (http://lordsoftheblog.net/2012/01/26/against-my-will/, http://lordsoftheblog.net/2011/01/07/love-and-marriage/, and so has Baroness Murphy http://lordsoftheblog.net/2009/03/13/cohabitation-bill/). I first wrote about…

Thames Tideway Tunnel no longer necessary – new data shows Thames already complies with EU Directive.

Lord Berkeley

xt141211 Binnie TTT Review of spill impact xt141212 to de Mauley on TTT Thames Tideway Tunnel no longer necessary – new data shows Thames already complies with EU Directive. Analysis of new data from the Environment Agency, obtained under Freedom of Information Act, means that the Thames already complies with the European Urban Waste Water…

Save Our Pub

Lord Hodgson

The House had the Second Reading of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill last week – a bill on which the Government suffered a surprise defeat at the very end of proceedings in the House of Commons as a result of which the pub “tie” – by which brewers give financial and other support…

Blasphemy laws

Lord Hylton

I wrote to the Foreign Office Minister about the case of Aasia Bibi in Pakistan, asking him to arrange for her appeal against the death sentence for blasphemy to be observed continuously by British and EU diplomats, when it eventually comes to be heard in Pakistan’s Supreme Court.  It is a kind of test case,…

Resettlement of Afghan Interpreters

Lord Hylton

I asked HMG whether they will accelerate the conclusion of requests for resettlement by Afghan interpreters and other personnel employed by the UK, either by offering refugee states in the UK, or by assisted resettlement in other countries. Lord Astor of Hever gave me the following reply :” The ex-gratia redundancy scheme includes an offer…