The Wheelchair User and the Big Baby Buggy

Baroness Deech

I have written earlier about the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act and Disability – http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/04/17/a-better-deal-for-disabled-persons/ and http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/12/15/labour-ditches-disabled-people/ – and concluded that one cannot overestimate the lack of compassion, or just indifference, on the part of some members of the public towards disabled people.  The Supreme Court judgment in FirstGroup plc v…

My letter to The Times re Syria (not published)

Lord Hylton

Why is it that your articles usually reflect the views of the armed opposition groups, filtered through your correspondents in Cairo and other places outside Syria? Do you not know that the Assad government now controls the greater part of Syria and has the support of a major part of the population, probably including many…

The Gulen movement in Turkey

Lord Hylton

The Gülen Movement in Turkey: The Politics of Islam and Modernity by Caroline Tee.  Published IB Tauris 2016 (272 pages) I commend the review of this book of page 24 of The Tablet for 7th January 2017.  Laurent Mignon, the reviewer, recalls the Gülen Movement’s Sufi background and the influence of the Kurdish Sunni theologian…

A tied vote

Lord Norton

There was an interesting result in a division today on an amendment to the Wales Bill.  The vote was tied 222 to 222.  Where there is a tied vote, which occasionally happens, the Lord Speaker, or peer on the Woolsack, has no casting vote.  The rule that determines the outcome is straightforward.  There has to be a majority…

Labour Ditches Disabled People

Baroness Deech

I had the privilege of chairing a Lords Select Committee on Disability and Equality in 2015-16, and wrote about it here – http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/04/17/a-better-deal-for-disabled-persons/. After a year of work, the opportunity presented itself last week of achieving one of our key recommendations, by securing an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill, currently making its way through…

At Euston, we can now save HS2 £4.7 bn!

Lord Berkeley

Euston Amalgam – a combination of Euston Express station for Euston and modifications to HS2’s approach tunnels. Further discussions with the Department for Transport, HS2, Network Rail and others persuaded the Euston Express team to examine an alternative scheme which retained the E Ex scheme for Euston Station, with all tracks for WCML and HS2…

Calling an early election…

Lord Norton

There is much speculation about the Prime Minister ‘calling’ an early election.  A Prime Minister cannot ‘call’ an early election.  The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 put paid to that.  I have previously explained the provisions of the Act.  The PM can go to the House of Commons to get it to vote (by a 2/3…

The Future of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Lord Hylton

What was probably the first attempt at a National Dialogue took place in Sarajevo from October 28 – 30 2016.   It was national in the sense that some 40 participants were people already active in civil society and voluntary organizations.  There was a good male/female balance, with representation of youth groups and older people, some…

60 years before Dawlish rail is made ‘resilient’

Lord Berkeley

rc161010 NR on SW improvements In October, Network Rail finally presented its Resilience Study and Flood Prevention Study to the All Party Parliamentary South West Rail Group. It has been a long time coming, and so has the delivery of this report, delayed I understand by the Department for Transport. The Report is designed to…