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…

How not to get a good deal

Baroness Deech

On 21 February, after 20 hours of debate and 180 speakers, the House of Lords followed the House of Commons in giving a second reading to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. At the end of the day, acceptance of the revolutionary nature of the referendum outcome won out, albeit with reluctance and disdain…

British Policy on Illegal Drugs

Lord Hylton

On 7 February I had an Oral Question in the House of Lords on departmental responsibility for drugs policy, and rehabilitation of drug users. This can be found at cols 1594 – 1596 of Hansard. While the Government response was on the lines of no change, they are keen to reduce the harm caused by…