Baroness Deech

Congestion in the chamber

Baroness Deech

Wednesday 20th found the chamber exceptionally crowded.  Every seat was taken by the time prayers were read; and those who came in afterwards either had to stand behind the bar, or sit on the gangway steps, or around the throne or between the Speaker and the despatch box.  As soon as one of the seated…

Climate change in the chamber

Baroness Deech

The extreme weather conditions of last week did not deter peers from turning up on Monday for a question about the Olympics and on Thursday for a debate on the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change.  There is a connection between the two topics. In the climate debate Lord Patel and a few others made the point that…

English as she is spoke

Baroness Deech

Lord Quirk asked a question today about taking measures to improve performance in written and spoken English throughout the education system.  So many peers rose to their feet wishing to participate that very few could be heard.  Had I been one of them, I would have asked the Minister to tell schools and universities to…

Out of Africa

Baroness Deech

I am spending the new year break in Cape Town.  I have a deep interest in and affection for South Africa, having been a trustee of the Rhodes Scholarships and of the Mandela-Rhodes Foundation.  The Rhodes Scholarships bring American, S. African and other commonwealth graduates to Oxford – but the Mandela-Rhodes Foundation returns some of…

In praise of interns

Baroness Deech

There is a pressing need for research and support if you are to do your job in the House properly.  And it is even greater if you have an outside job as well, because you need time to read all the material that comes out every day – the new bills, the briefings, the reports and reviews, the announcements of forthcoming business, the…