Strathclyde Review under scrutiny…

Lord Norton

At the end of last year, Lord Strathclyde, the former Leader of the House, of Lords, undertook a review, at the behest of the Prime Minister, of how the House deals with secondary legislation.  The review was prompted by the House not approving (though it did not reject) the tax credit regulations.  The review was published in December. …

Fifty years of service

Lord Norton

  In a recent post on Lords of the Blog, I drew attention to the impending retirement of three women peers.  They included Baroness Knight of Collingtree, who before entering the Lords had, as Jill Knight, been MP for Birmingham Edgbaston.  Yesterday, I attended a lunch to mark her fifty years in Parliament.  For almost eighteen of those…

Just a Minute

Baroness Deech

There was an important debate in the Lords on 10th March on the future of the BBC. So many people signed up to speak that they were allocated only one minute each, and there were several references by speakers to that well known radio 4 programme in which speakers have to avoid hesitation, repetition or deviation. …

Really Silly about Sunday

Baroness Deech

The recent defeat in the Commons of a proposal to give freedom to locals to decide about longer Sunday shopping hours defies belief. I understand that pious MPs want to keep Sunday special with space for religious worship and family meals.  But there is plenty of time for that for those who want it, and…

“End the Death Penalty”

Lord Hylton

Pope Francis called for the worldwide ending of capital punishment, when he returned to Rome from Mexico.  He had previously made the same plea when addressing the United States Congress. I have known of too many miscarriages of justice, for example the notorious cases of the Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4, not to agree…

Good News from Palestine and Bosnia

Lord Hylton

The first stage of the restoration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has been completed.  Bethlehem was the birth-place of Jesus, known as the Christ by most of the world, and by Muslims as the Prophet Isa.  The Church was built in the 4th century CE by Saint Helena, the wife and widow of…

Where there’s a will there’s a way!

Lord Tyler

They said it was impossible, unrealistic, over-optimistic. No select committee could be expected to produce a report in less than a month Indeed, some Peers even used this as an excuse for not supporting the otherwise infallible Motion before the House on 20th January (full comments). However, the vote was decisive: 327 to 234, an…

Avoiding the issue…

Lord Norton

During debate in the Lords yesterday, the Government attracted criticism, not least from me, for its failure to distinguish what Lord Sewel said at the despatch box in 1998 from what has developed as the Sewel convention.  I have written about the verbal gymnastics of the minister in a post on my own blog. What…