Poland is the problem

Baroness Deech

In general our press and politicians are very quick to discern and condemn conflicts of interest that might affect decision making, especially financial – Sebastian Coe and Nike being a recent example.  It is the perception of conflict that matters, not the actuality. Yet Poland, whose former PM Donald Tusk is now President of the European Council, has…

When the Nations of the World United in Westminster

Lord Bates

The great buildings on or around Parliament Square are no strangers to momentous events in history. Yet one event which is perhaps less well known and celebrated is the role Methodist Central Hall and Church House played in the formation of the United Nations. Last Sunday we were afforded an opportunity by the United Nations Association—UK, Westminster…

SHOCK! Peers are getting younger.

Lord Tyler

With the help of the Lords Library I have updated the information on the age of current Members of the House of Lords. It shows that since October 2014 the average age has dropped…from 70.12 to 69. Given the large number of new Members this is scarcely earth shattering but I suppose its a step…

A loss to the House

Lord Norton

2015 saw the death of a number of senior peers.  I have written about the losses in a post on my own blog.  One of the most notable was that of Lord Howe of Aberavon.  Geoffrey Howe was a leading Cabinet minister – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of…

Europe’s Trumps

Baroness Deech

Reading the worldwide condemnation of Donald Trump for his view that the US should bar all Muslim entrants, you would have thought that he was unique in his prejudice. Not so. Here on our European doorstep the same sentiment is being evinced, sometimes in even cruder terms. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria have all said…

New Arrivals in Europe

Lord Hylton

This year Europe as a whole has faced its biggest challenge since the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union.  Then it responded by helping the ex-communist states and by trying to do something for the people of Russia. Challenged by huge numbers coming from the Middle East, the EU…

Resurrection and Reconciliation for Bosnia

Lord Hylton

Ottoman Treasures Live Again –  A few years ago I stood on the famous bridge, Stari Most, the old bridge in Mostar, just before its formal reopening.  Last week I saw photographs of the newly re-built and restored Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka, north-west Bosnia.  This work of the well-known architect, Sinan (or his pupils),…

Dawn raid by European Commission on incumbent railway

Lord Berkeley

Rail monopoly news – Dawn Raid by the Commission – first of many? The annual Rail Freight Conference organised by the European Commission in Vienna on 4th December provided an interesting backdrop to the dawn raids by the European Commission as part their investigations into possible violations of ‘EU anti-trust rules that prohibit cartels and…