So very different in Italy

Baroness Murphy

A blogless gap because I was a few days away in Italy. This does wonders for recharging the batteries but also for appreciating the UK parliamentary system. The people of Lucca in northern Tuscany are deep into the campaign for the forthcoming general elections . So many parties, so little time to find out what…

Parliamentarians sweat it out for charity!

Lord Dholakia

Last Wednesday (27th February) over 50 MPs and Peers came together to run the ‘Westminster Mile’ around St James’ Park for charity Sport Relief. I took part with my researcher and we enjoyed a slightly more leisurely mile than some of the other parliamentarians. This was an excellent example of the way that parliament can…

Democracy but not on the roof of Parliament

Lord Soley

Yesterday there was a very large lobby of Parliament by people wanting a referendum on the EU legislation which they see as a constitution in all but name. Never mind the arguments about the constitution just now but consider why the media gave news priority to a very small group who climbed on the roof…

What are debates for?

Baroness Murphy

We’ve just finished Baroness Eccles’ debate on Quality of Care in the NHS’. 17 peers spoke for 5 minutes each on this wide-ranging topic. I seriously wonder whether this is the best use of parliamentary time. No doubt official(s?) in the Department of Health are obliged to read it and ensure the Minister has responded…

Quality of Care in the NHS

Baroness Murphy

My monthly Board meeting this morning at Monitor, the regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts. Monitor makes sure Trusts are well-managed and financially strong so that they can deliver excellent healthcare for patients.NHS foundation trusts are a key part of the reform programme in the NHS. They are autonomous organisations, free from central Government control. They…

My Week

Lord Dholakia

Last week I wrote an article for the ‘House’ Magazine chronicling my week in the House of Lords. To give an idea of the sort of work that I do, I have reproduced it here: Thursday 14 February The holiday week hasn’t started well. Already two days have been accounted for by meetings of the…

House of Lords Reform

Baroness D'Souza

This was published today in the Times and brings the total correspondence in the past couple of weeks to five letters of which four strongly support if not a wholly appointed House of Lords at least a plea that the forthcoming White Paper takes the majority vote in favour of an all appointed House into…

Trust

Lord Tyler

The Director General of the BBC gathered together a select band of MPs and Peers this week to discuss the breakdown of public trust in both broadcasters and politicians. Looking round the table, it was difficult to work out why we had been invited. Gerald Kaufman was an obvious choice to bemoan the claimed collapse…

Rushing about

Baroness Murphy

An early start this morning in Whitechapel in the East End of London chairing a meeting of the management group of Centre of the Cell, a fantastic children’s science educational centre about biological and medical sciences being developed inside the heart of the new medical school buildings at Queen Mary University of London . The…