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…

The Wheelchair User and the Big Baby Buggy

Baroness Deech

I have written earlier about the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act and Disability – http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/04/17/a-better-deal-for-disabled-persons/ and http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/12/15/labour-ditches-disabled-people/ – and concluded that one cannot overestimate the lack of compassion, or just indifference, on the part of some members of the public towards disabled people.  The Supreme Court judgment in FirstGroup plc v…

My letter to The Times re Syria (not published)

Lord Hylton

Why is it that your articles usually reflect the views of the armed opposition groups, filtered through your correspondents in Cairo and other places outside Syria? Do you not know that the Assad government now controls the greater part of Syria and has the support of a major part of the population, probably including many…

The Gulen movement in Turkey

Lord Hylton

The Gülen Movement in Turkey: The Politics of Islam and Modernity by Caroline Tee.  Published IB Tauris 2016 (272 pages) I commend the review of this book of page 24 of The Tablet for 7th January 2017.  Laurent Mignon, the reviewer, recalls the Gülen Movement’s Sufi background and the influence of the Kurdish Sunni theologian…

A tied vote

Lord Norton

There was an interesting result in a division today on an amendment to the Wales Bill.  The vote was tied 222 to 222.  Where there is a tied vote, which occasionally happens, the Lord Speaker, or peer on the Woolsack, has no casting vote.  The rule that determines the outcome is straightforward.  There has to be a majority…

Labour Ditches Disabled People

Baroness Deech

I had the privilege of chairing a Lords Select Committee on Disability and Equality in 2015-16, and wrote about it here – http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/04/17/a-better-deal-for-disabled-persons/. After a year of work, the opportunity presented itself last week of achieving one of our key recommendations, by securing an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill, currently making its way through…