rail monopoly news – France and Germany’s railways are falling apart!

Lord Berkeley

Rail monopoly news.  An irregular comment paper from Tony Berkeley, 7 November 2015  France and Germany’s railways are falling apart; other member states may not wish to follow them. France and Germany still lobbied the Transport Council against the changes that could revitalise their railways. Now, with the EC/EP/Council Trilogues already started, I reflect on…

Still Suffragettes

Baroness Deech

I went to see the new film “Suffragette”, (director Sarah Gavron, daughter of Labour peer Lord Gavron, who sadly died recently) at a special showing in Westminster. It isn’t perfect, but it certainly makes you think.  This is what I thought. The struggle is not over.  There are equality laws in place, but women are still not…

Protest

Lord Tyler

In a quieter moment last week, sitting on our front bench on Wednesday, I was inspired to leaf through unexplored pages of that essential guide to whole way in which the House of Lords works, the Companion.   My eye was caught by an unfamiliar section: PROTESTS, which read as follows:   Any member has the…

“Inside Syria” by Reese Erlich

Lord Hylton

Prometheus Books – Amherst – NY  pub 2014 – ISBN: 978-1-61614-948-2235 pages + Appendices, Chronology, Notes on Sources, and Index The author is an American journalist, who grew up in California as a politically active student, from a Jewish family, who protested against the Vietnam War. He gives a useful background on Syria since the…

Sport’s New Strategy

Lord McConnell

      With the final whistle minutes away, Scotland were within touching distance of the Rugby Union World Cup semi-final, the only northern hemisphere team still in contention. But in those last two agnonising minutes Australia scored a controversial penalty to take the semifinal place. Scotland played like heroes and silenced those that had…

Rooting out referral fees

Baroness Deech

“A referral fee is a payment made for the referral or introduction of a client or potential client. Referral fees and arrangements can take different forms. Although they are also used in other commercial relationships, they have attracted particular attention when they involve the legal professions.” That’s the definition used in a parliamentary briefing paper. …

Thinking outside the box

Lord Holmes

Last Tuesday I took part in the debate considering the report of the Lords Communications Committee on Women in News and Current Affairs Broadcasting. The report was excellent, not least as a result of the superb stewardship of the Committee Chair, Lord Best. The picture painted by the report was not bright, a world far…

Music in the air

Baroness Deech

There was a debate on the future of the BBC, led by Baroness (Joan) Bakewell, on Thursday.  Nearly every speaker defended the BBC and the need for it to continue ungagged by government under the renewed Charter.  Yes, there have been mistakes, but compared to those made by other institutions, including government itself, they are…