Retiring peers

Lord Norton

The House of Lords Reform Act 2014 – a Private Member’s measure introduced by Dan Byles MP – enabled peers for the first time to retire from the House.  (It also made provision for the expulsion of peers who commit serious criminal offences and removes those who fail to attend for a session.)  To date,…

Cameron does a Gordon Brown

Baroness Deech

Once again the Prime Minister has made an unfounded and inappropriate attack on Oxford.  Why are there so few black students, he asked? I have rehearsed the arguments before, in my 2011 post, Oxford Blues Whites and Blacks (http://lordsoftheblog.net/2011/04/12/oxford-blues-whites-and-blacks/) and, sadly, nothing has changed.  Black potential students still achieve fewer 3A*/A A-level grades than white; and only…

Learning From History

Lord McConnell

      Earlier this week I had the honour to Chair the APPG on Conflict Issues as we hosted Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire who has been a member of the Canadian Senate but, more famously, was Force Commander of UNAMIR, the UN peacekeeping mission deployed to Rwanda before the genocide in 1994. Lieutenant-General Dallaire warned…

Rail Monopoly news 25.1.16 – 4th RP alliancing and CER goes for N Korean control

Lord Berkeley

Rail monopoly news – 25th January 2016  4th Railway Package: co-operation agreements will neuter it + CER goes for North Korean-type control!  Fourth Railway Package Trilogue.  Amid some improvement, the UK Government still tries to retain ‘alliances’ or ‘co-operation agreements’ between Infrastructure Managers and one or more Railway Undertakings – in order to be nice…

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…