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Letter of the Lords - May 10, 2013

Letter of the Lords - May 10, 2013

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Published by libdemlords
Liberal Democrat Lords newsletter from May 10, 2013
Liberal Democrat Lords newsletter from May 10, 2013

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Published by: libdemlords on May 10, 2013
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 Welcome to the latest edition of Letter of the Lords
the weekly newsletter aimed at shining a light
into the work the party‟s peers are doing in the second chamber. Why not let us know what you think?
Email the newsletter onlordsmedia@libdems.org.uk
.And that‟s also the address to give to friends,
colleagues and loved ones to sign up too. Plus don‟t forget to keep up to date with the blog
at libdemlords.org.uk and follow us on Twitter at@LibDemLords. 
If the pomp of last month‟s prorogation of Parliament wasn‟t enough, this week saw the circumstance
of the State Opening of Parliament,a pageant of horses, hats and Her Majesty. But beneath the
historic theatre lay the Government‟s legislative programme for the year ahead.
  A number of the Bills have begun their journey at the Lords end of Parliament, including of particular note the Offender Rehabilitation Bill, introduced this week by
Lord McNally
. This would see alloffenders released from prison in England and Wales receiving at least 12 months' supervision. Atpresent, people serving sentences of less than 12 months are not allocated a probation officer.Lord McNally told peers 
that breaking the cycle of reoffending was “the key challenge not only in
youth justice but throughout the criminal justice system”.
said: “We spend £3bn a year on prisons. You do not have to be some woolly
-minded liberal
if that is not a contradiction in terms
to see this as a bad return on investment if we continue totolerate a high rate of reoffending.
“The worst part is that,
at the moment, despite those sentenced to less than 12 months being most atrisk of reoffending
I remind your Lordships that women are represented disproportionately amongthat group
they do not get help with rehabilitation. They are seen off at the prison gate with £46 in
their pocket and very little else.”
 The Government hopes the bill will reduce reoffending rates for the most prolific criminals.
“The ceremonial that we have seen today would be recognisable across many centuries,
with onlyslight differences. In 1854, for example, ministers also took part in the procession. The Illustrated
London News reported it as follows: „Her Majesty‟s Ministers drove rapidly along the line of route, and
those of them who were recognised were c
heered.‟ Ministers cheered in the streets, my Lords –
is a thing.” On the day of the State Opening of Parliament,
Lord German
seconds the Humble
 Address to the Queen‟s Speech and harks back to more innocent times.
 "@mrjoelclark: Enjoyed This House at the National Theatre this evening.Did you , @oakeshottm?"Gt
trip down memory lane for me as Spad in 74.”
Lord Oakeshott of SeagroveBay
‟ Cultural and Community Distribution Deregulation Bill would exempt community and
cultural events from rules allowing councils to designate areas within which people must buy a licenceto hand out flyers. The Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill, introduced by
Lord Sharkey
, wouldpardon computer genius Alan Turing, convicted of gross indecency with another man in 1952 whensuch sexual encounters were unlawful. And
Lord Tyler 
‟s Voting Age (Comprehensive Reduction) Bill
would lower the voting age to 16.
Lord Tyler 
also used the first day of the Queen‟s Speech debate to refer to one measure not
contained in it
Lords reform. Saying that peers could “hardly
have expected the resurrection of the
Government‟s 2012 Bill”, he reminded that of Labour‟s role in ensuring it did not get to the statute
book. Noting that the Bill received a record majority at its Second Reading in the Commons, he said
Labour‟s refusal
to agree to a programme motion showed they “sacrificed political reform at the altar of political opportunism”.
 In the same debate,
Baroness Williams of Crosby
warned that “one thing that we have to be verycautious about in this country is our attitude towards other people who want to come here”. Telling theHouse how the UK had benefited immensely from immigration, she drew on both “the great Jewish

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