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11 July 2014

What’s Coming Up

Monday: Lord Avebury will be talking about Human Rights in
Sudan. Lord Avebury is the founder of the Parliamentary Human
Rights Group, which he also chaired for 21 years.





Tuesday: Baroness Walmsley’s child abuse amendment to the
Serious Crime Bill will be debated today. The amendment
makes it the duty of everybody with the care of children in a
regulated institution (like a school) to report to the Local
Authority any child abuse or serious suspicion of child abuse.



Wednesday: Business has been rearranged so that the Lords can debate the
emergency legislation: the Data and Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill.



Thursday: Lord Ezra will be asking if the Government plans to
expedite the release of its policy on fuel poverty, considering
the fact that recent data shows that the phenomenon is on
the rise.



Friday: The Assisted Dying Bill will receive its Second Reading. The number of peers
down to speak has broken the historic record for number of people wishing to
speak in a debate, and now stands well over 100 speakers. The previous record was
95 during the debate on House of Lords reform.

A number of Lib Dems have put their names down to speak including: Lord Avebury,
Baroness Brinton, Lord Carlile, Lord Dholakia, The Earl of Glasgow, Lord Lester,
Lord Phillips, Lord Purvis, Lord Shipley & Lord Taverne.


Full schedule here
Quote of the Week

“Does my noble friend agree
that some of the worst
offenders in asking non-
questions are those who have
been here longest and should
know better?”

Lord Avebury (@EricAvebury), a
member of the Lords for, a not
insignificant, 45 years, highlights
some of the problems that
come with experience.

Tweet of the Week





Baroness Northover
(@LPNorthover) finds new ways
to combat the obesity crisis

Next week’s bills

Criminal Justice & Courts Bill
Committee Stage

Serious Crime Bill
Committee Stage

Wales Bill
Second Reading

Finance (No.2) Bill
Second Reading

Assisted Dying Bill
Second Reading
Last Week’s Business




Lib Dem’s industrial strategy essential for recovery and
sustainable growth

Lord Stoneham used Tuesday’s debate on
Industrial Strategy to highlight the important
work that Vince Cable & the Lib Dems have
done to secure a strong recovery for the UK
economy.

Lord Stoneham’s speech highlighted the four
components to the BIS strategy:

1) The partnership activity concentrated on the key
strategic sectors.
2) The promotion of key technologies, particularly based
on the partnership with universities and the development of catapult
centres. The role of universities has been recognised as essential to
economic growth.
3) Addressing skill shortages and unemployment, where
the coalition has had great success, through the growth of the
apprenticeship scheme and a refocus on the importance of technical
education.
4) Providing financial support, particularly for small and
medium-sized enterprises.

Lord Stoneham said: “When Vince Cable first started to refer to the term
“industrial strategy”, I must say that I had certain concerns about that
terminology, because I always associated it with the Government’s
failed ventures to intervene in industry in the 1970s. However, the work
at BIS over the past four years matches the Treasury in providing the
essential components of recovery and the hope for sustainable growth.
The brand “industrial strategy” is clearly being restored and
reinvigorated, and it looks like a winner.”







Ministers

Baroness Kramer visited Dorset on
Monday as part of the announcement of
the Lib Dem led Growth Deals aimed at
creating thousands of jobs, building new
homes and improving transport links
across England.

Lord Newby highlighted the work of the
Coalition Government in combating tax
avoidance. Telling the Lords that the
Government have invested an additional
£1 billion in this area over the spending
review period, and taken on another
2,500 staff to work on it. The compliance
yield that flowed from this work in the
past year was £23.9 billion, the highest
ever, and the Government have
increased the number of people being
prosecuted for tax crime to 2,600 in this
Parliament, which has resulted in 2,700
years of jail sentences.

Baroness Northover answered a
question on the situation in South Sudan.
In her answer she highlight the very real
risk of famine in the region and the work
of Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone in
securing international aid donations.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire welcomed the
Second Reading of the Deregulation Bill
in the chamber. Highlighting the fact that
The Coalition should be the first
government in modern history to leave
office having reduced the overall burden
of regulation rather than increased it.
Something promised in the Lib Dem
Manifesto.




Recognising the importance of the World Service & British Council

Baroness Bonham-Carter spoke in the chamber on the importance of The BBC World
Service and World Council in the perception of Britain abroad.

In the debate she said: “I am an avid believer in the important part both the BBC and the
British Council play in binding our nation within, and in defining us in the eyes of other
nations. But their role and influence goes further, they are also key to the UK’s successful
pursuit of Soft Power.

“I worked for the BBC - across genres, across departments, and across the globe. I remember years ago filming in the
Gulf, a fisherman - seeing our camera - came up to talk “BBC” he said immediately, BBC – “we love the BBC.”, He was
talking about the World Service, which of course in those days was received through a physical entity known as a
wireless, not through a connection called wireless delivering to a multitude of platforms. The World Service has kept
up with the times and now people across the world get there information through many devices. Whatever the device
the BBC is respected as accurate, impartial, objective and free of national or commercial interests.”

Books are brilliant

In the chamber on Wednesday Baroness Miller held a debate on the role of books in
promoting a civilised society. In the debate she highlighted the important role books have
played in history, and how this continues today. She also noted that books are powerful
enough to often be the first port of call for authoritarian regimes wishing to curtail free
speech.

Her speech also highlighted the changes to the industry, most notably the rise of the eBook
and the changes this has seen to the high street bookshop, authors and publishers.

Baroness Miller said: “They can reach across centuries and national borders and promote comprehension of other
cultures and other nationalities. Books are increasingly important, being reflective in our age of instant reactions.
Books take us beyond ourselves to a wider humanity. I passionately believe that books promote understanding,
tolerance and reflective attitudes in societies. Noble Lords will be able to recall many intolerant regimes which have
destroyed tablets or scrolls or books as one of their first acts of aggression before turning against their own people or
other people. Noble Lords have only to look at the list by Index on Censorship to see that the world is still not free
from that sort of tyranny against the written word.”


On the blog this week:

o Joan Walmsley: the NSPCC does not go far enough
o Dick Newby: action on employee ownership shows Liberal Democrat values in action


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