11 Aug 2011 : Column 1501
House of Lords
Thursday, 11 August 2011.
Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, haven’t the redeeming features of these terrible events been not only the dignified stoicism of men such as Tariq Jahan, but the way in which community organisations such as Toxteth Against the Riots have held together and stood on their own streets, defending their own territory? Thirty years ago, when I was a Member of the House of Commons representing an inner-city Liverpool constituency, that city was disfigured by riots. In the aftermath, the Government appointed Lord Scarman to investigate those events. I support what the noble Baroness, Lady Royall, said earlier and I hope that the noble Baroness, Lady Browning, will not rule out the possibility-above and beyond the committee of inquiry to be established in another place-of someone of Lord Scarman’s standing looking at the deep and complex issues involved here. In that context, will they particularly examine the crisis of values and virtues; at the flaccid language of rights, which has pushed to one side the idea of duties, obligations and responsibilities; and at the issue of absent fathers? Eight hundred thousand children in this country have no contact with their fathers. The Times, in an editorial today, says that some 900 children are excluded from school every day. As parents, we have to be on the side of teachers. We must re-establish discipline in our schools. If we do not, it will not be what we have seen this week that will come back to haunt us; it will be far worse events in the future.
For the Uyghurs, Genocide is a word which dares not speak its name. For the sake of women like Rahima Mahmut, Gulzira Auelkhan, Sayragul Sauytbay, and Ruqiye Perhat – whose heart-breaking, shocking, stories are recorded here – it’s time that the crime of genocide was given definition in the UK. On January 19th Parliament can use its voice and speak that name – insisting on justice for victims of Genocide and refusing to make tawdry trade deals with those responsible for the crime above all crimes.
For the Uyghurs Genocide is a word which dares...