The Place In Which We Work

Dec 8, 2020 | Uncategorized

The Houses of Parliament

We all see the places in which we work very differently.

At the end of another very long day, at 8.30 pm tonight, I was alone in the House of Lords cafeteria – where the wonderful (mainly Polish) staff were living out Napoleon‘s maxim that armies march on their stomachs – and were still providing some supper.

Years ago the cafeteria was called Plods after our heroic police officers (recall with deep affection and respect PC Keith Palmer who died trying to protect us.).

In Plods I often had breakfast with Tam Dalyell, another member of”the awkward squad” and although we didn’t always agree, – not least about the sinking of the Belgrano – he was a fine example of what an MP is privileged and called to be.

Awkward, irritating, annoying – but empowered by their country and their constituents.

If an MP has the necessary courage and resolve- not to become slavish adherents to the diktats of Party managers seductively offering patronage or advancement or, when that fails,menacing threats when foibles or weakness are registered in the whips’ meticulous records – they can often put right some minor injustice: a high calling.

Late last night (at 11.00pm) the House of Lords voted (physically and remotely)to vote for my amendment to prohibit trade deals with countries complicit in Genocide.

It was a great debate with amazing speeches from extraordinary people.

If you have any doubt about the need for a second chamber that can take a longer view, a considered view, a wiser view, a view about our national interests, take a moment to read it. https://www.davidalton.net/2020/12/08/historic-house-of-lords-vote-on-all-party-amendment-on-genocide-determination-passes-by-a-majority-of-126-now-members-of-the-commons-have-the-chance-to-say-no-to-trade-deals-with-states-credibly-acc/

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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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 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...

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