On 9th December 2013, the House of Lords offered tributes to the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who passed away on 5th December 2013, aged 95. The Bishop of Truro spoke during the tributes on behalf of the Lords Spiritual.
The Lord Bishop of Truro: My Lords, I am keen to associate myself and all my colleagues who sit on these Benches with the tributes paid to Mr Mandela here and throughout the world. The focus on one man is extraordinary, but it is entirely right, for he was extraordinary. My thoughts and prayers go to all his family and friends and indeed to everyone in the whole country of South Africa, who have lost a father.
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On 6th December 2013, the Bishop of Derby spoke during the Second Reading of Baroness Howe’s Online Safety Bill. He drew a parallel with the need for a change of culture in the banking industry, arguing for a change of culture in the entertainment industry away from violence, extremism and exploitation.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank and congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Howe, for and on her persistence in steering us in what I think we all see is the right direction. Much has been said, so I will just pick up a couple of themes and will then pursue a particular point and ask the Minister about. Noble Lords have referred to the Prime Minister’s speeches on this area. If you read those speeches, part of their rationale is because he wants to put the family at the centre of a stable society. The family is about a web of mutual relationships—it is about mutuality, not about exploitation. That is the issue that we have to get hold of very clearly. We have heard from many noble Lords about how pornography is exploitative in every way. We have heard about its harmful effects on young people especially, about understandings of sex, how boys are led to see that sex is about having power over women, and how girls are led to see that sex is about performing in a certain kind of way. It causes very damaging ideas about body image. We heard from the noble Lord, Lord Alton, about the objectification of women and violence against women.
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On 6th December 2013, the Bishop of Chester spoke during the Second Reading of Baroness Howe’s Online Safety Bill. Speaking in support of the Bill and strengthening legal protections for children, he argued that the regulation of the internet was a question that couldn’t be avoided. An approach based on self-regulation only would not be sufficient. He noted that the danger in the information age was that we do not see beyond the information itself to the higher realities of knowledge and wisdom that that abundance of information should seek to serve. The Bishop of Derby also spoke during the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, it will not surprise the House to learn that I support the Bill, and I add my words of gratitude to the noble Baroness, Lady Howe, for her energy and persistence in bringing it forward. The Bill deals with an important aspect of child protection in relation to violent, abusive and, especially, pornographic material. In speaking mainly about pornography, I make it clear that I do not think that the issues around pornography in our society relate only to children. Indeed, I have a Motion for balloted debate which would look at the wider issues and the impact of pornography on our society. I hope that the House will have a chance to explore those rather difficult issues at some point before too long.
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On 5th December 2013, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Lord Bishop of St Albans, made his maiden speech in the House of Lords, during Baroness Morgan of Huyton’s take note debate on the contribution of high-quality education to economic growth.
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“It seems to me that the connection between housing and a lower reoffending rate is clear and it would be in the interests of government, society and prisoners if we could maximise the enabling of people leaving prison to be housed, giving stability of place and of relationship” – The Bishop of Derby
On 5th December 2013, the Bishop of Derby took part in a debate on the what assessment the Government have made of the impact on reoffending rates of providing stable accommodation for those leaving prison. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby: housing people leaving prison in the interests of all”
On 5th December 2013, the Archbishop of Canterbury led a debate on the work of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, of which he was a member from 2012-2013. The Bishop of Birmingham also took part in the debate, and his remarks can be read here.
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, your Lordships are asked to take note of the work of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. I speak not only on my behalf but on that of some of the commissioners who, for various reasons, cannot be here. I should add that it is coincidental and owing to constraints of the diary that this debate falls so neatly between Report and the Third Reading next week of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill. I am particularly looking forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Carrington of Fulham. I am sure his contribution will be significant given his vast experience in another place, especially on the Treasury Select Committee.
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On 5th December, the Bishop of Chester took part in the debate on the Autumn Statement, which was repeated in the House of Lords by the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Deighton.
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