My Lords, I was eager to participate in this debate and I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Royall, for raising this vital issue, which has touched the nerves of so many people right across the country, in every part of our nation. I want to pick up four details of the Government’s response. They are minor, not major, points but I hope that they will be helpful. The first is to build on the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Parminter, about the unprecedented levels of flooding that we are having in the UK. Continue reading “The Bishop of St Albans speaks in debate on Independent Panel on Forestry report”
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Mawson, for securing this debate and I pay tribute to the wonderful work that he has done in this area over many years, as I do to the noble Baroness, Lady Kidron, who has similarly done wonderful work. I claim no particular expertise, although I am passionate about the arts—perhaps that is something to do with the fact that it is sometimes said that many clergy are failed actors. Continue reading “The Bishop of Worcester speaks on arts and culture in the ‘current financial climate’”
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I am grateful for the Minister’s Statement. As we all know, attention has rightly focused on the Somerset Levels and the terrible plight that people are enduring there, but when I left Worcester this morning the city was gridlocked as a result of the closure of the main bridge across the river and the situation remains acute. I do not want to apportion blame; I want to pay tribute to those who are working very hard and to the understanding and graciousness of the inhabitants of Worcester. However, it is true that the implications of this will be enormous, economically and from a human point of view. Can the Minister confirm that a coherent policy will be forthcoming for all the affected areas, not just those most terribly affected?
Lord De Mauley: The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right—I can confirm that. We have finite resources and must apportion them in a proper way, in accordance with priorities, and the priorities must be human life and property. While I am at the Dispatch Box, can I say that, although I have not given them credit, I know that the churches in Somerset in particular are playing a major part in helping people affected by this dreadful tragedy?
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Lord, Lord McFall, for his analysis, not least his observation that growth is not the answer and the unintended consequences of marketisation, as he called it. I probably want to explore what he might have meant by “the social, stupid”—there is an important clue in that.
I am engaged in this issue. In the City of Derby, where I work, I chair the inner city renewal project. That is the local authority and all kinds of voluntary and faith groups looking at how we can tackle this at grass-roots level, where there are a lot of people who are disadvantaged, with no social mobility and no equality in terms of finance, environment or opportunity. There are two ways of doing this. One is a needs-based approach—what are the needs and what resources can you put in to try to improve things?—and there is what they call an asset-based approach, which means asking what these people have in their own potential, as the noble Baroness, Lady Eaton, said—what do they have that can be grown so that they can contribute? Continue reading “Bishop of Derby’s speech on inequality and social mobility”
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Desai, made the point that using force to resolve a situation is nearly always counterproductive and has results that you do not anticipate. Are there two additional lessons from this? First, the speed with which this report has been produced is commendable. I think of the Chilcot inquiry that we are still waiting for. This has been done in a few weeks and it seems to me to be a lesson for other situations in which a bit more speed can help the reconciliation process. Secondly, is one of the lessons that understanding religious sensitivities is something the modern world can find hard to do? One thinks of Ariel Sharon going to the Temple Mount and starting the second intifada, with all the consequences that have flowed from that. Is that a lesson that we should draw from these events?
Baroness Warsi: I thank the right reverend Prelate for his warm words in relation to the way in which this inquiry was conducted quickly. It was certainly part of the clear remit set by the Prime Minister at the outset. The right reverend Prelate makes an important point. To understand the sentiment within the British Sikh community it is important to understand the significance of Sri Harmandir Sahib; the significance of the timing of Operation Blue Star; the implications in relation to the damage that was done to Sri Harmandir Sahib; and the basis of some of the concerns that were being raised by the dissidents. It is an important point. This is the challenge that I have in a sometimes aggressively secular world; some of these sensitivities are not properly explored and understood.
In a wide-ranging debate, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds focused his remarks on the need for a clear and coherent national strategy for responding to natural disasters such as the recent extreme flooding in parts of the country. He also urged the Government to link such a strategy with a long-term and international strategy for tackling climate change. He also commented on the role of the Church of England in education and its commitment to ensuring that there is adequate provision as the population grows. Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds uses final speech to speak about economic and climatic challenges in the UK”
On 22nd January, 2014, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds took part in a short debate, led by Baroness Ford, on increasing the supply of affordable housing, focusing his remarks on delivering housing in rural areas. Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds speaks about affordable housing in rural communities”
On 16th January 2014, the Bishop of Derby took part in a debate to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the world wide web. He spoke about the huge advances enabled by the world wide web, but also of the challenges presented by technological advances.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Lane-Fox, on introducing a party into this Chamber. Perhaps the screens should have moving images and the lights should move much more quickly.
On 16th January 2014, Baroness Eaton led a debate to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the opportunities and constraints for the wellbeing of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District. The Archbishop of York spoke during the debate.
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, I, too, give thanks for the speech given by the noble Baroness, Lady Eaton.
“I knew very little about mesothelioma until I became aware of its effects, not least through the early death in 2009 of the former Bishop of Peterborough, who some Members may recall” – Bishop of Newcastle
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I, too, am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, for initiating this short debate. I speak to support him and to encourage the Government to enable the establishment of a mesothelioma research funding scheme as urgently as possible. Research into this form of cancer is very much the Cinderella of cancer research in the UK, and there is an urgent need for us to do more and to do better.