Digital Economy Bill: Bishop of Chester asks how Government is keeping pace with technological advancement


On 8th February 2017 the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke during a debate on an amendment by Lord Lucas to the Government’s Digital Economy Bill. The amendment was that Ofcom be granted powers to ‘carry out and publish evaluations of algorithms’. 

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, this is an important amendment because it touches upon the bigger issue of the impact of artificial intelligence on all sorts of aspects of our lives. There is a law called Moore’s law, which says that every two years the power of computers doubles. That has been true over the past 20 or 30 years and we should assume that that power will continue to develop. Artificial intelligence in all its impacting forms will be more and more prevalent in our society and more and more potent in the hands of terrorists in the years to come.
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Votes: Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill


On 8th February 2017 two votes took place in the Lords on amendments to the Government’s Health Services Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill. The Bishops of Chester and St Albans took part in the first vote and the Bishops of Carlisle, Chester and St Albans in the second. Continue reading

Bishop of Chester asks Government about social effects of fall in house prices


ChesterOn 7th February 2017, Lord Bourne gave a statement to the House on the publication of the Government’s new White Paper on housing. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a question about falling house prices.

The Lord Bishop of Chester My Lords, I want to ask about the politics of all this. I speak as a fool in relation to that, but let us take the hypothesis that this policy is a great success, that we have lots more houses and that the price of houses starts to fall. Indeed, let us imagine that land prices start to fall in the way that the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, rightly pointed out. All the people who have bought houses in the past 20 years will find that those houses are worth less than they used to be. It seems to me that this is tinkering with a major problem. Do the Government seriously wish to get the average value of a house back down to 3.5 times average earnings? If so, what are the consequences going to be? Continue reading

Bishop of Chester asks question about future electricity supply


14.03 Bishop of ChesterOn 26th January 2017 the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a question in the Lords about electricity interconnectors. His question and follow-up, and those of Peers, are below:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, at peak electricity demand, what level of supply is expected to be available through international interconnectors. Continue reading

Digital Economy Bill: Bishop of Chester on proposed age verification measures for adult content


On 13th December 2016 the Government’s Digital Economy Bill was debated at its Second Reading in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Rev’d Peter Forster, contributed to the debate, focusing on issues in Part 3 of the Bill relating to online pornography and social media.