On 25th April 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Gilbert of Panteg, “That this House takes note of the Report from the Communications Committee UK advertising in a digital age (1st Report, HL Paper 116).” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I also thank the noble Lord, Lord Gilbert of Panteg, and the committee for the report, which made for fascinating reading. My friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford sends his apologies for not being in his place today; he is elsewhere in the world with the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, and so asked me to address one or two matters. I take complete responsibility for what I say, although he said that I must talk about self-regulation.
We all love digital; at least, most of us do. We love its possibilities. I do not go anywhere without my phone, frankly: I keep looking at it and I get bombarded with adverts through it. It was not planned but, yesterday evening, as it happens, I watched a lecture from a two-day conference for theologians being held in Durham this week, entitled “Missio Dei in a digital age”. Maggi Dawn, a British theologian based at Yale University, tracked the history of the impact of digital on Christian mission. She said this about how we handle digital:
“We need to recognise both the glorious possibilities of digital and its profound brokenness”.
Her point was that although digital is wonderful, with glorious possibilities we must use to the full, we must not fail to recognise its profound brokenness because it is infected by human beings, who make all kinds of mistakes in their use of things. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham raises impact on children of digital advertising”
On 25th April 2019 Baroness Sheehan asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the progress of the community sponsorship scheme in supporting resettled refugees in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I declare an interest as a trustee of Reset. Thanks to the work of Reset, the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative and others, community sponsorship is now being taken up more rapidly, as the Minister said, and explored in communities across the world. This growth underlines the importance of measuring and learning from the outcomes on sponsored refugees and the sponsoring community. What data does the Government collect? Will they make it public so that community sponsorship can keep growing in number and quality? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about community sponsorship of refugees”
On 24th April 2019 the House of Lords considered a motion to approve the Government’s Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate. The House approved the Regulations without a vote on the motion.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is my pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, and I fully endorse everything she said about the context of relationships being at the heart of all this. I welcome the discussion and the framework. The Church of England, as the biggest single education provider in the country, has been among the parties engaged in the consultation, for which we are deeply grateful.
As human beings, we are relational. Relationships with others, and indeed with God, matter. They are primarily formed rather than taught. Our parents, siblings, wider family and friends shape our ability to relate from our first breaths. Our love for God shapes how we relate to people. We do well to remember that any relationships education can only ever be rooted in our experience of relationships, both good and bad; yet education is required.
On 24th April 2019 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a question he had tabled on the impact of the two-child limit for Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit payments. The exchanges, and the follow-up questions from other Members, are below:
Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit: Two-child Limit
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what analysis they have made of the impact of the two-child limit on the per-child element of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit payments on (1) child poverty, and (2) child development, for children under five years old affected by the policy.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Buscombe) (Con): My Lords, the Government are committed to supporting child well-being, and keep the impact of all their policies under review. This policy ensures fairness between those supporting themselves solely through work and those receiving benefits. Isolating the effect of the many individual policies on the income and well-being of children and families is, of course, challenging. Child benefit continues to be paid for all children, as well as an additional amount for any disabled children. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about impact of two-child limit on child development and poverty”
On 4th April 2019 the House of Lords considered the European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill, which sought to require the Prime Minister to request a later exit date from the European Union and a further extension of the Article 50 period. Continue reading “Votes: European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill”
On 3rd April 2019 the Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams of Trafford, repeated a statement made in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, about the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, responded with a follow up question about religious literacy in determining asylum applications:
Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, while grateful for the Statement and the compensation scheme, I have a particular concern to raise with the Minister. We have recently seen publicity about very poor decisions on immigration made in the Home Office, suggesting that decisions are being made by staff who are perhaps too junior or not adequately trained. Can we be assured that there will be enough staff working on this scheme who are of sufficient seniority and adequately trained?
Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about religious literacy training for Home Office immigration caseworkers”
On 3rd April 2019 Baroness Whitaker asked the Government “whether they intend to implement the recommendations of the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Immigration Detention (HL Paper 279), published on 7 February, in particular those related to indefinite detention.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, the Joint Committee’s report recommends that initial detention decisions be reviewed by a judge within 72 hours. Can the Minister explain why the usual standards of British justice should not apply here? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about timescale of immigration detention review”