Death with dignity

Natalie and Jenny wrote for Green World

Yesterday outside parliament there was a large, silent, dignified crowd. Among the placards were those reading “choice, compassion, dignity”, some bearing the pictures of loved ones who’d inspired its members to campaign.

They were sending a message to 126 peers debating the second reading of the Assisted Dying Bill, a private member’s bill put forward by crossbench peer Baroness Meacher, who put her case for the Bill on the Today programme yesterday  morning. The Bill would enable adults of sound mind, with six months or less to live, to be provided with life-ending medication with the approval of two doctors and a High Court judge. A public consultation on a similar Bill began in Scotland last month. Continue reading “Death with dignity”

This is an emergency and a crisis, and the Government are not stepping up

Most of us here in this Chamber will die of old age. By contrast, many of the young people at school today will die from the consequences of climate change: flash floods, droughts, and conflicts brought about by shifting climatic conditions. It is going to be an unstable world—more than it is already.

This is an emergency and a crisis, and the Government are not stepping up. For all their fine words, they do not measure up to the task.

Continue reading “This is an emergency and a crisis, and the Government are not stepping up”

Environment Bill Report Stage final day

Although old train engines and boats do contribute to air pollution, they will be fairly localised and minimal compared with other emissions being pumped out by, for example, the Government building new roads or opening new coal mines—or indeed allowing the growth of incinerators all over the country that operate without proper regulations.

Sign our petition to strengthen the Environment Bill here

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Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill arrives in Lords

Every time I have worked on a Bill since I arrived in the House of Lords nearly eight years ago, I have thought, “This is the worst Bill I have ever seen”, and every one is, but this is a stinker and it is quite obviously not going to help the police. If you produce a policing Bill and you cannot get former police chiefs, UN special rapporteurs, the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law on your side, something is wrong with it.

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My Air Pollution Amendment – Environment Bill Report Stage Day 3

The City of London Corporation, London Councils, Clean Air London, a Lib Dem Peer and a Green Peer: these are people you might not think would naturally link together—but on this issue we are speaking with one voice. There is a problem and we have to fix it, and this is how you can fix it.

Continue reading “My Air Pollution Amendment – Environment Bill Report Stage Day 3”

Second Reading of the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill

Our Government’s “hostile environment” can take most of the blame for the fact that we have left people behind in Afghanistan. I do not understand why we have an asylum regime that deliberately erects barriers and unnecessary bureaucracy every step of the way. Even before the fall of Kabul, the number of refugees who had been waiting more than a year had grown to more than 50,000.

I do not understand why we have not had the time or resources to answer the multiple cries for help from people stranded behind the Taliban roadblocks. I think it is because we have put up our own roadblocks behind the desks in Whitehall; it seems that civil servants pick through details and create blocks that are not what the majority of British people would want.

Continue reading “Second Reading of the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill”

The Office for Environmental Protection cannot be a lapdog

It is obvious to anybody looking in from outside that the office for environmental protection must do things such as hitting the share price of a water company whenever it dumps sewage into our rivers. We must have an independent OEP that commissions research into the impact of pesticides on our wildlife and insects and hands it over to MPs so that they can actually challenge Ministers and the lobbyists in Whitehall. We need an OEP that can say a straightforward no to damaging developments, whether it is infrastructure or development, urban or rural. It should not be suggesting mitigation and greenwash, which is what could happen with such a toothless watchdog. This country needs an OEP that is a rottweiler and not a lapdog.
Continue reading “The Office for Environmental Protection cannot be a lapdog”