Uncertainty in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland was the subject of Alistair Lexden’s final speech in the 2015-17 Parliament.

The Province’s devolved government collapsed in January; prolonged discussions following an election in March have failed so far to produce agreement on how it could be restored.

Stanley Baldwin in a year of anniversaries

On 29 March Alistair Lexden gave a lecture at the Carlton Club to mark the 150th anniversary of Stanley Baldwin’s birth and other Baldwinian anniversaries which fall this year.

Gay rights and the Commonwealth

Respect for the human rights of gay people is conspicuous by its absence in most countries of the Commonwealth. In over 80 per cent of them homosexuality is a criminal offence; in some punishments can be severe.

Tackling illiteracy in prisons

Some 60 per cent of prisoners are functionally illiterate. An inability to read inevitably hinders the rehabilitation of thousands of prisoners, particularly when they leave prison and try to find a job.

Schools together

Alistair Lexden is a strong supporter of partnership between state and independent schools.

School children need milk

No one doubts that milk is good for children. By law milk must be available during school hours, but too many children today are not drinking it regularly with serious consequences for their health.

Political instability in Northern Ireland

On 16 January the power-sharing Executive in Northern Ireland collapsed. Fresh elections are to be held on 2 March. There are some who argue that progress could be assisted by involving the Irish Republic more closely in Ulster’s affairs.

More young voters needed

According to the Electoral Commission, three out of every ten youngsters who are eligible to vote are not on the electoral registers in Britain today. There are a number of ways in which this serious state of affairs could be remedied.

Protecting press freedom

How is the freedom of the press—a crucial element of the British way of life—to be reconciled with the individual’s right to privacy on a new, permanent basis in the aftermath of the Leveson report?

This much-discussed issue was the subject of a debate in the Lords on December 20.