Speeches

Brexit's Irish crisis

Brexit will affect Ireland, North and South, more profoundly than any other part of the EU. The grave and wide-ranging implications were examined at length and in the most constructive fashion in an authoritative House of Lords report published at the end of last year.

A turning point for gay people 50 years ago

On 27 July 1967, Royal Assent was given to the Sexual Offences Bill following long campaigns in the country at large, and in both Lords and Commons; in the Lords, the 8th Earl of Arran, a Liberal peer, was at the forefront, taking a Private Member’s Bill through the House to achieve reform.

The political deadlock in Northern Ireland

On Monday, 3 July James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, gave an optimistic assessment of the prospects for re-establishing devolved government in the Province which has been in abeyance since the collapse of  the Northern Ireland Executive last January.

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.