The We’re All Equal campaign website has been launched. See:
Click Here to Read the Debate on the Shinkwin Bill:
The We’re All Equal campaign is run by people with disabilities, their families and supporters. The campaign spokesperson is Dr Elizabeth Corcoran from the UK Down’s Syndrome Research Foundation.
The purpose of the campaign is to build support from the disability community and wider society for Lord Shinkwin’sAbortion (Disability Equality) Bill which received its second reading on October 21st. Full details on the campaign and the Bill are available on the website.
- Friday October 21st Plight of Orphaned Children Raised Again in Parliament.
The story of Sir Nicholas Winton
- Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)My Lords, as one of the signatories to the Dubs amendment, I signed it because it captured the spirit of Sir Nicholas Winton who, through the kindertransport, rescued 669 children from the Nazis. He had to prioritise the most vulnerable and the Government, while ruling out what is unethical, are right to do so too. Beyond Dublin, will the Government—as the Minister was asked by the noble Lord, Lord Paddick—specifically prioritise the youngest and, indeed, orphaned children such as the brother and sister whose case I highlighted in your Lordships’ House a few days ago, who were sleeping on the forecourt of a derelict petrol station? They are aged 13 and 12 and were orphaned in Aleppo.
Will the Minister also say what progress has been made on galvanising and co-ordinating the international community in assisting the 88,000 displaced young people now in Europe without parents and in establishing the fate of the 10,000 children who Europol has said have gone missing, and who must inevitably be at great risk of trafficking and exploitation?
Lord Young of Cookham
As regards the first half of the noble Lord’s question, I can confirm that exactly those children who he has identified will be our priority when we move on to helping those who qualify to come here under the Dubs amendment. We want to help those in the greatest need so I can give him that assurance. As regards the broader issues, we are liaising with non-government organisations and the Greek and Italian authorities in order to identify those children in those countries who may qualify to come to the UK, so that we can play our full role in bringing support to people living in desperately difficult circumstances.
==========================================================================Click here for details of a meeting on Article 18 – Freedom of Religion or Belief – that was held in Nelson, Lancashire, on Sunday October 9th .
Also see this new Jubilee Campaign report on the plight of Pakistani Christians:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Presentation: October 19th 2017
Why Freedom of Religion and Belief Is Particularly Relevant
Remarks and Power Point presentation may be viewed at: https://davidalton.net/media/
On Monday October 17th, at a time of deepening crisis in SYRIA and PAKISTAN, AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED held a briefing with eye-witness testimonies from two of their project partners.
PAKISTAN: ARCHBISHOP SEBASTIAN SHAW of Lahore.
Head of the largest Catholic diocese in Pakistan, he led the
Church’s response to the Easter Day 2016 Lahore Massacre
and other atrocities affecting Christians and other minorities.
SYRIA: SISTER ANNIE DEMERJIAN of Aleppo.
Providing emergency help in areas worst-affected
by violence and acute poverty, Sister Annie leads
a team of volunteers who go house-to-house, providing
food, shelter and medicine at great risk to their safety.
ALEPPO’S Sister Annie Demerjian described the “death, destruction and violence” engulfing the city at a Parliamentary meeting yesterday (Monday) organised to highlight the work of Christians ministering in places of suffering.
Giving first-hand witness at London’s Houses of Parliament organised by Aid to the Church in Need, Sister Annie described the day-to-day struggle for food, clean water, electricity and fuel in western Aleppo where she provides emergency help thanks to the international Catholic charity.
The meeting, chaired by human rights activist Lord Alton of Liverpool, also heard from Archbishop Shaw from Lahore, who highlighted the problem of constant discrimination and acts of persecution affecting Christians in Pakistan.
First to speak was Sister Annie, who said: “People in Aleppo are tired. [There is a] lack of basic essentials… water, medicine, food and fuel shortages.
“Aleppo is a broken city [with] death, destruction and violence”.
Describing the warring parties as “monsters… devouring one another”, Sister Annie went on to describe the pleas of thousands of Syrian children who have drawn pictures to express their desire for peace.
The Sister also highlighted the hardships suffered by civilians being “without basic resources”.
Describing the plight endured by “most families in Aleppo”, she praised ACN benefactors for working with her to provide “food, blankets, clothes, shoes and dignity” to thousands of children in Aleppo and Hassake, another city in northern Syria.
She described how “many people [were] without light”, as they could not afford electricity in Aleppo, because of the “exploitations by traders”.
Sister Annie said this shortage meant that “thousands of families are without fuel… facing [this] winter without heating”.
She stated how, on one of her visits to the most vulnerable in the city, she found an elderly couple in Aleppo sleeping on the floor.
It turned out that they had sold their bed for a few litres of oil to provide a few hours of heating.
Sister Annie stressed the “psychological damage… a pain greater than that of the physical pain”.
She described the need to “re-integrate back into society… a lost generation [of young people in Syria] where death is an everyday experience”.
Describing how, since the war began in March 2011, Christians in Aleppo have dwindled from more than 200,000 to less than 35,000 today, the Sister added that “everyone is afraid… we lost people we knew. The Church community has [now] become so small that we all know each other”.
She concluded: “Our world is a gift… we require a globalisation of solidarity… [not] indifference”.
Archbishop Shaw of Lahore, Pakistan thanked ACN for translating the Catechism of the Catholic Church into Urdu, enabling Catholics to learn more about their religion.
He described Catholics in Pakistan as: “vibrant, open and patriotic – [people] wanting a better society”.
The Archbishop outlined the prejudice against Christians and also other minority religions, whereby one Muslim is valued in status to that of two Christians.
The public school textbooks in the Pakistani public school curriculum reflect ‘hate’ material, he quoted one such example directly exposing this problem: “We are Muslim… others are infidels”.
He added that by Muslims and Christians “listening and respecting [each other]… all religions can work together for peace” and forward inter-faith and ecumenical dialogue in Pakistan.
October 8th 2016 Letter to the Times about Chemical Weapons Attacks in Sudan
October 22nd 2016:
In Reaction to the Indicative Evidence on the Use of Chemical Weapons by the Sudan Government:
The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) has suspended all Political Engagement with the Sudan Government and Demanded that the Humanitarian Crisis and Civilian Protection to be Addressed Separately.
Over the summer David Alton was been made a Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and was presented with the Thomas More Religious Freedom Advocacy Award
New Exhibition in Washington D.C. – September 16th 2016 -March 2017 -Christian Heritage Centre exhibition on St.Thomas More and the Carrolls (the Foremost British-American Catholic Family) opens in Washington at the St.John Paul II Centre September 16th
At recent meetings in Parliament David Alton highlighted the suffering and persecution of believers and atheists who are denied Article 18 freedoms. At the launch of Human Rights Without Frontiers’ annual report and at a subsequent meeting on human rights violations numerous examples were given of persecution and suffering from Iran to North Korea, Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, China to Bangladesh and many other countries where “Article 18 is honoured only in its breach”: See: http://hrwf.eu/ and
Friends of the late Eric Avebury gathered at the Royal Institution to celebrate Lord Avebury’s life and work. Eric’s causes included championing the Dalit “untouchables” in India and in promoting the Gypsy Caravan Sites Act. Whether at home or overseas Eric Avebury countered ill-informed prejudices and scapegoating. One of those who paid tribute to him at the Royal Institution was Damian Le Bas who said that Eric Avebury was “one of the greatest friends the Gypsies ever had.” See:
Over the past couple of decades thousands of Good Citizenship Awards have been distributed and Roscoe Lectures have been staged by Liverpool John Moores University’s Roscoe Foundation For Citizenship. David Alton chaired 140 of the 141 Roscoe Lectures staged between 1997 and June 2016.
Professor Monica Grady CBE and Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University with award winner Sam Walton, a PhD student at LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute.
Here, David Alton explains the background:
Good Citizenship Awards
Details of the Roscoe Lectures and the background to the life of William Roscoe and his poetry may be found at
Gonzaga 2016 Lectures – Glasgow:
DAVID ALTON on the Fight for Human Rights
Delivered at The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Vincent St, Glasgow.
View presentation at: Glasgow 2016
Friday June 17th 2016:
A Premier Radio Lecture: “The Battle of Beliefs – a matter of life and death”
Premier Lecture: June 2016 – Liverpool: A Battle of Belief – a matter of life and death –
Click here for presentation
Right To Life Sponsored Walk – Ribble Valley – 2016:
Promoting Human Life, Human Rights and Human Dignity-from the womb to the tomb.
Christian Heritage Centre Events and Exhibitions: the tale of Two Thomas’ s
Thomas Becket’s Fight For Conscience and Religious Freedom Commemorated at Westminster: Becket Week Events – go to https://davidalton.net/latest/
A Symposium on the relevance of Becket’s story, held at Lambeth, was sponsored by Christian Heritage Centre. Click here: Christian Heritage Centre added 7 new photos.
Burma’s Cardinal Charles Bo Visited Westminster and, at Mr.Speaker’s House, called for the promotion of human rights in Burma for “unity through diversity”: See
Eleanor Rathbone: the Refugees’ M.P.
7Oth Anniversary of the death of Eleanor Rathbone.
To Listen to the Roscoe Lecture on January 14th 2016 on the life of Eleanor Rathbone go to:
Exhibition of Eleanor’s life at the House of Commons:
David Alton is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea
Fiona Bruce MP will chair a meeting on November 2nd, 17:00: Jieun Baek, (a Belfer Center fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and an expert on information flows into North Korea) will talk about her new book, ‘North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society’.
Lord Alton will chair a meeting on November 8th, 17:00: College Student’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (travelling from South Korea) will talk about discrimination and human rights violations in North Korea, how people in Pyongyang receive external information, and how the group engages young people through their work.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP will chair a meeting on November 17th, 17:00: Jake Smith (a film director) will provide us with the premiere screening of his film, While They Watched (a 54 minute film that harnesses the power of hindsight to look back at the collapse of the North Korean regime).
Details from James Burt firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the All Party Group on North Korea Web Site for Details of forthcoming events:
“Most of the things which matter the most can be summed up in pithy straight-forward words such as justice, liberty, duty, freedom,mercy, conscience, dignity, family, faith, fairness – life itself. These are the things which make for the common good and give people hope.”
Thank you for taking the time to visit this website. It was originally created by volunteers who wanted to provide easier access to some of the speeches I have made and to some of the articles and books which I have written. Since then the site has been visited by over quarter of a million people from five continents with lots of positive and encouraging feedback.
Links on the site will take you to the contributions I made in the House of Commons between 1979 and 1997 – where I sat as a Liberal – and in the House of Lords – where I sit as an Independent Crossbench Peer – from 1997 until now.
There are also links to countries and issues about which I have taken a particular interest – such as poverty, gendercide, human cloning, and human trafficking. The site also features human rights reports on situations witnessed first-hand in countries like Sudan and Darfur, Congo, North Korea and Burma. There are power point presentations and audio from talks. There are also biographical details and some links to organisations which whom I work or which champion some of the causes featured on this site.
“Doing politics as if people mattered.”