- UNITED AT STORMONT – British and Irish Parliamentarians united with the people of North Ireland in opposing Westminster laws to take the lives of babies in the womb:
- China and Hong Kong – David and Goliath Struggle – 155 Parliamentarians in the UK say that the Commonwealth should guarantee the citizenship, resettlement rights and right of abode of Hong Kong people in Commonwealth countries. See –
- “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will….In a gentle way, you can shake the world” – Mahatma Gandhi. See:
- New Reports Launched On The Plight Of Pakistan Minorities and Rohingya. See:
What you can do to help victims of human trafficking: the work of the Arise Foundation:
https://davidalton.net/2019/09/20/slavery-did-not-end-in-the-19th-century-today-there-are-more-slaves-in-the-world-than-ever-before-with-more-than-40-million-people-enslaved-today-the-charity-the-arise-foundation-is-making-a-fu/Arise Modern Slavery Presentation
- Ministerial On Freedom of Religion or Belief Held in Washington DC
- The biggest ever global summit on freedom of religion or belief took place in Washington DC this week. It was attended by survivors of genocide, crimes against humanity and persecution and was addressed by political figures and human rights activists from around the world.
- A key issue that was raised by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was the Plight of the Uighurs – while former Congressman, Frank Wolf, spoke about Forced Organ Harvesting and the findings of the independent China Tribunal
Fiona Bruce, the MP who chairs the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, has described forced organ harvesting in China as
“potentially nothing less than a 21st century genocide”, and “almost a perfect crime” because “no one survives”. Falun Gong, Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and, possibly, Christian dissidents along with prisoners of conscience are all said to be victims. You can read more in this Spectator article of April 3rd 2019
https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/04/the-world-cant-ignore-the-accusations-that-china-has-forcibly-harvested-organs/; about the UK Government’s response:
Read the recent House of Commons debate at:
and you can join an online viewing of the second public hearings of the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China, taking place in CENTRAL LONDON – 6TH AND 7TH APRIL, 2019.
REGISTER TO WATCH ONLINE –https://chinatribunal.com/the-hearings-april-2019/
The Tribunal is chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC who worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic.
The Tribunal held public hearings in December, 2018 with 30 fact witnesses, experts and investigators appearing before the Tribunal in London.http://WWW.CHINATRIBUNAL.COM/THE-HEARINGS/
Forbes – ‘ORGAN HARVESTING IN CHINA AND THE MANY QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED’
British Medical Journal – ‘CHINA HARVESTED ORGANS FROM POLITICAL PRISONERS ON SUBSTANTIAL SCALE, SAYS TRIBUNAL’
Forbes – ‘HOW CHINESE DOCTORS WHO HARVEST ORGANS GET AWAY WITH MURDER’
Muslim Uighurs forced To Give DNA Samples in Re-education Centres to which 1 million people have been reportedly sent – February 2019.
New Cultural Revolution In China?
Protestant church dynamited
March 2nd was the eighth anniversary of the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti – Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities. Shahbaz was assassinated for campaigning for the rights of the country’s beleaguered minorities – and for challenging the decision to sentence Asia Bibi to death.
Listen to Shahbaz Bhatti and to His Blood Cries Out by Ooberfuse – In memory of Shahbaz Bhatti click here: https://youtu.be/ABOIQfhyh1g
Commemorate the memory of Shahbaz Bhatti and continue his campaign by contacting the Pakistan authorities in London urging them to allow Asia Bibi to leave Pakistan and to join her family in Canada.
|H.E. Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, the High Commissioner, Pakistan High Commission, 34-36 Lowndes Square, Belgravia, London SW1X 9JN Telephone 020 7664 9200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
March 2nd was the eighth anniversary of the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti – Pakistan’s brave Minister for Minorities. See:
Eight Years Later, Pakistan Has Failed To Bring Shahbaz Bhatti’s Murderer To Justice
If a country cannot bring to justice the killer of a Government Minister what chance do the country’s persecuted, beleaguered and fleeing minorities have?
Pakistan was founded on principles of equality and justice. What has been done to its own citizens, and done with impunity, makes a mockery of those high ideals.
The white in the nation’s flag is there to represent the country’s minorities but as those minorities suffer and Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies and frightened leaders fail to speak or to act justly its flag has been dragged low.
Failure to act jeopardises the country’s future and undermines the prospect of a diverse and respectful society.
That is why we should never forget the sacrifice of Shahbaz Bhatti who gave his life for his people – accepting political office even though he knew it could cost him his life.
Shahbaz Bhatti شہباز بھٹی
Red Wednesday was commemorated in the UK on Wednesday November 28th when churches, schools and public buildings were lit red – to express solidarity with those persecuted for their faith. This year many focused on the plight of Asia Bibi who has been exonerated by Pakistan’s highest court, having suffered nine years of incarceration – with the death penalty hanging over her. Now, she has been forbidden to leave Pakistan and the UK has declined to offer her asylum
Red Wednesday was followed this week by a Service at Westminster Abbey at which the Prince of Wales Made An Appeal To End Religious Persecution. Links to his remarks and those of the Patriarchs of the Eastern churches:
Reflection given by Maulana Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Director General and Chief Imam, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, at A service to celebrate the contribution of Christians in the Middle East (PDF, 144KB)
Last night, Venice lit their city red and highlighted the plight of Asia Bibi
Sign the petition calling for this innocent woman to be allowed to leave Pakistan:
190 Parliamentarians issue an appeal to Imran Khan
November 22nd – At the launch of this year’s Report on Worldwide Religious Freedom David (Lord) Alton and Rehman Chishti MP renew their calls for Asia Bibi to be offered asylum in the UK http://religious-freedom-report.org/ The launch was chaired by Lord Alton and attended by Government Ministers, parliamentarians and supporters of the charity, Aid to the Church In Need.
BBC and Dutch reports of her release from prison:
Read House of Lords interventions on November 20th, click here:
Dr.Taj Hargey, a Muslim Imam based in Oxford, was so right when he wrote in The Telegraph, yesterday that Asia Bibi should be granted asylum in the UK and spoke of “the deafening silence” from British people of Pakistani origin and of “our collective shame in not preventing her cruel incarceration.”
On whose side do we stand – the side of an innocent woman and the rule of law or on the side of the lynch mob?
Daily Mail editorial
Daily Telegraph letter
– More than 190 parliamentarians sign open letter to Pakistani Prime Minister
– Bibi’s life in danger every moment she remains in Pakistan
https://adfinternational.org/news/saved-from-death-row-pakistans-supreme-court-free-asia-bibi/ to see the full press release and the open letter quoted below signed by over 190 parliamentarians:
“We urge in the strongest possible terms the Government of Pakistan to guarantee safe passage for Asia, her family, and any of those under threat due to their part in the decision to acquit her, to any country that accepts them.”
Despite conflicting media reports, sources indicate that she has not yet been allowed to leave the country.
Question in the House of Lords on India and the Caste System: Asia Bibi case raised along with aid to Pakistan
November 6th 2018
My Lords, notwithstanding the 2013 Indian legislation, the caste system and untouchability predate partition. Scavenging and degrading labour have persisted right across the Indian subcontinent, including in Pakistan. Is the Minister aware that, only last week, a 13 year-old was excluded from a classroom because he had touched the water supply in that classroom? He was beaten and his mother was told he had no place in that school because he was only fit for menial and degrading jobs. Is not this issue of untouchability also to be seen in the case of Asia Bibi, who has spent nine years in prison having touched the communal water supply in her village? She has been exonerated by the courts in Pakistan, yet is still held in custody and not allowed to leave that country. We have spent £2.8 billion over the past 20 years on overseas aid to Pakistan—that is £383,000 every single working day. What difference is that money making to the treatment of minorities and the abolition of things such as caste?
It is making a big difference. I am certainly aware of these cases, because the noble Lord has made me aware of them, and I am grateful to him for that. We are looking at them and following up. The reality is that both Pakistan and India are signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That has some very specific language in Article 18, which talks about recognising that all people are equal and that discrimination is against the law. It is also against their constitutions. We need to work with the Governments of these countries to ensure that they uphold the very laws they have—and we will continue to do that.
See this report by BBC World:
Plea from Asia Bibi’s husband and daughter, Ashiq Masih and Eisham Ashiq, during their October 2018 visit to the UK as guests of Aid to the Church in Need (© Aid to the Church in Need).
“Help us leave Pakistan” pleads Asia Bibi’s family
- “We no longer have even anything to eat…”
November 14th 2018.
My Lords, as the Minister looks at future markers for development, with the approaching 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will he look particularly at Article 18 and what it has to say about the right to believe, not to believe or to change belief? Professor Brian Grim says that those countries which respect those things become the most prosperous. How, therefore, do we justify spending £2.8 billion over the past 20 years in a country such as Pakistan which, as the case of Asia Bibi has shown, has no regard for minorities or the rule of law?
My Lords, that is the reason why that funding predominantly goes to the education of young girls in Pakistan which, we hope, will contribute to change in future. I hope that the noble Lord will welcome two major initiatives announced following the Prime Minister’s commitment to act in this area. The first was the appointment of my noble friend Lord Ahmad as the Prime Minister’s special envoy on freedom of religion or belief, and the second was a meeting at the Foreign Office last week, where we announced the successful bidders for a £12 million DfID fund to promote freedom of religion and belief. That shows how clear and committed the Government are from the very top.
Question in the House about Pakistan – Monday October 15th 2018
Pictures I took in October 2018 one of Pakistan’s “colonies”- shantytowns where religious minorities live in squalor.
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)
My Lords, having visited Pakistan earlier this month and seen first-hand the abject, festering conditions in which many of the country’s religious minorities live, and having heard accounts of abduction, rape, the forced marriage of a nine year-old, forced conversion, death sentences for so-called blasphemy—the Minister may have heard the interview on the “Today” programme on Saturday morning with a young woman whose mother has spent eight years on death row for so-called blasphemy with a death sentence hanging over her—and in one case, children being forced to watch as their parents were burned alive, I ask the Minister: how can the Home Office in all those circumstances continue to say that what is happening in Pakistan to religious believers and humanists is merely discrimination, not persecution?
Baroness Williams of Trafford
I do not think I or the House would disagree with the noble Lord in the examples that he cites, particularly those in Pakistan of certain religious groups being persecuted under blasphemy laws. Sadly, the laws in Pakistan are quite different from the laws here; unpalatable though we might find them, they are the laws there. Nevertheless, each application to our asylum system should be dealt with in terms of the persecution that people might face.
Subject: Questions tabled on Pakistan
Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool
Asked on: 16 October 2018
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 15 October (HL Deb, cols 282–3), whether the Home Office will now reclassify the systematic attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan as persecution rather than discrimination.
Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool
Asked on: 16 October 2018
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many claims for asylum in the UK were successful in respect of religious minorities from Pakistan over the past five years.
Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool
Asked on: 16 October 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Pakistan to ensure that Pakistan’s quota system for jobs is not used to place workers from religious minorities in menial occupations.
Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool
Asked on: 16 October 2018
Department for International Development
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what training programmes in Pakistan they support to help illiterate and impoverished members of minority communities to qualify for jobs.
Tabled on 10 October and due for answer by 24 October.
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of the UK’s bilateral aid programme is directed towards the rebuilding of Pakistan’s colony shanty towns in which families from the country’s minorities live; what assessment they have made of the number of people, in total, living in those colonies and their access to running water, electricity or education; and when officials from the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office last visited those colonies to assess the conditions of people living there. HL10527
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that (1) Pakistani refugees have recently been rounded up by Thai police and taken to detention centres, and (2) Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan has issued an instruction to the Immigration Bureau to detain all foreigners without visas, stating that they will be deported within a month; and whether they have assessed the likelihood that Christian and Ahmadis may face persecution when returned to Pakistan. HL10528
- Pakistan: Jubilee Campaign report on the plight of Pakistani Christians:
Times article September 2018 on campaign to bring perpetrators of genocide to justice. Click on:
August 3rd – the day that the Genocide Began:
70th Anniversary Of The Genocide Convention Recalled in Mr.speaker’s House, November 27th 2018.
The Genocide Convention at 70:
Lessons Learned And Yet To Be Learned
With Fiona Bruce MP and Baroness Cox
Speakers included Ewelina Ochab, Geoffrey Robertson QC and Sir Geoffrey Nice QC Ahmed Khudida Burjus, Deputy Executive Director of Yazda, Neville Lazarus and Ben Rogers.
Speakers considered the legacy of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention), scrutinised the lessons learned over the last 70 years and considered lessons yet to be learned.
Speaker focused on two cases of genocides from the recent years, the Daesh genocide against religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, and the genocide against the Rohingya Muslims in Burma. The speakers asked the crucial questions whether the UK Government’s response to these genocides was adequate and what now needs to change for the UK to be able to meet its duties to prevent and to punish.
The event was hosted by Lord Alton of Liverpool and Fiona Bruce MP, Member of Parliament for Congleton and with the kind permission of Mr.Speaker.
November Debate on Cameroon – as refugees flee to Nigeria – which faces its own challenges. Click here:
Eritrea In The News – Important new exhibition showing at Resource for London from 5-30 September featuring more than 40 images – a mix of archive material and personal collections, some never publicly exhibited before.
Full details at:
Parliamentary Debate on FGM – 200 Million Girls and Women Subjected to Female Genital Mutilation Globally:
China: Exhibition of Chinese Corpses and Religious Persecution
“Why is Britain allowing the bodies of unknown Chinese citizens – who may have been victims of torture, human rights violations, persecution or organ theft – to be turned into a travelling circus? “
The Times August 7th: Exhibition of Chinese Corpses Questioned – Speech to Hearing in Parliament, October 16th 2018.
See – for October 18th speech:
Swiss City Says No
Organ Harvesting In China And The Many Questions To Be Answered
The French Civil code asks for the remains of deceased persons to be treated with respect, dignity and decency: an exhibition of cadavers aiming at making money doesn’t respect this requirement. French Appeal Judges noted that using these dead bodies to make money was one of the objectives. So why not the UK?
August 2nd 2018 – Letter to The Times
More Than 200 Killed In One Weekend – Escalating Violence at the Hands of Fulani Militia and Boko Haram – as the Nigerian authorities look on
For Full House of Lords Debate, June 28th 2018 – Go To:
Also see Politics Home – Central Lobby
Also on Facebook at:
On July 4th 2018, the Nigerian House of Representatives, declared recent killings in Plateau State to be a genocide and called on the federal government to immediately establish orphanages in areas affected by recent killings.
Sudan and South Sudan
As South Sudan celebrates seven years of independence, its people have little to cheer. Its warring leaders must make a cease fire work – and from Nigeria to the Central African Republic Africa’s leaders should see what happens when you fail to stop a radical ideology in its tracks:
Letter to the Times about Chemical Weapons Attacks in Sudan
October 22nd 2016:
The Suffering of Burma’s Rohingya and Kachin peoples
November 2018 – Meeting with Visiting Kachin and Shan Human Rights Defenders
Calls in Parliament for Burmese Generals to Be Referred To The International Criminal Court For Crimes Against Humanity
Latest Parliamentary Replies As Burmese Military Extends Its Attacks In Kachin and Shan States – Calls in Parliament for Generals to be referred to the International Criminal Court and for An Independent Assessment of Whether Genocide Has Occurred against Rohingyas and Kachin
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)
My Lords, in addition to bringing people to justice, and in addition to the security that is required to enable return to Burma, does the noble Lord accept that the root cause of this was the denial of citizenship to the Rohingya people? Will he say what discussions we have had with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Government in Burma to that effect, and whether we will be imposing sanctions on members of the military who have been responsible for these depredations?
For Minister’s Reply See:
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)
Two months ago, the Rakhine advisory commission established by Aung San Suu Kyi, and chaired by the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, published a report that offered a way out of this morass. However, within hours of its publication, a small militant group attacked police posts, precipitating a grossly disproportionate response by the Tatmadaw, the Burmese army, leading to this current crisis.
In condemning the initial attacks, we should concur with the United Nations and be equally clear that the Burmese army’s response to those attacks amounts to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. As one journalist put it, the Burmese army,
“wants to destroy an ethnicity, not end an insurgency”.
Continue reading at:
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
Speech To Coptic Solidarity Conference, Capitol Hill, Washington DC June 2018
At a conference on religious freedom, organised by Coptic Solidarity, David Alton (Lord Alton of Liverpool) called for an international world wide day to highlight the right to freedom of religion or belief.
Please follow this link to download the talk and slides:
And Here for Presentation
With Canadian MP Garnett Genuis and New Jersey Congressman, Chris Smith
University of Oxford, 2017: The John Milton Lecture
and Foreign and Commonwealth Office Presentation:
Why Freedom of Religion and Belief Is Particularly Relevant
Remarks and Power Point presentation may be viewed at: https://davidalton.net/media/
Thanks to Mr.Speaker and the Lord Speaker Parliament was lit red to commemorate those who have died for the religion or beliefs.
March 22nd 2018 – Call To Commonwealth Leaders To Protect Those Persecuted For Their Religious Beliefs. See:
Westminster Hall – Launch of the Religious Freedom in the World Report – following Red Wednesday. Read the report at: http://www.aina.org/news/20161124130319.htm
Iraq and Syria
Support Minorities Who Were Subjected To ISIS Genocide And Are Now Returning To Their Devastated Villages and Homes
Genocide in Iraq and Syria
Letter in The Telegraph about Syrian Christian refugees.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Presentation: October 19th 2016
Why Freedom of Religion and Belief Is Particularly Relevant
Remarks and Power Point presentation may be viewed at: https://davidalton.net/media/
This picture was given to me in 1985 during an undercover visit to Moscow to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians and Jews.
It represents Stalin’s destruction of many Orthodox monasteries and churches and the destiny of countless believers sent to the Siberian Gulags.
Persecution of millions of people, because of the religion or belief, continues all over the world today. See:
North Korea: David Alton is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea
Daily Telegraph October 15th 2018
North Korea’s Threat To World Peace: See
On February 5th a new report on human rights violations in North Korea was launched in Parliament. See:
David Alton said at the launch: “While security threats understandably continue to dominate the headlines, the COI report has received less attention than it deserves. The report concluded that the “gravity, scale and nature” of the human rights violations in North Korea “reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world”.
Much has changed inside North Korea in the past ten years, but the appalling human rights situation has not. In all the ski-slope diplomacy never lose sight of what this regime does to its own people.
200,000 people remain incarcerated in the regime’s gulags, where more than 300,000 people have been killed. The regime rapes, tortures, indoctrinates and lets millions of its people starve to death. Like Stalin, Kim Jong-un uses mock trials, purges and public executions.
When talks come – let them be hard headed and realistic – ushering in an era of reform and change.
Letter to the Times, September 28 from David Alton, Fiona Bruce MP, and Catherine West MP (Joint Chairs and Vice Chair of the All Party group on North Korea).
On the security situation see https://davidalton.net/2017/07/14/house-of-lords-debate-on-the-security-and-human-rights-challenges-posed-by-north-korea-july-13th-2017-and-a-call-to-downgrade-the-uks-diplomatic-presence-in-response-to-the-launch-of-inter-cont/ and text of remarks in the House of Lords in January 2018:
We have seen what it can do with abductions and assassinations, let alone cyberattacks, the hacking of crypto-currencies and cyber robberies, which can directly impact the United Kingdom…
Consider the plight of North Korean refugees. Just two months ago, 10 North Koreans, including women and a four year-old child, were repatriated to North Korea from China, despite South Korea’s willingness to give them refuge and citizenship. The father of one of the children, who had reached South Korea, issued an appeal broadcast by the BBC. He said that his wife and son would,
“either face execution or wither away in a political prison camp”,
if sent back to North Korea. He said that he was haunted by images of his young son in detention:
“I can almost hear my baby calling my name”.
Ooberfuse has a new song called Never Give Up out now — highlighting the plight of North Korean refugees (and all refugees).
MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/t6xIUyh3Wqg
STREAMING and DOWNLOAD LINK: https://soundcloud.com/ooberfuse/ooberfuse-never-give-up-1/s-2f1fe
Ooberfuse are a songwriting duo composed of Hal St John and Cherrie Anderson from Woolwich, London. Their songs are audio footprints left behind by people impelled towards invisible things.
Jieun Baek is author of ‘North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society’.
Fiona Bruce MP and David Alton, Joint Chairs of the All Party Group on North Korea with Jieun Baek
Details of the APG’s work available from Ryan Christopher email@example.com
Refugees And Citizens’ Rights
Why Sajid Javid Needs To Act On Children’s Citizenship Fees Before We Have Another Windrush Scandal.
- Refugees Fleeing Genocide, Persecution and War
- 2017.07.31 Letter from Baroness Williams to Lord Alton – does this mean the Government want to end their Dublin III responsibilities towards refugee children after Brexit?
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. the Government should 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?
Both Lives Matter meeting in Northern Ireland
As the women who spoke at these meetings said, 100,000 people are alive today because Northern Ireland rejected London’s abortion laws – which have led to one abortion every three minutes of every hour of every day.
Both lives matter- woman and child – and they should keep it that way.
By Maria Steen to the Citizens’ Assembly
Smoking may well kill your unborn child – Abortion most certainly does. There’s no such thing as a safe abortion for a baby in the womb.
8 million Reasons For Opposing Abortion –
Read here Lady O’Loan’s poignant account of what has motivated her to challenge unjust laws:
Call The Midwife: Don’t Sack Them – for refusing to collaborate in the killing of babies.
“… this week, I met Mary Doogan, one of the two Scottish midwives who lost their jobs…….The call of the midwife is an incredibly high calling. It is a call to bring new life into the world. To tell such women that they must facilitate the taking of the lives of babies in the womb or lose their jobs is not the hallmark of a liberal or tolerant society.” – David Alton in Parliament.
Click here to read what was said in Parliament:
and see Philippa Taylor:
The former Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, writes in The Times on why medics – such as midwives – should not be forced to act against their beliefs and why Baroness Nuala O’Loan is right to seek a change to the law.
Click here to read Lord Mackay:
February 2018: The Daily Mail Highlights the cost of conscience in contemporary Britain:
- The Times – Lord Mackay – It is not right to force medics to act against their beliefs
- Mail – The midwife hounded out of her job after 30 years (and 5,000 babies) because she refused to supervise abortions
- Belfast Telegraph – O’Loan submits Bill that would allow medics to refuse to carry out abortions
- Herald Scotland – Changes to abortion provision means NHS staff need more legal protection
- BMJ – Journal of Medical Ethics – Conscientious Objection: A Quick(ish) Answer
- Mail – Lord Alton – Why this is a vital matter of conscience
- The Spectator – Conscientious objection is an important medical principle
- Prof Andrew Tettenborn – Why we must protect the conscience rights of medical professionals
Dr. Mary Neal is right to back the O’Loan Bill on conscientious objection and trenchantly sets out the reasons for doing so here:
90 % of British babies with Downs Syndrome are aborted under the UK’s Eugenics Laws
See the story of Cora: Friday March 2nd
Well done Gerber for selecting Lucas, a baby with Downs, as their Gerber baby for 2018. Lucas was chosen from 140,000 entries. Perhaps their welcome choice will challenge UK laws and attitudes that permit abortion up to birth of babies with Downs, laws that lead to 90% of British Downs babies being killed. Perhaps Lucas’ amazing smile will soften a few hearts and challenge the UK’s Eugenics Laws.
Visit the We’re All Equal Campaign Site
February 2018 Church of England Synod Debates Our attitudes Towards Downs
Kevin (Lord) Shinkwin introduced a Bill challenging discriminatory legislation and negative attitudes against unborn babies with disabilities. See:
Actor, Tommy Jessop, stars in award winning, new short film FIGHTER which asks important questions about the freewill of an adult with Down’s syndromein the face of coercion (conscious or unconscious) from a parent.
Tommy was the first professional actor with Down’s syndrome to play the title role Hamlet in the original language in theatres across the south of England.
More about Tommy Jessop: see www.tommyjessop.com Follow Tommy Jessop on twitter@tommyjessop Link to fighter trailer:http://fightershort.com/portfolio/fightertrailer2017
Following Her Conscience
Student Leader, Katie Ascough Receives Prestigious Westminster Award For Her Outstanding Courage (pictured with Baroness O’Loan and Fiona Bruce MP).
Support Crisis and World Homeless Day
For more click on:
November 13th 2018 Empty Housing Question
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)
My Lords, will the Minister say what is being done to ensure that, where landlords own properties that are empty, they will be listed on the register? What can be done to incentivise landlords who own empty properties to put them into use for people who are in housing need? Can he tell the House how many properties owned by private landlords are standing empty in the country today?
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
My Lords, I am not able to give the noble Lord that information from the Dispatch Box, but I will write to him with those figures, in so far as they are available. In relation to empty properties, he will be aware that some time ago we took legislation through this House to increase the ability of local authorities—indeed, we increased it further here than did the Commons—to charge a higher council tax for empty properties. I think that that will go some way towards dealing with the important issue he refers to.
Plastics, Waste, and Decline of Species Populations
For reply on April 4th 2018, go to:
Blue Planet, Plastics, and Their Impact on Marine Life Raised In Parliament,
Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench Peer)
My Lords, did the Minister see the alarming findings of the BBC’s programme on the disposal of plastics and the effects on whales, fish and other marine life described in “Blue Planet”? What advice are the Government giving to local authorities and others to deal more creatively with the disposal of plastics—and indeed the replacement of plastics by materials that can be recycled more easily?
- Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Conservative, Government Minister)
My Lords, I did not have the privilege of seeing that programme, which I regret as I heard it was extremely good. The noble Lord is right to focus attention on some of the challenges we face. We are improving our position as a nation, but there is much to do. We are in favour of upping the targets that are currently being looked at, and what that improvement will be has yet to be announced—the current target is 60%. The noble Lord is right about the particular problem of marine challenges, which we are also looking at. Black plastics are a particular problem, and we have a working group looking at that.
House of Lords January 9th 2018
My Lords, can the Minister tell us what percentage of the some 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste that are estimated to be exported from this country to China each year are actually capable of being recycled? Further, in his response to the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, he did not say anything about incineration. There has been some speculation that the Government might support incineration, but would that not be simply adding one environmental degradation to another?
My Lords, I used the phrase energy recovery. That is via the use of incineration and the source of fuel it provides is a much better use than landfill. Moreover, landfill quantities have been reduced dramatically. Some 3.7 million tonnes of plastic waste are created in this country of which 0.4 million tonnes is sent to China. That actually represents a reduction from 0.7 million tonnes of waste being exported in 2010, so a reducing amount of waste is going to China. However, it is clear that we need to do better, and that is why we are working on this issue.
February 2018: Plastic Fish Protest at Westminster
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)
February 5th 2018
My Lords, what studies have the Government commissioned into the environmental hazards that may occur if we start to burn large amounts of plastic waste, and what percentage of plastic can be recycled according to the Government’s own estimates?
Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Government Minister. Con)
My Lords, following considerable investment, there are now about 40 large municipal waste plants. They are highly regulated by the Environment Agency precisely to ensure that we recover energy and, importantly, they also operate within all the emission tests. I do not have the precise figure for what is currently recyclable but I will write to the noble Lord. However, the whole essence of our objective is to cut the amount of plastic in circulation and to reduce the variety of plastic so that we can recycle ever more.
Letter from the Minister: February 26th:
Decline of Species Population
Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL11223):
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings in the Living Planet Report 2018, published by the World Wildlife Fund and Zoological Society of London, that (1) there has been a decline of 60 per cent in species population sizes between 1970 and 2014, and (2) species population declines are especially pronounced in the tropics; and what strategy, if any, they have to address these findings. (HL11223)
Tabled on: 05 November 2018
Lord Gardiner of Kimble:
The Government recognises that there have been declines in species populations across the world since 1970 and that declines have been pronounced in many tropical ecosystems. This downward trend and the impact it has on peoples’ economic and social wellbeing highlights the need to strengthen international efforts to tackle biodiversity loss.
The Government is committed to being the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. We are already working worldwide, including in the tropics, to tackle biodiversity loss, by:
- Investing more than £36 million between 2014 and 2021 to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, and hosting the fourth international Illegal Wildlife Trade conference last month in London. The conference represented a significant step forward in the global fight to eliminate this trade;
- Committing £210 million of Defra’s International Climate Finance to support projects that aim to protect and restore more than 500,000 hectares of the world’s most biodiverse forests. For example, we are supporting communities in Madagascar to protect mangrove forests, which are important habitats for the protection of many species, some of which are found nowhere else on earth;
- Ambitious plans under the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan to reverse the decline of many species and help wildlife survive and thrive. We are committed to protecting the oceans, and have called for at least 30 per cent of the oceans to be in Marine Protected Areas by 2030. The UK is also leading the fight against plastic pollution; and
- Introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales to protect the elephant.
We are also committed to developing an ambitious post-2020 strategic framework for biodiversity and are working with countries around the world to achieve this under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
Date and time of answer: 13 Nov 2018 at 14:56.
Theodore House Project Update:
See the following link for February 2018 update on progress on Theodore House :
To see the work in progress click on this linkhttp://www.christianheritagecentre.com/theodore-house/
Also read this article from The Universe, highlighting the “Special Relationship” of direct links with the Founding Fathers.
Earlier Feature Articles and recent press coverage of the charity’s work can be viewed athttp://www.christianheritagecentre.com/press/
The charity is an unremunerated labour of love and the Trustees have raised over £3 million of the £4 million target. Some generous sponsors have named rooms. There are still some opportunities to do this. For further details email Anton’ de Piroanton@christianheritagecentre.com
Washington DC Exhibition:
Click here to read about Theodore House links to Gerard Manley Hopkins and J.R.R.Tolkien
and to discover the Tolkien Trail – the perfect spring or summer walk.
Also see: https://davidalton.net/2017/01/19/tolkien-faith-and-fiction-liverpool-hope-university-lecture-marking-the-fiftieth-anniversary-of-j-r-r-tolkiens-involvement-in-the-translation-of-the-jerusalem-bible-and-the-link-between-his-faith-2/
Thomas Becket’s Fight For Conscience and Religious Freedom Commemorated at Westminster: Becket Week Events – go to https://davidalton.net/latest/
- Some Other Lectures and Talks
In June 2016 David chaired the last of over 140 Roscoe Lectures which he founded in 1997 and after twenty years he retired as Professor of Citizenship. In July David Alton was made a Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University .
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
The State of Politics and Democracy
Click here to read the Toast to William Pitt the Younger given at the City of Chester Pitt Club
Other Public Lectures, including:
Liverpool Hope University Lecture: Tolkien Faith and Fiction
Click link for You Tube presentation of the lecture
A Premier Radio Lecture: “The Battle of Beliefs – a matter of life and death” – Liverpool
Click here for presentation
and the Gonzaga – Delivered at The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.
View presentation at: Glasgow 2016
Polish Lectures in Warsaw
50th Anniversary of Britain’s Abortion Laws: Lectures and Talks
To hear Dr.Alveda King – Martin Luther King’s niece – Chen GuangChen the blind Chinese lawyer imprisoned for 4 years for exposing forced abortion – click on David Alton’s remarks marking more than 8 million UK abortions – here:
And here is someone, 30 years ago, leading the London Marathon Race and using the opportunity to support the unborn child https://youtu.be/9tuwo_Xd5fw?t=1392
Click Here for “Truth Should Speak To Power” – hear the speech delivered to mark 50 years and 8 million lives ended:
Alton Herald 1967 Act Anniversary Here, for article on the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act – October 27th 2017: and here for an interview about the anniversary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCu6iAjRjSA
Ribble Valley Walk of Witness for the Right To Life on Bank Holiday Monday 2018
The UK’s Death Toll: 8.8 milion – One every 3 minutes; 20 every hour; 600 every working day.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil…not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonheoffer
“Most of the things which really matter 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 had been elected 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, Pakistan, 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.”