February 2018: 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.
February 2018: The Daily Mail Highlights the cost of conscience in contemporary Britain:
Click here to read Lord Mackay:
Call the Midwife: Don’t Sack Them for Refusing to be complicit in ending the life of the unborn child.
Call The Midwife: Dont Sack Them – for refusing to collaborate in the killing of babies.
“On Wednesday 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:
January 2018 – Speaking in Belfast
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
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 syndrome in 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
In Northern Ireland today 100,000 people are alive because the 1967 abortion laws were not enacted there.
Read Martin O’Brien (former editor of The Irish News):
SDLP’s Alban Maginness Sounds The Alarm in the Belfast Telegraph:
This is an important story as it leaves in tatters the constant claims by abortion advocates worldwide that abortion restrictions do not reduce the number of abortions – this report shows when like with like are compared, on a conservative estimate 100,000 people are alive today in Northern Ireland because of their current legal situation on abortion – unlike the 8 million whose lives have been ended in Great Britain.
Following Her Conscience
Student Leader, Katie Ascough Receives Prestigious Westminster Award For Her Outstanding Courage (pictured with Baroness O’Loan and Fiona Bruce MP). Read more:
For details of the Westminster Award for Human Rights, Human Life and Human Dignity awarded to impeached Student Union President, Katey Ascough, go to:
Smoking may well kill your unborn child – Abortion most certainly does.
Theodore House Update:
See the following link for February 2018 update on progress on Theodore House :
To see the work in progress click on this link http://www.christianheritagecentre.com/theodore-house/
Also read this article from The Universe, highlighting the “Special Relationship” of Christians in the UK and US – and direct links with the Founding Fathers.
Earlier Feature Articles and recent press coverage of the charity’s work can be viewed at http://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 Piro email@example.com
Washington DC Exhbition:
Click here to read about Theoodre 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/
Plastics And Waste
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.
Human Rights – Article 18 – Persecution for Religion or Belief. Time To See Red.
See US State Department Report:
Also see 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.
Click here for details of how the day went:
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
Red Wednesday was an opportunity to stand up for faith and freedom; to put pressure on the UK government and the international community to protect people of faith, find solutions to the problems that are fuelling extremist violence and to make our world a safer place.
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, becuase of the religion or belief, continues all over the world today. See:
In September 2016: David Alton was presented with the Thomas More Religious Freedom Advocacy Award
Genocide in Iraq and Syria
Letter in The Telegraph about Syrian Christian refugees.
Support the campaign for justice and practical help for the Syrians and Iraqi Christians and Yazidis who have been subjected to genoicde. To help, contact Caroline Hull, Aid to the Church In Need:
By phone: 01524 388739 Or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
See Minsterial Response to the failure to bring perpetrators to justice and the failure to use British aid to help belaugured minorities (in July letter from the Foreign Office):
Sister Annie from Aleppo gave evidence in Parliament.
- Refgugees 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 twoards 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?
The Suffering of Burma’s Rohingya
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
North Korea: David Alton is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea
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 (Lord) 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 Catharine 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”.
I was genuinely shocked to receive a parliamentary reply about this case, in which the Government confirmed that they had not made representations to China on behalf of those fleeing refugees.
We should not remain silent about the nature of this regime….
…as that regime strives to survive, Pyongyang will be duplicitous and try to drive wedges between the United States and its allies and encourage anti-American sentiment.
The north’s calibrated strategy will aim at securing relief from sanctions, but they are past masters of offering concessions that are never honoured.
We should recall that, between 2005 and 2009, the US unfroze $25 million of a North Korean fund at Banco Delta Asia, which the regime then used as a slush fund.
We must beware of being what Lenin called“useful idiots” in the hands of a well-practised and often cunning snake oil salesman.
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
The Never Give Up music video features Jihyun Park who fled North Korea and is now living in Manchester UK.
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, (a Belfer Center Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School also spoke at the launch of the 2018 Human rights Report on North Korea. She previously gave a wonderful presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea about her book, ‘North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society’. David Alton said that the best antidote to totalitarianism was the spread of ideas and knowledge of the alternatives which is why breaking North Korea’s information blockade is so important.
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 James Burt email@example.com
New Cultural Revolution In China?
Protestant church dynamited
- Pakistan: Jubilee Campaign report on the plight of Pakistani Christians:
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.
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/
Letter to the Times about Chemical Weapons Attacks in Sudan
October 22nd 2016:
- 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 oif 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 presentatuon 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 Brtian’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 2017
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, 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.”