I have spoken on each day this week, though only brief interventions:
8 March 2012
Health and Social Care Bill
7 March 2012
Death Penalty (2 contributions)
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (2 contributions)
6 March 2012
Gypsies and Travellers (2 contributions)
5 March 2012
Legal Aid: Social Welfare Law
Monday, a very useful meeting with Paul Boateng, who has kindly agreed to attend the launch of the programme to vaccinate children against Pneumonia and rotavirus in Ghana on behalf of the All-Party Group against Childhood Pneumonia at the end of April. This is a world first! Ghana is the only country so far to deal with both these diseases, the two biggest killers of children in the developing world, at the same time.
Tuesday, did a TV programme for al-Aalam TV on Bahrain; Lyulph came to lunch, and in the evening a reception in the River Room for the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, at which the guest speaker was my old friend Sir Nigel Rodley.
Wednesday, voted against the Government twice on the Legal Aid etc Bill, on amendments restoring the right of appellants against official decisions about entitlement to welfare benefits to legal aid in complex cases both at the First-Tier Tribunal and on appeals against the decisions in the First Tier Tribunal The argument was very one-sided, not a single member apart from the Minister supporting the Government's case, I have already explained that although I am a firm supporter of the Government's intention to eliminate the deficit, I don't agree that we should make the poor and vulnerable share the burden, when there is plenty of scope for taxing the rich, and in the case of the NHS, taxing bad habits like drinking, smoking and eating harmful substances like sugar and fats.