Lib Dems welcome revenge porn amendment

Baroness Grender
Baroness Grender

Lib Dems in the House of Lords have welcomed today’s Government amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that criminalises the sharing of revenge porn.

The revision, which makes it an offense to publish a private sexual image of another identifiable person without their consent, was tabled by Lord Faulks, Minister of State for Civil Justice and Legal Policy.

The amendment was tabled following a meeting between Lord Faulks and Lib Dem Peers Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames, Baroness Grender, Baroness Brinton & Baroness Barker.

The proposal follows a hard fought campaign by the Lib Dems including Julian Huppert MP, who previously highlighted the issue in the commons and campaigned for a change in the law.

The amendment is expected to be debated on 22 October 2014, during the report stage of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

Revenge Porn Campaigner Hannah Thompson said: “I am so pleased that after campaigning for so long the Government is now listening.

“I was turned away by the police. I would not want anyone else to go through what I did, I hope that now victims can feel that they can be, as they should always have been, protected by the police.“

Julian Huppert MP said: “I am glad to see the Government has accepted the case we Lib Dems made and have brought forward an amendment to ban revenge porn. It is a great success for all of us and will help to protect victims of this heinous crime.

 “I hope that peers will ensure this much-needed change in the law happens.”

Baroness Grender said: “We have made great progress on this issue and I am pleased to see that the Government is now doing the right thing. It is now vital that we work in Parliament to make these changes law.”

Eric Avebury: Polio and Terrorism

Lord Avebury
Lord Avebury

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO),has reduced the number paralysed by polio from 350,000 in 1988 to 405 in 2013, and the number of countries where the disease is endemic has been cut from 125 to just 3 –Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. But progress has come to a grinding halt, with Pakistan reporting 174 new cases so far this year out of 193 worldwide.

The WHO says there is a high risk that this highly infectious disease will spread to other parts of the world, paralysing many of its victims.

Three quarters of all cases are reported from two lawless areas of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) and the misleadingly named Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In these provinces terrorists call the shots, intimidating and murdering those who don’t agree with their fundamentalist brand of Islam.

The terrorists and their clerical allies decreed in 2012 that vaccination was a western plot to sterilise Muslim children, and a cover for spies following the use by the CIA of a fake vaccination project to track down Osama bin Laden. A local warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur was ‘persuaded’ to ban vaccination in the tribal region of Waziristan in June 2012, and this was endorsed by the chiefs in other tribal areas and in KP.

Full article here

John Alderdice: an Open Letter from Israeli citizens to British MP’s (via LordAlderdice.com)

Lord Alderdice
Lord Alderdice

Some Israeli friends have sent me an open letter requesting British MPs to vote in favour of today’s Motion in the House of Commons urging the British Government to recognize the Palestinian State side by side with the State of Israel.

The letter says this -

“We, Israelis who worry and care for the well-being of the state of Israel, believe that the long-term existence and security of Israel depends on the long-term existence and security of a Palestinian state. For this reason we the undersigned urge members of the UK parliament to vote in favour of the motion to be debated on Monday 13th October 2014 calling on the British Government to recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel”

Within a few hours it was signed by more than 350 significant Israelis including -

Former MK’s: Uri Avneri, Yael Dayan, Yossi Sarid, Naomi Chazan, Ran Cohen, Mossi Raz

Former Ministers: Yossi Sarid (Education), Ran Cohen (Industry and trade)

Former Govt. Officials: Alon Liel (CEO of Foreign Office and Ambassador to S. Africa and to Turkey), Ilan Baruch (Ambassador to S. Africa and Zimbabwe)

Israel Prize: Yehoshua Kolodny, Yoram Bilu, Shimon Sandbank, Yona Rosenfeld, David Harel, Alex levac

Nobel Prize: Danny Kahneman

Former Attorney General: Michael Benyair

Artists/Playwrights: Joshua Sobol (“Ghetto”), Motti Lerner, Sinai Peter, Avraham Oz , Ofira Henig (Theatre), Uri Segal (Conductor and Musical Director)

Military: Emanuel Shaked (former head of infantry and paratroopers), Dan Hadani (Brigadier)

It is clear that many loyal Israeli citizens now believe that immediate recognition of the Palestinian State may be the only way to save the Two-State Solution.  These are dangerous times for everyone in the Middle East, including the people of Israel as well as Palestine.  Such times require radical moves if we are not to see a dissolution into catastrophic horror.   This move shows not only the depth of concern in Israel, but also a positive, non-military way in which UK Parliamentarians and the British Government can make a real contribution to rescuing the situation.

One of the key organizers of the initiative is Professor Amiram Goldblum, who may be contacted at Tel: +972-544-653292 and e-mail: amiramg@ekmd.huji.ac.il

Brian Paddick: Are We Confusing Anti-politics with Anti-Westminster? (via Lib Dem Voice)

Lord Paddick
Lord Paddick

I have just been watching Marr on BBC1 and there appears to me to be a theme developing.

In the paper review, Trevor Phillips said the rise of UKIP was really about voters´ perception that “Westminster politicians” were not listening to their constituents. He also suggested immigration is not the real issue for many British people but fear of change. He claims that rapid change is unsettling for people and a party that represents the past like UKIP is understandably popular. I guess a progressive, forward thinking and radical party like ours might be unpopular for the same reason.

Next up is Douglas Carswell, former Tory, now a UKIP, MP. He talks like a Lib Dem. He is clearly a dedicated constituency MP, just like a Lib Dem, who does not take his constituents for granted, just like a Lib Dem, and he sees representing his constituency as far more important than what happens at Westminster. He appeared to me to be so unlike a Tory MP or a Labour MP in a safe seat and so like a Lib Dem.

It reminded me of campaigning in the 2012 London Mayoral election in Worcester Park where Paul Burstow is the local MP. It was in the midst of the NHS reorganisation debate, when my colleague Shirley Williams was leading the Lib Dem revolt against the Coalition Government proposals which resulted in a withdrawal and a rethink. With tuition fees still hanging around our necks and the unpopularity of the NHS reforms, a couple on the doorstep explained that they would never vote Lib Dem again “… but we´ll be voting for Paul Burstow because he’s a great local MP”. At that time, Paul was a Liberal Democrat Coalition government minister in the Department of Health.

I found it a little puzzling that UKIP, a right-wing party, not only won the Clacton by-election but they also reduced the Labour majority from 6,000 to 600 in Heywood and Middleton. But not so puzzling if the reason is not their policies but a reaction against MPs who take their constituents for granted.

Full article here

Lib Dem Peers lead the fight against revenge porn

Julian Huppert MP
Julian Huppert MP
Baroness Grender
Baroness Grender

Lib Dems in the House of Lords have moved one step closer to criminalising the sharing of revenge porn following the tabling of a new amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

The revision, which makes it an offense to publish a private sexual image of another identifiable person without their consent, focuses specifically on the distress caused to the victims.

The amendment was tabled by Lib Dem Peers Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames, Baroness Grender, Baroness Brinton & Baroness Barker.

The proposal follows a hard fought campaign by Lib Dem MP, Julian Huppert, who has previously highlighted the issue in the commons and campaigned for a change in the law.

The amendment is expected to be debated on 22 October 2014, during the report stage of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

Revenge Porn Campaigner Hannah Thompson said: “It made me really ill to see that my ex-boyfriend had published pictures of me online.

“I remember thinking at the time that this must be illegal. When I found out it wasn’t I started my campaign to ban revenge porn but I never thought anyone would listen to me. I was so pleased when the Lib Dems picked it up in the House of Commons. The law needs to be changed and I am glad to see that we have a real chance to make this happen.”

Julian Huppert MP said: “I have campaigned vigorously to make a criminal sanction available when people share indecent images in the knowledge that consent would not have been given.

“Without these measures more people will unfairly suffer at the hands of malicious former partners.”

Baroness Grender said: “It is vital that we act in the House of Lords to criminalise revenge porn and protect that victims of this heinous practise. Ultimately this isn’t about the sexual nature of the images but about the embarrassment and shame felt by those that have their privacy breached in this way.

“I am grateful for the work my Lib Dem colleague Julian Huppert MP has been doing in the Commons to both raise awareness of this issue and lead the fight for it to be criminalised.

“I must also congratulate Hannah Thompson who was brave enough to get in touch and ask Julian and I to change the law.”  

Joan Walmsley: Children have a right to be believed about abuse and deserve action, not cover-up (via The Observer)

Baroness Walmsley
Baroness Walmsley

Every time a new child abuse scandal is revealed by the media there are calls for more training and more communication, but never more prevention. I believe that even the most determined paedophile will be greatly deterred if he knows that his colleagues are alert and, where they suspect child abuse, will do something about it. That’s why we need a legal duty on those working with children to report known or suspected child abuse to the authorities.

For years there has been a professional duty to act, but no sanctions for failure if people chose to turn a blind eye to even the most obvious signs of harm or distress or kept silent when they noticed a dubious attitude to children on the part of a colleague.

People have worried that they would lose their job if they reported what they knew, possibly damaging the reputation of their organisation. For that reason they have said nothing. It’s time we protected well-meaning members of the children’s workforce and empowered them, even obliged them, to report what they know or suspect to the authorities.

Full letter here

The Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,985 other followers