Author Archives: Judith Jolly

Baroness Judith Jolly writes…Why we need a UK register of arms brokers

I never expected to come anywhere near the top of the ballot for private members bills. My record for the Lib Dem raffle over thirty odd years is less than five or six wins. And I came third! That means I have second reading next Friday (10th June).

My bill calls for arms brokers to be registered and a fit and proper test applied to would be brokers. At present there are few restrictions so you or I could set up as a broker. In the US they are regulated.

Save the Children and Amnesty International are supporting us. Save the Children said:

Our Yemen work in Parliament has mainly focused on humanitarian access and the credible reports of breaches of international and human rights law. Whilst we recognise the positive impact that the Government’s humanitarian response and interventions have made, we remain concerned that the Government’s current support for Saudi Arabia-led military action is undermining the protection of civilians and is inconsistent with its support to the humanitarian response. We believe more robust action is needed to ensure that existing standards and norms are upheld by all parties to the conflict, in line with Government commitments under the new National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review, and to ensure full compliance by the UK with legal obligations under national and international law relating to the sale of arms.

Amnesty International added:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Baroness Judith Jolly writes…Towards a pluralist, peaceful Syria

Interviews with Syrians of all faiths and sects have shown that, as with all of us, they wish to live in a pluralist society, as they used to. The want to return to the days when Christians and Druze were friends and all lived on the same street. The action we take must contribute to this aspiration

Lib Dem MPs voted to support the government based on five criteria, or principles. Any action taken must be legal, there must be a diplomatic framework, we must ensure pressure is placed on the Gulf States and Turkey to re-engage and support efforts to destabilise Daesh, there must be a post Daesh plan, and we must do more within our own borders to combat British extremist groups and ensure safety for refugees.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 19 Comments

Baroness Judith Jolly writes… Welcome to our new Peers

We heard this morning of new members swelling our ranks on the red benches in the House of Lords.

It seems only yesterday since I arrived in January 2011, fully expecting to serve only five or maybe ten years before standing down for those elected to the Upper House. We now know that it is not to be (yet!) but it was not for want of trying.

If I were to give advice it would be to get involved in something you know something about and something you know nothing about but find interesting. Join some all-party groups. Challenge our government …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Tagged , , , , and | 10 Comments

Baroness Judith Jolly writes: new Social Care Bill focuses on people not systems

The Care Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the social care system. Currently there is a morass of legislation, confusing to those who work in the system and almost impenetrable to those in need of care, or their carers. It is leaving behind those who fund themselves to work it out as they go along. These are the most vulnerable in our society – the elderly and those of working age who are disabled and need care. The Bill focuses on people, not systems, and has received plaudits from all quarters.

Today I will stand up …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Judith Jolly writes … Lib Dems are leading the battle over the regulations for the Health and Social Care Act

One year ago my colleagues and I sat in a room in Gateshead explaining in detail to party members what we had done to ensure that the Health and Social Care Act included key Liberal Democrat policies and principles.  We explained our efforts to reinstate the Secretary of State’s responsibility for ensuring that there is a comprehensive NHS.  We stated that we would end Labour’s policy of  crude competition on the basis of price, not quality, which had led to the private sector being paid £250m for work which was never done.

Above all, we stated that competition should be used …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 8 Comments

Baroness Judith Jolly writes: Why Lib Dem peers have supported an amended Health and Social Care Bill

Twenty five days of debate in the chamber of the House of Lords have now concluded on the Health and Social Care Bill. Our health team in the Lords has been involved in numerous meetings, events and correspondence discussing the Bill over the last eighteen months. We made it plain throughout the process that we could not have voted for the Bill without significant series changes that Liberal Democrats and professional organisations demanded. We believe that great care is now needed over how it is implemented in order to avoid the dangers of which many have warned and in order to restore the confidence of professionals in the NHS.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged | 66 Comments

Baroness Judith Jolly writes… The House of Lords will challenge, revise and improve the Health Bill

Tony Blair, on the eve of the 1997 General Election, famously proclaimed that we have just “24 hours to save the NHS”. A nice rhetorical flourish, but lacking in objectivity. Perhaps somewhat like the Labour party. Similar language is once again being used this week as the House of Lords debates giving a second reading to the Health and Social Care Bill. Opposition groups have jumped on this by suggesting that this is the last chance to ‘stop’ this Bill. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the complexity of the inner workings of the House of Lords, this doesn’t properly reflect …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 18 Comments
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