Report (3rd Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 12th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour 10:00 pm, 12th March 2012

My Lords, this debate relates to one that we had earlier, when there was that magnificent and to be expected contribution by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Woolf. Without saying everything that I said previously, I should like to underline that I do not believe that I am in a small minority. A significant number of people in this country are ashamed of what we are doing.

What kind of society do we want to be? Are we just cynically abandoning people to a system? Perhaps worse, are we really finding devious ways to get negative results which we want? That is what worries me. I am not convinced that our immigration policy operates with fairness. I believe that there is an underlying principle that we want to get rid of people; that we do not want people here; that we want to discourage people from coming.

Are we a country about justice or are we not? If we are a country about justice, those people, often in sad and desperate circumstances, are the very people whom, in the midst of economic pressures, and all the rest, we should be determined to protect.

I am very glad that there is this opportunity to air this matter. I am glad that concern spreads across the House into different political groups. All that I can say is that I am getting very depressed about the real motivation for some of this legislation.