Second Reading

Part of Sunday Trading (London Olympic and Paralympic Games) Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 9:06 pm on 24th April 2012.

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Photo of Lord Cormack Lord Cormack Conservative 9:06 pm, 24th April 2012

No Member of either House of Parliament can ever speak for anyone other than him or herself, but one can try very hard to reflect feelings and to acknowledge desires, ambitions and aspirations in the country. I believe that there was something very precious about a day of the week when the pace was slower. I opposed the relaxation of restrictions on Sunday trading because I felt that we would then finish up with a replica Saturday-a high-street Sunday. One has only to drive into London, as I did from King's Cross on Sunday of this very week, to see what has happened. The streets are full of people out shopping, and the peace, the quiet and the opportunity to reflect has gone. I believe that we have lost something in that.

I am not so stupid as to suggest that all those who flock to the shops would be flocking to the churches if the shops were not there. Of course not, but I believe that a slackening of the tempo of life is good. When people come to this country to enjoy the countryside or to go round our great cities and small villages, I like them to be able to understand the tempo of English and British life. That is no longer possible in the way that it was and I regret that. I think it would be a good thing if those who came to watch the Olympic Games this year-and they will come in their thousands or perhaps millions-could have an opportunity to experience the tempo of life in this country as it was. I remember very well-