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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Date Posted:

Baroness Paisley

Baroness Paisley’s maiden speech in the House of Lords

British Church Newspaper – 19 January 2007
British Church Newspaper

On the 14 December, Baroness Paisley of St George's said:

"My Lords, an anonymous Ulsterman is reputed to have said at the beginning of a speech, "Before I speak, I want to say a few words".

As an Ulsterwoman, I understand what he was trying to say. I should like to preface my remarks with words of sincere thanks to my noble friends Lady Boothroyd and Lord Molyneaux who very kindly honoured me by being my sponsors. I have also been touched by the warmth and friendliness extended to me by so many Members, both before and since my introduction. It would be remiss of me not to mention the officers and staff in every department who are always so helpful and patient. Needless to say, I am deeply conscious of the immense honour and privilege it is to be a Member of this House. I look forward - although others may not - to contributing to its debates in future days…

"The subject before us today is most serious and we cannot afford to treat it lightly. The noble Lord, Lord Fowler, gave us many statistics and I expect that the statistics that I have written in front of me here will overlap his and those of others that have been given today. The scourge of HIV/AIDS is invading the entire world at breakneck speed. I have been looking at some of the statistics, which are frightening to say the least. In the United Kingdom the number of cases reported up to the end of June this year totalled 80,500, which included more than 7,000 new cases. The age group to which those figures refer covers adults. The statistic includes 15 year-olds, which I hardly think is right, but people aged between 15 and 59 are covered by the total of 80,500. One third of them were unaware that they were infected."

Bringing her remarks to a close, Lady Paisley said, "I also call on the Government to do all in their power to give help, sustenance and support, and any kind of aid that is necessary to help to relieve the dreadful situation in which we find ourselves as a country. Again, I believe that we need to call on God.

I was touched by the Prayers earlier today. One of the verses in that reading said: "I called on God, and He heard me, and delivered me out of all my troubles".

That is what we need to do individually and as a nation if we are to succeed in what we are trying to do today. I thank noble Lords for their patience and for listening to me."

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