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The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, is the Minister aware of the Church's total opposition to anti-Semitism under any pretext whatever? Is she also aware of its support for respecting the religious sensitivities of others? How are the Government promoting those values on the internet and elsewhere?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I am aware of what the right reverend Prelate properly indicates is the Church's position, with which the Government absolutely concur. Noble Lords will know that we have done a great deal to enhance the opportunities for different religious groups to come together. I mention, en passant, the attempts that we have made in, for instance, the reducing reoffending alliances, which bring religious groups together to address those issues. We will continue to take every opportunity that we can to enhance harmony in our religious and other communities.

Lord Dholakia: My Lords, why is it not possible to take action under the existing incitement to racial hatred provisions rather than wait for the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 to come into effect?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, all actions that can properly be taken under current legislation are being taken. The noble Lord is right to highlight the fact that other provisions are available; the additional provisions that we have made available will make it the easier to address some of the issues. He is absolutely right that we need to use current legislation as creatively as we can while we await the implementation of other legislation.

Baroness D'Souza: My Lords, does the Minister also agree that suppressing unpopular and perhaps offensive views can sometimes make them a great deal more dangerous by encouraging action rather than political discussion and dialogue?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, that is right. That is why we have freedom of expression and why the Human Rights Act refers to proportionality and balance. There are views that are deeply abhorrent and deeply unpleasant to all of us, but people must have the freedom to explore those issues, and we can then vigorously disagree.

Lord Winston: My Lords, will my noble friend be kind enough to address not merely racial hatred but
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the violence threatened against people carrying out respectable, legal and ethical animal research? A large number of websites in this country offer weapons to people who wish to protest against animal research that is done in proper circumstances.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I wholeheartedly endorse what my noble friend has said. That is why this House has joined with the other place to pass legislation that trenchantly tries to address that issue. I assure my noble friend and the House that we will continue to do all that we can to make sure that it does not continue to be a scourge for the scientific community, which does so much to try and make our world better.

Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, although I recognise the thrust of the Question in terms of literature that should not be acceptable on the internet, I wonder whether my noble friend can also address an associated question. The most extremist activity that takes place on the internet might well be the encouragement of suicide bombing and other terrorist activities. If it is still on the internet, perhaps the security services can get in there and ensure that it does not happen, rather than moving away from it and causing us greater difficulty.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, my noble friend is right to highlight the opportunities on the internet. That is why we have brought before the House specific provisions in the Terrorism Bill that will deal with inappropriate activity. The House had the pleasure of discussing them at some length in passing the relevant clauses.

The Countess of Mar: My Lords, the Minister seems to be talking just about material produced in the United Kingdom. Have Her Majesty's Government any control over material brought in from overseas?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, we do not have direct control but, irrespective of whether a website is hosted abroad, someone who was accused of the offence of inciting others to commit crimes would not be exempt from prosecution merely because they had used a website that was hosted in a foreign jurisdiction. That gives us great comfort. Our internet service providers have been energetic in trying to make sure that there is no improper penetration of services here.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, according to newspaper reports, there are websites based in Florida that incite murder and violence against those who conduct animal experiments in this country. It is suggested that the websites are somehow protected by the first amendment to the United States constitution, which is absurd. Will the Government make representations to the United States authorities to make sure that that kind of incitement to murder and violence—sometimes worse—will be eradicated?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I can certainly reassure the noble Lord that we have not
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failed to take any opportunity to collaborate with our international partners, including those in the USA, to get a better understanding of the issues and to make sure that improper use is not made of the internet. We will continue so to do.

Energy: Domestic Saving

3.22 pm

Lord Watson of Richmond asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Bach): My Lords, we aim to publish our revised climate change programme shortly, which will set out our plans to engage consumers in energy saving. At present, the Government support activity to persuade householders of the benefits of saving energy for our climate change and fuel poverty goals through the work of the Energy Saving Trust, the Warm Front programme and the energy efficiency commitment.

Lord Watson of Richmond: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Given that more than 30 per cent of the energy that we use in the United Kingdom is used in our own homes, will the Government urgently examine the possibility of real tax incentives to homeowners to insulate their own home? That course of action is proving very successful in some other countries.

Lord Bach: My Lords, the noble Lord is right to point out that a high proportion of energy use is attributable to domestic dwellings. My figure is not quite as high as 30 per cent, but perhaps it matters not: it is a very high proportion.

I am afraid that I cannot say much about what will be in the climate change review. It might be that this Question could be asked again—I am not encouraging the noble Lord to do so—in two or three months, but the noble Lord is right to say that we have to look at further ways of fiscally incentivising those who produce energy-saving products and those who receive them. Although I have mentioned a couple of the ways in which we are already dealing with the matter, the noble Lord will know that there are other ways of promoting energy saving—for example, product labels, home information packs and regulatory measures—but the role of incentives is also important.

Lord Dixon-Smith: My Lords, one can take the view that the present price of energy is sufficient to incentivise people, but that seems not to have had much effect yet. Is the Minister satisfied that the Government have done all that they can on what I would call the public relations front to incentivise people? More important, have they done everything
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possible to make sure that there are no regulatory obstacles to any householder who is attempting to make his house more energy-efficient?

Lord Bach: My Lords, I can answer the noble Lord with a "yes", as the Government have done the things that he asks. The issue of climate change, in which I know that the noble Lord is passionately interested, has meant that there is a requirement to raise public understanding way beyond its present level. As the noble Lord knows, we have launched the Climate Change Challenge Fund, which has available to it £12 million up until 2007–08. The intention is to try to persuade people and inform them of the dangers of climate change from the bottom up; it seems to work better that way than from the top down. That is an essential part of what the Government must do to make more people aware of this real danger.

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