Caroline Cox, Baroness Cox

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Cox of Queensbury
FRCS FRCN
Bcox.jpg
The Baroness Cox in the House of Lords, 2008
Member of the House of Lords
Assumed office
24 January 1983
Personal details
Born Caroline Anne McNeill Love
(1937-07-06) 6 July 1937 (age 80)
England
Political party Cross-bench (2004–present)
Conservative (until 2004)
Alma mater University of London
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Caroline Anne MacNeil Love Cox, The Right Honourable The Baroness Cox, of Queensbury FRCN (born 6 July 1937) is a cross-bench member of the British House of Lords. She has been CEO of an organisation called Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART).[1] Cox was created a Life Peer in 1982 and was a deputy speaker of the House of Lords from 1985 to 2005. She was also a Baroness-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth II and opened a new terminal at Heathrow on her behalf. She was Founder Chancellor of Bournemouth University; Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University from 2006-2013 and is an Hon. Vice President of the Royal College of Nursing. She was a founder Trustee of MERLIN Medical Emergency Relief International.[2] Cox has been honoured with the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland; the Wilberforce Award; the International Mother Teresa Award from the All India Christian Council; the Mkhitar Gosh Medal conferred by the President of the Republic of Armenia; and the anniversary medal presented by Lech Walesa. She has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Honorary Doctorates by universities in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Russian Federation and Armenia.

As she states on page 174 of her biography she is a practising third-order Anglican Franciscan,[3] Baroness Cox's actions have been variously described as campaigns for humanitarian causes, particularly those relating to disability,[4] or criticised.[5][6]

Background[edit]

Cox was born as Caroline Anne McNeill Love, the daughter of an internationally renowned surgeon, co-author of the famous textbook known as ‘Bailey and Love’, Robert McNeill Love.[7] She was educated at Channing School in Highgate. She became a state registered nurse at London Hospital from 1958, and a staff nurse at Edgware General Hospital from 1960. She married Dr Murray Newall Cox in 1959, remaining married to him until he died in 1997. The couple had three children, two sons and one daughter. In the late 1960s she studied for a degree at the University of London where she graduated with a first class honours degree in sociology in 1967 and a master's degree from the University of London.

BBC Daily Politics[edit]

Baroness Cox regularly appears on the BBC Daily Politics Television programme. Indeed, she has presented the "Soap Box" with "A Moral Maze".[8] [9]

Academic career and subsequent activities[edit]

On graduating, Cox became a sociology lecturer at the Polytechnic of North London rising to become Principal Lecturer. From 1974 she was head of the Department of Sociology. In 1977 she moved to become Director of the Nursing Education Research Unit at Chelsea College of the University of London. She was also made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. She was also concerned with education and backed the reforms to reduce powers of Local Education Authorities in 1993, arguing for a more strongly religious element to teaching. Her background in sociology led her to write books on the subject for nurses, and she also co-wrote a book (Rape of Reason) attacking communist activity at the Polytechnic of North London in 1975. She was founding Chancellor of Bournemouth University.

Cox was a Director of the Conservative Philosophy Group from 1983-85.[10] In 1987 she co-founded the Committee for a Free Britain funded by Rupert Murdoch which at one point called for "the legalization of all drugs"[11]

She is a director of the Educational Research Trust, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation and the Centre for Social Cohesion.[12] In 2006 she received an honorary law degree from the University of Dundee[13] and was installed as the Chancellor of Liverpool Hope University in the same year.

Her humanitarian work, takes her to conflict and post-conflict zones, including the Nagorno Karabakh, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, the Karen, Karenni, Shan and Chin peoples of Burma. Previously, she visited communities suffering from conflict in Indonesia, helping to establish an organisation called "International Islamic Christian Organisation for Reconciliation and Reconstruction" (today dissolved[14]) with late former President Abdurrhaman Wahid. She has visited North Korea to promote Parliamentary initiatives and medical programmes.

The Tushinskaya Children's Hospital Trust[edit]

Baroness Cox is President of the Tushinskaya Children's Hospital Trust and worked closely with its late patron, Diana, Princess of Wales. Baroness Cox and Diana, Princess of Wales opened the hospital's school of paediatric nursing in 1995. The Trust enabled parents to spend more time with their children whilst they were in hospital. The Trust has also devised an exchange programme involving Russian paediatric nurses and British tutors. Many of the nurses from the Moscow hospital visited the Great Ormond Street and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hackney. In return, British nurses tutors go to Russia.[15] [2]

Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust[edit]

The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), founded by Baroness Cox in 2003,[16] works to provide lasting change through aid and advocacy for those suffering oppression and persecution, who are largely neglected by the international media. HART believe that in order to adequately meet the needs and requirements of the persecuted, oppressed and overlooked; we must ask the local people for their priorities, giving them the dignity of choice and the responsibility of their own programmes. Lady Cox travels to HART funded aid and advocacy programmes in Nagorno Karabagh, East and West Burma, East Timor, India, Nigeria, southern Sudan and northern Uganda. An Australian branch of HART was established in 2009.[17]

This former Baroness-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth II has been dodging bombs in Sudan, Nigeria and Syria where she has been bringing humanitarian aid to war zones with HART where other aid agencies would not risk their lives operating. Last year she was fired at by Islamist Fulani Jihadist in Nigeria. She is currently working for the people in Syria who have been suffering at the hand of ISIS. Lady Cox was one of the first politicians to raise the issues of Radical Islamism and its terrorist threat long before 9/11. She has raised such issues in the British Parliament as a member of the House of Lords and as a Lecturer at the Royal College of Defence Studies.[18]

Member of the House of Lords[edit]

Her peerage was announced on 15 December 1982 on a list of "working peers",[19] on the recommendation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and she was granted the title of Baroness Cox, of Queensbury in Greater London, on 24 January 1983.[20] Cox initially sat as a Conservative and served briefly as a Baroness-in-Waiting to HM Queen Elizabeth II. She served as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords from 1986 to 2006.

Education Reform bill[edit]

During the debates over the Education Reform bill, Cox worked together with Michael Alison to ensure that a commitment was made that state education was 'broadly Christian' in character.[21] The bill later passed as the Education Reform Act 1988.

Foreign affairs[edit]

Cox became a frequent contributor to Lords debates on Africa, and also raised other "forgotten conflicts" in letters to the press. She was already highlighting fighting in Sudan in September 1992, criticising Sudan's Islamist government and backing Dr. John Garang's Sudan People's Liberation Army,[22] and also criticised the actions of the government of Muslim-majority Azerbaijan in the Armenian Christian-majority breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Cox chairs the British Armenian All-Party Parliamentary Group.[23] She is also a strong supporter of self-determination for the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is officially a part of Azerbaijan.[24] Paying tribute to Cox's dedication to the Armenian cause, Frank Pallone, Jr., the co-chairman of the US Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, praised her devotion to Armenia and Karabakh.[25] On 15 February 2006 she was awarded the Mkhitar Gosh Medal by the President of the Republic of Armenia Robert Kocharyan.[26]

Cox is also the Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea.[27] The Group has stated that the Obama administration brings with it an opportunity for a formal cessation of hostilities and normalisation of relations with North Korea.[28]

Legislative Activities[edit]

Cox introduced the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill to the House of Lords, initially on 10 May 2012.[29] with the observation that "Equality under the law is a core value of British justice. My bill seeks to preserve that standard. Many women say: 'We came to this country to escape these practices only to find the situation is worse here.'"[30] It had its second reading and debate on 19 October 2012, but went no further.[31]

Cox aims to prevent discrimination against Muslim women and 'jurisdiction creep' in Islamic tribunals, which would be forced to acknowledge the primacy of English law under a bill introduced to the House of Lords in May 2012. The bill will introduce an offence carrying a five-year jail sentence for anyone falsely claiming or implying that sharia courts or councils have legal jurisdiction over family or criminal law. The bill, which will apply to all arbitration tribunals if passed, aims to tackle discrimination, which its supporters say is inherent in the courts, by banning the sharia practice of giving woman's testimony only half the weight of men's. In a similar way to Jewish Beth Din courts, sharia tribunals can make verdicts in cases involving financial and property issues which, under the Arbitration Act 1996, are enforceable by county courts or the high court.[30]

A journalist observed that sharia law in Britain is exactly the sort of topic mainstream politicians will not touch. Baroness Cox stated that "We cannot sit here complacently in our red and green benches while women are suffering a system which is utterly incompatible with the legal principles upon which this country is founded. If we don't do something, we are condoning it."[32][33]

Cox is fighting to stop sharia 'seeping' into enforcing divorce settlements.[34]

Cox re-introduced her legislation on 11 June 2014.[35][36]

Eurosceptic[edit]

Cox is a Eurosceptic. She rebelled over the Maastricht Treaty, supporting an amendment to require a nationwide referendum on ratification on 14 July 1993.[37] In May 2004 she joined three other Conservative peers in signing a letter published by the UK Independence Party urging voters to support it in the elections to the European Parliament. The Leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, immediately withdrew the party whip, formally expelling them from the parliamentary party. Cox now sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.[38][32]

Geert Wilders controversy[edit]

In February 2009, Cox courted controversy when she and UKIP peer Lord Pearson invited Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders to show the anti-radical-Islam film Fitna before the House of Lords. However, Wilders was prevented from entering the UK on the instructions of Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.[39] In response, Cox and Pearson accused the Government of appeasing militant Islam.[32][40]

Christian Solidarity Worldwide[edit]

She was president of Christian Solidarity Worldwide until 2006, thereafter remaining as its patron.[41] Between 1997 and 2000, Christian Solidarity Worldwide directly intervened to buy the freedom of alleged slaves, and in a letter to The Independent on Sunday Cox claimed to have redeemed 2,281 slaves on eight visits to Sudan.[42] Both the veracity of this claim[43] and the rational of slave redemption[44] have been questioned by others in humanitarian community. In 1995 she won the William Wilberforce Award.[45] She is also a patron of the Christian Institute.

Global Panel Foundation and Prague Society[edit]

She is a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Global Panel Foundation, a respected NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.[46] Baroness Cox is also a member of Prague Society for International Cooperation, another respected NGO whose main goals are networking and the development of a new generation of responsible, well-informed leaders and thinkers.[47]

Disability activism[edit]

Cox supports disability causes as a member of the World Committee on Disability. In 2004 she was a judge for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award, distributed annually at the United Nations in New York to a nation that has met the goals of the UN World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons.[48]

Bibliography[edit]

  • A Sociology of Medical Practice (1975)
  • Rape of Reason: The Corruption of the Polytechnic of North London (Keith Jacka, with Caroline Cox and John Marks, jt au 1975)
  • The Right to Learn (jt au 1982)
  • Sociology: A Guide for Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors (jt au 1983)
  • Choosing a State School: how to find the best education for your child (jt au 1989)
  • Trajectories of Despair; misdiagnosis and maltreatment of Soviet orphans (with John Eibner 1991)
  • Ethnic Cleansing in Progress: war in Nagorno Karabakh (1993)
  • Islam, Islamism and the West: Is ideological Islam compatible with liberal democracy? (2005)
  • Made to Care: the case for residential and village communities for people with a mental handicap
  • Baroness Cox: A voice for the voiceless. (1999) Boyd, A. Lion Books. ISBN 0-7459-3735-7

Other Activities[edit]

Cox, who in 2014 was speaking at an event organised by the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at Tel Aviv University and The Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies, mentioned the alleged ‘Trojan Horse plot’ in her speech as an example of secret takeover strategies by ‘Islamists’ in Africa made in order to ‘Islamize’ the continent.

Published Biographies[edit]

Lady Cox has been the subject of two published biographies, "Baroness Cox: A Voice for the Voiceless" by Andrew Boyd; and "Baroness Cox: Eyewitness to a Broken World" by Lela Gilbert. * [5] * [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust". 
  2. ^ a b http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/senior-member-of-the-british-parliament-the-baroness-cox-of-queensbury-to-discuss-her-recent-trip-to-syria-at-national-press-club-newsmaker-10-am-may-9-300442206.html?tc=eml_cleartime
  3. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Baroness-Cox-Voiceless-Andrew-Boyd/dp/0745937357
  4. ^ "Members of the World Committee on Disability". National Organization on Disability. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  5. ^ Habib Siddiqui (2005) Jerusalem Summit: What Are The Neocons Cooking? October 29, Media Monitors Network. Accessed April 9, 2009.
  6. ^ Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, United States Terrorism in the Sudan. The Bombing of Al-Shifa and its Strategic Role in U.S.-Sudan Relations. Media Monitors.
  7. ^ Baroness Cox, Bournemouth University
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Hughes, Mike 'Western Goals (UK)' Lobster Magazine 21, (May 1991)
  11. ^ Farrell, Michael 'News and Notes' British Journal of Addiction (1991) 86, p469
  12. ^ Information on the Centre for Social Cohesion at Companies House
  13. ^ "Installation of new Chancellor, The Lord Patel". University of Dundee. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  14. ^ See [3].
  15. ^ page 92-93, "Baroness Cox: A Voice for the Voiceless" by Andrew Boyd,https://www.amazon.com/Baroness-Cox-Voiceless-Andrew-Boyd/dp/0745937357
  16. ^ HART website Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ "ABC Brisbane". 
  18. ^ "British baroness, 79, tells of her terror after she narrowly escaped an ambush by Islamist gunmen who targeted her delegation on a trip to Nigeria". Daily Mail. 18 November 2016. 
  19. ^ "No. 49198". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 December 1982. p. 16407. 
  20. ^ "No. 49248". The London Gazette. 27 January 1983. p. 1235. 
  21. ^ John Barnes, "Michael Alison: Hard-working Conservative minister" The Independent obituary, 31 May 2004, p. 31
  22. ^ Letter to The Times, 8 September 1992
  23. ^ http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/armenia.htm Parliament website, group membership
  24. ^ Armenian Assembly of America. Armenian Assembly Co-Hosts Special Capitol Hill Event Celebrating Karabakh’s Independence
  25. ^ "Karabakh president Ghoukassian starts US tour with successful tribute gala in New York"
  26. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Armenia. Baroness Caroline Cox Receives Mkhitar Gosh Medal
  27. ^ Parliament website, group membership
  28. ^ Ekklesia website
  29. ^ parliament.uk: "Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill [HL] 2012-13" Archived 13 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ a b theguardian.co.uk: "Bill limiting sharia law is motivated by 'concern for Muslim women'", 8 Jun 2011
  31. ^ "HL Bill 7 55/2: Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill [HL]"
  32. ^ a b c independent.co.uk: "Baroness Cox: 'If we ignore wrongs, we condone them'", 20 Jun 2011
  33. ^ SPECTATOR.CO.UK: "The government kicks the Sharia debate into the long grass", 22 Oct 2012
  34. ^ telegraph.co.uk: "The feisty baroness defending 'voiceless’ Muslim women", 22 Apr 2014
  35. ^ parliament.uk: "Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill [HL] 2014-15" Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^ "HL Bill 21 55/4: Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill [HL]"
  37. ^ House of Lords Hansard
  38. ^ Gaby Hinsliff, "Tories throw out rebel peers for backing UKIP", The Observer, 30 May 2004, p. 2
  39. ^ The Guardian, "Far-right Dutch MP refused entry to UK", 12 February 2009
  40. ^ The Daily Telegraph, "Dutch MP Geert Wilders deported after flying to Britain to show anti-Islamic film", 12 February 2009
  41. ^ Christiain Solidarity Website 2006
  42. ^ "This is no scam. The slaves are real", Independent on Sunday, 3 March 2002, p. 27
  43. ^ Media Monitors Network: The BBC, Sudan and Baroness Cox: Irresponsible Journalism
  44. ^ HRW: Slavery and Slave Redemption in the Sudan
  45. ^ Christine Barker, "The unsung hero's song", Birmingham Post, 27 June 1998, p. 37
  46. ^ [4]
  47. ^ Members of Prague Society
  48. ^ National Organization on Disability website, World Committee on Disability Archived 21 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]