On the 31st March 2011 Brampton College’s finest politicians arrived at Westminster! We young and eager students observed some of the workings of Parliament, including the Speaker’s procession.
The day began with a tour in the House of Parliament.We listened to some heavy weight political debate on the referendum on the Alternative Vote system and whether the House of Lords should be abolished. Naturally, the conversation was heated and many impressive contributions were made. The Speaker of the House’s procession was one of the most entertaining and interesting parts of the day. During the intense debate on the AV system we were all told to stand to attention because the speaker was about to enter the Commons. The procession involved, the Serjeant at Arms, carrying the Mace, and a doorkeeper who walked ahead of the Speaker. As the procession reached the central lobby of the Houses of Parliament (where we were standing), one of the policemen on duty shouted: “Hats Off Strangers!” Then, the policemen in helmets and any members of the public wearing hats were required to remove their headgear as the procession passed. Although it was quite amusing to see the procession, it highlighted how old and traditional our political system is. We were then led to Portcullis House where a workshop was prepared for us and another school, making up four political parties’. We all discussed how to confront the teenage anti-social behaviour problem. Many enlightening comments were passed and the workshop was well received. Unfortunately, the only disappointment of the day was the cancellation of the MP, Mathew Offord, who was unable to talk to us.
Finally, I would like to thank Justin Nash, our Politics teacher, who accompanied us on our trip to Parliament, our tour guide and the gentleman who ran the workshop.