London Brookes College AS Government & Politics student, Kazim Abbas, details an eventful and educational trip to the House of Lords.
The House Of Lords trip was a great experience and one that I know I will not forget. We left from college and reached there fairly quickly,the security outside the Houses was impressive. This may have been due to the recent tragic events in Paris. As myself and the rest of the LBC Government and Politics students entered the Houses accompanied by our teacher Mr Logue. The security checks were exactly as you might see in an airport,asking if you had any liquids, searching your bags and asking if you had any sharp objects. The Houses of Parliament are the centre of power,after all. They should be protected. After passing security checks we were given a visitor pass which we were to wear throughout the day. We felt like VIPs.
Whilst walking to the House of Lords, we saw what the Queen was given for her Diamond Jubilee, which was a huge stained glass which looked absolutely stunning. We entered the House,and we were first to arrive. It took us a moment to realise where we were! They had rows of seats at the back,and an oval shaped wooden table with microphone sat the front of the space for each person to speak. As we were first to arrive we had the great privilege of meeting Lord Laird who greeted us individually and asked what we would like to do in the future; an added bonus of our early arrival was being able to sit at the front where the tables were, this allowed us to sit next to Lord Laird. The early political bird catches the best seats! As more and more students and school groups arrived, the debate began in earnest. The main topic which we were going to debate about was Human rights. As the debate started we did speak about human rights,however we
also transitioned onto the shocking and appalling terrorist attacks that had just happened in Paris. We discussed the negative stigmas attached to being Muslim in the UK and how we might combat that. There were some great contributions, such as inputting a lesson into the curriculum about how not all terrorists are Muslim and what they are doing is not in line with the Muslim belief.
Towards the end of the debate, Lord Laird told us that a group of young Muslim girls were to attend this debate however they were not able to make it as they were scared of what could happen to them whilst making their way over. He decided that there should be another debate and make sure those young girls attend as it is not fair that they were unable to arrive. Lord Laird specifically re-invited our very own Mr.Logue to come back to speak in the House on a topic of his choice,as Lord Laird was particularly impressed with the suggestions and the ideas Mr Logue had contributed. At the end of this fascinating day, we were each
given a certificate with our names on them to say we had participated in the debate. We thanked Lord Laird for giving up his time to set up this debate, and we all agreed that we hoped to be apart of many more.
“What power have you got?”
“Where did you get it from?”
“In whose interestsdo you use it?”
“To whom are you accountable?”
“How do we get rid of you?
– Tony Benn’s Five Essential Questions of Democracy