The British Political System: The Parliament

The British Political System: The Parliament


This is London, the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at one time, much of the world was ruled from here. The British Empire stretched from colonies in America Sultan. It’s an Indian islands in the Caribbean desert kingdoms and Africa. Such a small place. It’s only a bit larger than Greece and even today has less than 65 million people, its influence on the world has been extraordinary. Shakespeare Industrial Revolution, the English language, even the Beatles. All hail from the United Kingdom. UK is also had and still has a remarkable impact on the democratic world we see the origins of human rights law in the Magna Carta signed in the year 1250 In the UK is legislature is called mother of all Parliament’s because of its role as a model for new democracies over the past 200 years in world politics. The UK is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a leading member of the European Union and the United States is the closest ally. There’s no question that knowing this England Shakespeare called it is to go a long way towards understanding democracy itself. I’m Barbadian and this program will explore the British political system, the better know and understand the keys and nuances of a Parliament and, in some form or other is influenced every single democracy. Our focus on the British parliamentary system. What is the British Parliament, what does an individual member of the House of Commons or MP do And what is up with the House of Lords. We hope to answer those questions and more as we cross the Thames River Palace of Westminster for this program. The British The British parliamentary system is essentially Parliament obviously parliamentary rather than presidential system we have 659 employees. Each one of them has their own constituency and the Aim of Parliament is essentially, of course, to run the country. However, what really matters in Parliament is that members of the government. Tony Blair, for example, is also an empty so on most of the major ministers, they’re all employees and therefore, of course, we don’t have separation of powers in the sense that you would have in the United States. Control of the parliamentary times I release very much responsibility of governments. And in fact, most of the work of Parliament’s although sometimes it seems very exciting when we have things like Prime Minister’s question sign when the parties appear to be fighting it out across the floor, the House of Commons. Most of what goes on in Parliament is relatively routine. First of all, actually instance. First of all, I should welcome the right Position. To say how delighted I am that someone written off under the last Conservative government is now given the chance to rehabilitate themselves. Well, I’m very grateful to the Prime Minister for his warm words, welcome. I’m afraid he he really didn’t answer the question. Let me give him the onset. It’s a wonderful place to be was like, Oh, she might be $50 laser most And it’s a very liberating position to be here to know that instead of shouting at the TV. Face to face. And you can have a little bit of influence on how the world is run So it is a, it’s a wonderful job. I need money. I paid to do it as well. Extraordinary I believe it’s probably the most satisfying job. Unless you can be a great surgeon or someone else. We can say life. Different scientists discover discovery, give you a person of average ability In politics, you said You divide your rollout, really, I think it’s a three areas. The first is representing your constituency and as a very intimate relationship here. I represent 60,000 adults 60,000 voters. Most of them feel they have a claim on my time. They can come and see me and they want to book in and see me as a surgery with a personal problem. Then they can use to do that within a week or two, and I’m in the district, the constituency every weekend and I’m expected to be there and be involved in their events as a very intimate relationship. And and so I have a surprise me duty to take up their personal problems if they come, you know, they got from without welfare benefits or they’ve got a problem with Anything that’s going through Parliament at the moment they bring it to me. The second role is your role in Parliament, where as an opposition member what you’re seeking to do is to be a good legislator. It’s a kind of slightly more confused role here because we’ve got the executive in Parliament, so you’re both trying to be a legislator and hold the executive to account at the same time and And we’ve got ministers coming before us, that we can actually a question. So lots of your time is about grilling, the executive is that parliamentary role and the role is your party role and the party role will vary. from individual to individual. I’ve taken on a substantial responsibility as a spokesperson on information technology. So a lot of my time is taken up. Creating policy from my pocket, information technology meeting people in the industry and really sort of pushing the cause to show that my party is doing well in information technology. It is to represent us The House of Commons. To take an active part in the legislative process. There is, however, a lot of pressure. And this is actually a fundamental constitutional changes. Where an MP seem to be doing an awful of social work and the social aspect is sorting out constituents problems and frankly should have been sorted out by the organizations involved, long before we get All the Main my main job is to reps in this area and the people who live in here. So first and foremost, take the constituency case we’re dealing with individual constituent has been taught And sometimes that means acting almost as a social worker. Sometimes it’s about acting as an advocate, often with bureaucracies or agencies that don’t give us that pushed harder. But this is the special role play often involves picking up Individual local problem, assuming nationally, either with ministers civil servants or national agents and sometimes Using public exposure empowerment reinforcing pressure. So it’s picking on casework number one last year I dealt with to start with a 1500 individual And that’s, that’s how the total population, the constituency of about 60 Number of 10 commandments. I can’t remember. I think the most important To me to support Between larger to convey messages. In a way that’s Colored humor. I think the most important to the lighting is that we should neglect the rich the obsessed tabloid press and Sega the silent voices that people should be serving those who don’t be the path. They’re the ones who were not Well, Every MP or Member of Parliament takes on a number of roles as a member of the House of Commons. The first is the legislative and scrutiny role. In which MP shaped debate and scrutinize legislation MPs also have to represent their constituency. A role, which is taking more and more of their time and has made some such as Jackie late say that she sometimes feels like more of a social worker than an empty. Part of this role is scheduling, what are called advice surgeries. These are appointments MPs have with constituents to hear their problems and concerns problems and concerns that constituents often expect MPs to take back to London and do something about. And you get out when there’s not an election so many people Do I Do my fixed advice surgeries in the office, the town hall, but I also do streets. So I’ll leaflet 200 houses. And if they want to see me bring it up in the window, and I’ll call and see them. So, what I find is that if you go to people like that. Then You come across problems. they contact you in a way that makes you better They’ll come, they’ll come to me if I go to them. My mother was an MP, incidentally, in a neighboring constituency. She used to be able To stop. An exponential increase in in Social Work public sector background felt It was much more to Be a social worker. So lots of changes that have taken place. To facilitate social work, roll the legislative and scrutiny wrong. Returned Back again. Another role for many MPS is the party roll along with his other duties john Healy served as the personal private secretary or PPS for Gordon Brown secretary of the Exchequer in the flare government Characteristic of the week, when the response to sitting is that it’s it’s divided between homeland constituency and for for learning about four days, way down in London and so When I make a point of doing this, dropping off six year old school first thing on Monday morning and I I stated that come on me know when I go to the train station straight, now. What I like to try and do is clear, as much as I can run down. And so I have a ridiculously long working day, I take the view the farming commons and then it will be So Monday, Thursday. I mean, I do whatever I can to get don’t care if it’s too. If I can do that on there. When he wakes up in the morning on Friday. And again, take him to school. So, Monday through Thursday and the columns. I’m trying to a couple of hours casework correspondence before. About nine. Nine copy morning. Most of my morning will be tied up with meetings of the Treasury. Sometimes we need some time to Enjoy SPS in the afternoon, maybe duties in the comments. Committees chamber and part of my job as as as parmigiana to go round is to be his eyes, his investments. So I might have to be allowed to be available for a piece of car get to go get to go through me. And so I normally will get back to my desk again in about 10pm. Then Often three, four hours caring what I do during the day mixture casework bit of research work on different issues on following The bank back again. So that’s Monday to Thursday. And then Friday is a day devoted to the constituency. We’re in the office here big case works auto surgeries and by Surgeries often visits local groups employers and things like that. Saturdays. We tend to be advisor during the morning and then I try and try and start at that point. So that Sunday afternoon Sunday is is there. Anything. I just give you background. Quite often, people have difficulty with the health service photos are wasting time to mention this. And his particular case, he’d been waiting for quite a long time for this operation very serious operation to And it’s not come through. So I work with his doctor his normal doctor to see if we could get it brought forward. And eventually we did. Now, it shouldn’t work like that. I mean you shouldn’t be a letter from an MP that says, Come on, you know, this or down. For that particular case, we were able to just make sure that all the medical evidence was put forward and eventually they did bring it forward and it was in use by a letter and a phone call and certain chase and chase And Nikki and the and the and my colleagues in the office. Also, then do an automatic follow up. If we haven’t had a response after a certain date automatically follow up and see what’s going on. Right now. Alright. Unlike in the United States House and Senate members of the British House of Commons are not given a large office staff and have to do much of their casework speech writing and research on their own. We have a sub of 70,000 staff, which is a very generous policy, we can employ two and a half, three people and good salaries have adequate salaries to survive. And depending on the Talented people Who researches Give me a hard time and we’re all tell me when I’m wrong. Which is the best first step is to have who will tell you when you’re being lazy. underachieving Not get an allowance each year. It’s a small, small part of it is about 50,000 pounds from that have to employ stuff after my office by stationary I have to cover the cost my mobile phone or pager so that allows me to employ one full time members stuff here in the constituency and one part time never stuff to support me down Westminster and that’s my total Total stuff that probably means I do a lot more hands on individual case works. And, you know, reach. Us politician. It also means, I’d probably do a lot more research speech writing, writing articles for the media, all that sort of additional stuff you know I do. I like doing I mean, we have smaller constituency American politicians, because they they’re about 70,000 people on my patch. Which is enough to look after I think the wheels have the support of a library staff. It’s very good, the staff here. We’re going to do a bill we rely on those to take us through the system in which we dropped so so we’re okay. And thanks so much. For 20 years But the Work increases to fill the available time We can go from an American Or you can move around the clock and I believe the Reason reasonable There’s a great deal of party discipline in the House of Commons each of the political Pharisees expects its members to follow the party line and most of them. Do they follow the party line. Not necessarily because they’re bullied or cajoled into taking decisions which they fundamentally disagree with this one writer is called a culture of obedience, whereby MPs who have always supported a particular party once obviously there in Parliament will continue to do so. And certainly, okay, there are mechanisms. Whereby party discipline is insured and sometimes threats or even bribes are offered in the form of jobs and whatever to individual members, they just generally do follow the party line also It’s sometimes very difficult to hide, because the voting system in the House of Commons is in no way electronic each member of parliament. Is it is clear who he or she saw what he or she is voting for simply because they pass through a particular lobby by passing through the lobby there then counted and their votes are registered. So he does make life difficult for those Who shall we say wish to express opinions that are in opposition to the party line. Yes. Oh yeah, I think. Yes. I think it’s compared to most legendary throughout the world. MPs vote for their own parties taking some loyalty. There’s some justification for it because we were As representatives of labor sounds Like curry stance, rather than for our own personalities, because we have wonderful human beings. I think we accept people don’t think they will. So there is a general understanding white things Well, I think I voted against my party and this Parliament about 20 or 30 times Has been A supporter my local constituency. Principle. We took a decision on entirely false Belief. documents that were forgeries false. So there’s some votes in which the party says we really need everybody to vote for this one of those are they say that everyone. Yes, they are. The, the, they’re all boats, where we have system of would be one line to line one line. They want to know. Otherwise, There’s a huge amount of pressure. Group and individually in order to train people to support government line. Which is the biggest revolt, there’s ever been in history. For a long time, it’s such a large number of peace, in spite of the pressure put on, including saying, well, we’re, you know, we’re going to have a new governor resigned. Nuclear Threat Response to that people have. So from the launch and all those who voted for the government. Many of those Cases. You’re expected to fight for the policy on any issue, which is regarded as an issue of policy policy. Policy. Policy. And then the party will decide that will not be a three or Whatever I do as an individual, under no illusions that people in this area because the Labour candidate. Now, I think there’s something that will vote in this election because of what I’ve also been doing is you’re eating the Labour MP. But essentially, they’ve already from Adrian paid to be part of Labour Government to produce a labor program. Now, I think that for that. It’s quite a serious Activity to oppose this alleged the program that wants to bring My job. I think he’s steering influencing where I can early stage. Rather than rather than outright vote against like I wouldn’t know without a couple of couple of issues. Friction or a pretty difficult decision. Happy. We will be planning to do Judgment. Be Playing the parties and the role of the party plays with His strong a key aspect in Parliament is getting your party to vote together, which is the job of the party whips James our booth not served as the opposition whip for the Conservative Party. There isn’t. There is much less Barely has the Proper expression there is there is less of that, although most things that come to the United States, United Kingdom 10 years. So maybe we’ll find the ranking system breaks down the United The opposition chief has a different job in opposition. The government chief with has a job, which is essentially to get the government business for That involves Us using the right arguments, the right persuasive methods on government Employees You know, strategic business and the relationship with has A Much trouble. Subtle sense, which is to keep the morale of the opposition party reasonably And keep them together to keep them working together. So that they are having been, by definition, defeated previous They’ve got to improve that. Sharing Performance for the next to Keep everyone as properly occupied as possible. Good job, making sure that The work is handed to the people with the ability to do it, making sure the application responsibility, so it’s it’s a morale job, rather than a defeat began at least in the present time. If the Government’s majority were small, it would change. And it might be that, then we would have a real as a real opportunity to Take the government as a prize to fit. With our inability to actually even with the majority of 170 against us. We didn’t get in trouble for Beating this label. During the last But Not with us and say, Well, originally, because the chief were literally have a job of getting everybody into the same lobby to vote in in in Parliament, and you’ve I think adopted in the States. The same name though people probably wouldn’t be any longer recognize its origin, it goes back to hunting in fact fox hunting, whether you have a whip or in Will make sure that the Hinds getting the right direction. These days in my party in particular, it’s much more of a liaison and communication. Oh. I have to try and make sure that my colleagues know what businesses coming through in the House of Commons. Know, who’s going to speak in a debate take part in a discussion going on a committee and that the team works if you like on the team manager. I think it’s much more comparable these days to the team manager in the sporting field than it is to anybody in the hunting field. Totally. There are there are There’s, there’s less of the to keep you in line by enticements or incentives and More emphasis on an attempt to I wouldn’t say sanction. But, I mean, it doesn’t interest me and I’m going on but you know some employees, you know, enjoy given out for a visit. Now, you know, for any employee that voted against the government they suddenly find that those Trips on the partner delegations to the Caribbean dried up. Till we see this point but that’s an indication where you Can have a MTV told that he or she will be the candidate selection party. I can power shells money. Ultimately, the what we were described as the party with us. If you like party sort of stamp of approval and Identification of you as a in my case, the Labour Party politician could be through In rare instances it is Come upon where selection goes on for candidates. Future election, then when that person who could not be a party candidate. That can be In theory repercussions. In practice punishment doesn’t work nearly as effective. As Making it as rewarding and make them want to vote in the same way. So the job of the chief web is not to punish people in the way it is to give severe sometimes tellings off to people who failed to follow. Us from time to time, don’t do, but Once I had reached that stage, I would have Failed in that aspect. So what I would be trying to do would be to forestall innovating against the party line by knowing everybody in The name would be likely to do, making sure that if it was against our interests they didn’t want to Buy merchandise in the right way. So it’s a it’s an all time comes from Java. Of assessing people’s character. Working at This getting them all together. Well as a tradition that the Conservatives have always been able to ensure on loyalty to their leadership by sidling up to the Member of Parliament, that looks if he might became the wrong way and saying, George, I know you’re not really interested in becoming a lot. But don’t you think Cynthia would like to be lady and that’s dropping the heavy hint. on the conservative side which is very effective because they all want to go to the hair salons. On the labor side. It’s been a different tradition. It’s been if you don’t tell the line, my boy, we will tell your folk back home. And they might very well decide they don’t want you to be candidate for your safety next time. Now neither of those would work with the Liberal Democrats were far too Democratic So afraid. In our case, we simply have to persuade people, but this is the way to go. And since we are not any of us really career politicians, you wouldn’t be a career politician if you get the democrats far too difficult to get elected people on the whole tend to be at the same persuasion same frame of mind. Unfortunately, I don’t have any problems of party this One of the more contentious issues regarding constitutional reform. Concerns what to do with the House of Lords keep them as they are scrap them all together or somehow reformed Labour Party in 1997 campaign and the idea of somehow reforming the House of Lords. And to be sure they have been reformed since 1997. But where to go from here. To turn into some sort of the United States style Senate or to keep that elite element to it. We did hear from a number of Members of Parliament, where to go, the House of Lords. That the House of Lords. It’s quite a unique institution in many respects because unlike most Legislative Assembly is around the world congress French National Assembly. Whatever it is not elected, there have been very significant changes in recent years because up until 1999 In theory, the ass has loads had a potential membership of something like 1100 members because anyone who had peerage, which is obviously you know being a vibe counts or Lord, you have to, I believe, be At least a night of the Realm was in talking to sit in the House of Lords as we’re the senior bishops of the Church of England now in 1999 in response to New lives election promises they did and the hereditary principal whereby simply the only people who could now sits in mass uploads Life peers. However, what life is are simply those who have been given public recognition that public service and often our former Members of the House of Commons senior government ministers, but also included are people I would trade union leaders captains of industry, etc. But they although have the rights to sit in the House of Lords, they appear, which does not pass on to their son so end of the predatory principle, the government’s however did do a deal with the acid loads in that they agreed to allow You’re ready to pay us to remain for a transitional period and those 92 your attitude peers were chosen by the existing members of the House of Lords. So in reality or though it’s not directly elected body, it no longer is, as I said, dominated by those who just inherited their titles. It’s very different from the from Congress. The customers cannot Be involved in racing boxes. But they look at any legislation which is going through Will often amended under the present moment. Legislative forum. We’ve got to really challenge and take on some of the wild or Is it always has been to act as a revising chamber and as a bit of a break on the overenthusiastic sometimes have elected politicians. So when the House of Commons sentence new legislation up to the House of Lords, the House of Lords are able to spend a good deal more time with actually a very deep amount of expertise or knowledge. During the last two columns that when in the House of Commons that has been such a huge government majority majority significantly larger main opposition party and so It has been the House of Lords, which has been more effective in holding the government Because the government does not have a majority. Of fields constraint about using the fact that doesn’t have a majority. And so from time to time they back away from confrontation, but it has been the government’s Main chat support from the media because Is not working. And the hustle mode is a A revising chamber. They do a useful geomagnetic having a closer look good legislation, the Commons often does, and they have people have some authority. Expertise who can improve But the Mixture Inherited Was still there and they’re there because mainly because their families had a history in which they great great great great grandmother was Mr. Smith came with a great, great, great, great grandfather was a crook. Robber Baron, whatever it might be. But they, they are. It’s an extraordinary anachronism. People and all day by the first past the post this System as described by Tony Benn First positive baby sister was born. And it’s indefensible that people should be chosen on that base. It was disastrous experiment to have the people To have people in chosen is represented these people, and it wasn’t Almighty disaster because the people will find you very much the same people that were going in there, either by birth. Because it’s a privilege in life. And I remember hearing the chairman of the committee appointed the so called people Saying they couldn’t have any working as a waitress or a bus driver because they wouldn’t be articulate to make that point. But as someone who was a bus driver for three years and who married a woman who was a waitress. Same period. I was very offended by that both of us review words together and could make a case would be the same kind of The House of Lords. Central is still the where there’s been a reluctance of changing, not only from the Lord itself. But also Who said he’s in favor of only appointed The United Kingdom’s third party, the Liberal Democrats want to see the House of Lords turn into a holy elected chamber as Richard Allen explain This is what we are as well. We do have a strong difference with the Labour Government. Certainly, lived in the Labour Party. But with the Labour government because we firmly believe in a democratic House of Lords or the whole approach to the Liberal Democrats has been to be constitutionalist we actually are quite in favor Of a written constitution or written bill of rights and a defined constitution within which all the various bodies who influence our lives, our democratic. And the fact that they have some laws remains and democratic is a major problem for us in an area where we have attack the government very robustly The Labour Party split a lot of members of labor party agree with us, they’d like state democratic has loads, but the Labour government doesn’t want to change things, because it is too convenient for them. The moment our proposal for the House of Lords would be to replace it with an elective Senate. And we see the percentage is being elected in thirds. So services will surface. Six years later, W two years, which may sound familiar And that those senators would represent regions of the United Kingdom. So we see we’ve looked at what people have Full that second chamber and their legislature across the world. And that’s quite a common system. That kind of related Senate where you’re elected people on a different cycle from the first chamber. Because the first chamber in the British system has to remain supreme the House of Commons. The House of Lords is on a different cycle with different powers and people elected for a little longer. But the important thing is that they’re elected. At the moment, nobody likes on their appointed in there. And if we saw no developing country do that where the president of Zimbabwe appointed everybody to the second change. And that’s involved in Parliament we Cry our age, this is, this is an affront to democracy and yet we do it here in the UK. So, I mean, we feel that way, that’s an affront to democracy and need sorting out But I say, there seems to be a real reluctance on the part of the government to tackle this. They seem happy to sort of let it ride as it is now. We want the second change it to be elected and we look with envy at your Senate, we would be quite happy to have a direct directly elect. Yes. And we might they will go to the same source systems, you may decide different electoral system to the other heights. Is it possible that may happen or do you have any. I think this present government is a bit too cautious. It’s a bit too conservative What would I like to see in terms of the Reform Committee. And I’ve Been hoping to see the government live up to its promise promise. Program instead Of our selection. The tree would have a more democratic. Country accountable as adults. I would like to see that combined with retaining some of the deep expertise. The balance of those currently has. So I would like to see Some people in houses all selected some people appointed as that. But I would like to see the House of Lords be independent of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister currently appoints people to the Lord he appoints people to Oversee he says The contradictions in that Pretty Much more independent. We said that We ought to see more of an elected elements. Because once you start tinkering around the mechanism which is working with your laws, then you have to think through the logical consequences of The stagnant. Satisfaction position, however you slowly out to us. He’s one that is not thought through. The consequences. And the difficulty is that there is a Public cynicism about politics and politicians. So when when the public are asked really about reforming the House of Lords. And having an elated House of Lords, they look at it and they say, well, it would be another bunch of those elected politicians that we don’t like going in there. So whether it’s appointed people or whether it’s elected people we don’t see much difference and There’s a kind of general sense of advocacy around changing it, it’s not it’s not top of people’s political agenda less helps an education, the economy and all of that. And so the government to realize that they can probably get away with not changing it. And as long as they don’t change it as long as the House of Blues doesn’t have democratic legitimacy, then the prime minister or the minister of the government who are in the House of Commons can really believe them into doing what they like that. They cause a bit of a problem from time to time. But if it comes to any kind of showdown ultimately the government’s say you’re not elected and we are so we went And what they really scared about is the dynamic of having an elective senate second chamber which might start to assert itself a bit more and claim legitimacy. Yes, he was elected. So in a sense, as long as they are not elected, they’re pretty powerless, like they’re an irritant they annoy the government, but they can’t really do anything. And I think they’re very, very scared about having an elected chamber which will act as a more effective counterbalance We as kind of Florida in my party. We were some billionaires in Florida democracy with power distributed across different centers. We would love to see that. But parties like the little party who have a tradition of being government where they concentrated all the paths of themselves and prime ministers supremely powerful in the British system. They don’t want to see powered its best. And as long as, as only the House of Commons is elected, they go all that power collected to themselves. Absolutely. Just curious curious. Most people See as a CSM just so involved in That has been changed our skills. There was a commission of inquiry before the changes that was an attempt to do some some consensus for the for the changes I actually submitted to my notes to that. Inquiry I argued for a second chance to didn’t believe in, you could go to it directly related section. The first one, go. And I think there are a series of steps to get there. I think a chamber like that could be an integrated Strong regional representation across the country. However, The government has no songs that it has modesty, we can read a tree right for people by accident member, being able to mention which seven rate on Jesus stood I and many others would argue is live with you. But we still we still got a hybrid second chamber in which Point appointment is the principal whether people take their place. Appointments now, which are made by an independent commission round one prime minister. So that’s the other reform that was brought in. To remove the particular patronage and the Prime Minister had to put people in the loop. So, you know, we, I think we’ve definitely improve the workings of those. I think we’ve definitely improved it’s legitimacy and the basis on which it doesn’t work. I still personally Are a must be true to us free democratic change as a reforming revising the Certainly will will will decline. But it still remains very conservative People Reporting the status quo resistant to change. And it’s a matter of consumer sorrow, those of us. I thought Would be the last. A couple of centuries and reform the House of Lords. piecemeal system and Lloyd George a Welsh Prime Minister, he Is faithful to try to cross the chasm. And that’s precisely What we have for for The second Element Parliament and they do often like schoolboys in that. I think it’s less confrontational. I think we should be able to get a better debater without trying to score points and and I really wish we could I think he gives a very bad impression of The most frustrating is that time wasting that we have the system is very antiquated and it’s interesting you compare it, for example, with the new democracies in Eastern Europe. You know, we’ll go to a European meeting now as a European meeting, you’ve got people from Slovenia and so near and Poland and all these places where they develop their democracies, if you if you like from scratch with that baggage and they have a Much more modern, efficient ways of doing things. This place is built upon whole later tradition that goes back several hundred years. And there’s a real fear about changing Anything. So we ended up doing a lot of stuff where we waste time I was here till till half past one in the morning last night. Because somebody had spoken for three hours on emotion that men nothing in order to keep us for that period of time. We’ve, we’ve got rid of some of that there’s still a lot left and so that lack of a sort of sense of we’re here is like corporate value trying to do the job well it Is something that ends up being very frustrating. You can in a week fail that you’ve spent 15 useful hours, but perhaps 30 less useful hours and and that balance is wrong. I’m not backbencher by choice to someone who doesn’t respond to them office I while I was on the front bench. For three years I Deliberately took the decision to go on the campaign because I believe that influential various reasons. Because of the party. Exercise, very little. He was a minister of Judea, much more powerful have a voice on the back bench. But the difficulty is the lead OSHA Trying to persuade people of radical ideas. I mean, I believe that the with the cooperation with one of your University, Alabama. I’m trying to perform a case what will be single public health that he’s like code in the next 50 years and it’s to persuade people will also move To switch to smoke. But we’re against I think it’s a big frustration is refusal of people to shift their view, once they got something my longest campaign on He’s on illegal drugs, where we go we’ve completely bombed in with illegal drugs because of a policy we inherited from your country when there was a prohibition of alcohol. They also prohibited a certain number of dangerous drug addicted. To suffer. The Consequences. drug crime. I mean, it’s such a slow period to get even medicinal cannabis use in Britain, he will be an issue. But I had a bill about this 14 years ago. I was regarded as A sign suggesting should use cannabis. While there are frustrating aspects of being a member of parliament long nights and long campaigning for a legislative cause we’re just two that were mentioned MPs get a great deal of satisfaction from their job, sometimes getting as Jackie late tells us that nice warm glow that comes from helping somebody. So not only do MPs get to play a part, and making the British Parliament work. They also get to make a difference. Doing, doing our best to defeat the government, which is quite difficult when there’s a majority of 200 against you or to change their legislation. That’s the most if we get if we succeed. That’s the most satisfying and is the most frustrating dealing with this social work aspect or the other. It’s not frustrating. It’s actually very interesting Problems, then you feel like I mean, the two sites that what are the personal level, the most satisfying thing is when you can resolve the problem for constituents, as well as you begin to see you and The personal level is tremendously satisfying the Vinci that got a problem you’ve sorted it out and you know that individually have a relationship with them aloud personal side of Of the political system. I think it’s very important. That’s what keeps you going the feather. Mrs. Smith. Now let’s go welfare check that she needs. You know, we say when the fact without you. And then at the, the kind of more the professional side of the work of the intellectual side, the work is is being able to satisfy your curiosity, if, if you have a question about how something works as an empty, you can go find out. So if you want to know I always want to know how to the coursework and the criminal courts, what happens that I can reach out and get an invitation by the judge to come down to the course and get taken through exactly what happens. I want to know how the hospital works. The surgeon at the hospital will be more than willing to have me down there and tell me how the hospital. Emergency system works is if that ability to sort of find out about things that satisfy your curiosity that that is a brilliant job for it opens, all these doors so you can go and learn about stuff. I try and get out about quite a lot. All right. So you don’t find it too jarring to go from the House of Commons to picking up handbags and A lot of the job today. That’s the beauty of being an MP We tried to give you some insight into the basic functions of the British political system with the added benefit of hearing from Members of Parliament themselves. About what MPs do and how Parliament works. I hope that this approach, not only helps you understand democracy in the United Kingdom, but also parliamentary systems in general as they make up the majority of democratic systems in the world. Behind me is the Palace of Westminster. Probably even hear Big Ben. This is where the House of Commons meets.

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