Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Attending a Debate at the House of Lords

A friend of mine (a scholar) was one of the panel at a debate due to take place at the House of Lords. She invited me to come watch & I obviously jumped at the chance to view how things work behind the scenes. I had to register and "buy" a free pass for the visit, just so I was given a ticket of sorts.

The entry for debates in the House of Lords, is at the far end (almost at the park next door). So its at least a 5-10 minute walk from the station depending on how you catch the traffic signals.

Do budget at least 10 minutes for a security scanning. The staff are all very polite and helpful, but taking off jackets and belts and putting them on again takes time and there is normally a rush of people before a scheduled debate.

The room we were in was beautiful and cosy. Good acoustics, so as long as the speakers enunciated clearly at slightly louder than conversation volume, it was easy to follow the proceedings.

Most of the speakers and the audience seemed to be in agreement in general, it was the particulars that needed working out. But the debate was conducted so politely and articulately. I wish some other governments could take a cue from this style of functioning and debating.

This was an amazing experience and I feel privileged to have been able to witness it.

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