Law & Politics at Houses of Parliament
First year Politics and Law students had a great morning visiting the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. This involved a tour behind the scenes, following the footsteps taken by the Queen for the State Opening of Parliament. Unlike Her Royal Highness, the students were allowed to enter the House of Commons, as well as the House of Lords. It is a trip the college runs every year, but every year the students (and staff) who go take something different away from the visit.
This year’s students were particularly struck by the ‘division’, and the fact that votes are carried out by people leaving their seats and walking back into the chamber via one lobby and corridor for yes, and another for no. In the debating workshop activity that followed the tour, the students’ voting was done by electronic touchpad – something most Parliaments in the world have also adopted. The fact that we stick to our heritage and tradition, even when it can seem a little bizarre, was something the students found striking.
Umar Abdul Jabar was surprised that the Queen was allowed to enter the Commons Chamber, and amused by the idea that to get in to Parliament at all, there is a tradition that first of all the door is shut in her face, before she is eventually allowed in: “I think it is important that we keep these traditions and the link with history. It is part of our culture and identity.”
This year, like most years, Law and Politics teacher Tom Carding discovered something new as well. “I didn’t know there was a hair salon within the Palace of Westminster. I knew there were bars and restaurants, but now I know what else they are doing when they are not debating or in committees.”
This trip is just one of many planned for the two years of the Politics and Law courses: “The fact that we can visit one of the most important buildings in the world is one of the best things about being at a college in London.”
Russ Lawrance, Principal of Haringey Sixth Form College added “I am pleased that the staff at the College continue to go the extra mile with their students and organise opportunities like this for their students. Another great example of how we at Haringey Sixth Form College prepare students for life beyond college”.