One of those weeks…

It has been one of those weeks.  I have not yet arranged to use Twitter but if I had, and found the odd moment, here’s what some of my tweets would have looked like.


Up early to catch the 7.00 a.m. Hull Executive to London.  As soon as I arrive at the House, straight to the Constitution Committee.

We take some useful evidence, not least from Professor Vernon Bogdanor, who identifies various reasons why fixed-term Parliaments may not be such a good idea.

Immediately after lunch, off to Downing Street for a reception at No. 10.

Chatting to some peers when I hear someone come up from behind to chat.  It’s the PM.

Straight from reception to the House to take part in a debate on the Browne review on the funding of higher education and student finance. 

I speak shortly before 6.00.  No sooner have I risen than Lord St John of Fawsley rises to comment on the speech before mine.  As soon as he has concluded, he leaves the chamber!

I welcome much of the Browne report, but raise some concerns.  I also put three questions to the minister.  She responds without actually adding to what is already known. 

Debate finishes at 10.20 p.m. and House rises.   I get a taxi: the driver says he thought the House of Lords was on a floor above the Commons.


Oral questions.  I come in on a question about pre-legislative scrutiny.   The Leader of the House appears to be answering another question in responding. 

Day spent seeing students and catching up on paperwork. 

See one of the clerks to discuss position in respect of the power of the House to expel a member.   I plan to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to give the House the power.

Right, back to Hull…

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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9 Responses to One of those weeks…

  1. ladytizzy says:

    Re Browne review: I’m glad you recorded the beneficiaries of HE other than the student.

    I always suspected that Norman St John-Stevas had issues.

  2. Lord Norton says:

    ladytizzy: Many thanks.
    I fear Norman St John-Stevas has form in this regard!

  3. Croft says:

    “he driver says he thought the House of Lords was on a floor above the Commons.”

    Well it is the upper house after all!

    • Lord Norton says:

      Croft: That’s what I said to him! I presumed that was why he thought it was on a floor above.

    • The Duke of Waltham says:

      Upper house but second chamber, as the more reform-minded would have it. That’s presumably because the Lords is viewed as the more “expendable” of the two Houses; I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the expression “first chamber”.

      Regarding the spatial relationship (no, not that one) between the two Houses, they are on exactly the same level, but the Lords have a crucial advantage over the Commons: there are no offices above their chamber. No one can sit over the heads of debating peers (or at least those in the front rows); in some relative definitions this counts as being on top, no?

  4. Chris K says:

    “as the Queen majestically presses the button to Floor One…”

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