Hull University – as recommended by the House of Lords

I was in the House yesterday for the continuing committee stage of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.  I contributed to discussion on some amendments, though at one point my mere presence appeared sufficient to engender tributes to the University of Hull:

“Lord Grocott: …. The debate that we are having-the subject that we proposing to spend a large sum of money on and put to the public-is basically of interest to only one or two university departments. I am pleased to see the noble Lord, Lord Norton, who is sound on a lot these issues, in his place. If I was the parent of a university-age son or daughter who was thinking of taking politics, I would say, “Go to the University of Hull”.

Lord Bach: I agree absolutely with my noble friend, and I think that my noble friend Lord Hunt of Kings Heath does, too. His son, as I understand it, has just started a course at the University of Hull.

Lord Grocott: That is very wise. I bet that he comes out of his course sensible on Lords reform.

Lord Tyler: My Lords, I should say that my daughter also studied at Hull, but she is absolutely staunchly in favour of AV. She had the right influence from the noble Lord, Lord Norton.”

On the last point, clearly she didn’t!  I don’t recall any student supporting AV.  Still, time to get the University literature amended: ‘Hull University Politics Department – as recommended by the House of Lords’.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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12 Responses to Hull University – as recommended by the House of Lords

  1. Croft says:

    “Still, time to get the University literature amended: ‘Hull University Politics Department – as recommended by the House of Lords’.”

    Well I guess whoever is working up Hull’s justification for raising their fees if the vote goes though is using copy and past as we speak!

  2. charlesbarry says:

    Lord Norton, I have a few questions relating to the votes on tuition fees, which are scheduled for the coming Tuesday.

    1) Does the Salisbury Convention apply to these votes?
    2) Because these are motions made by the House, and concerning secondary legislation, do either the Parliament Act or the usual ‘ping-pong’ routines apply if the Lords votes down the motions?
    3) If the votes are lost, can the votes be re-introduced any time within this parliament?
    4) What is the mood of the house with regards to the votes?


    • Lord Norton says:

      charlesbarry: The Parliament Acts do not apply to secondary legislation. The House could reject the order. Its normal practice has been not to reject secondary legislation, though as I argued in the House recently this practice does not amount to a convention. If the House did reject the order, the Government could return with a new order. I think it likely that the House will approve the order.

  3. djb13 says:

    I know a number of University of Hull students who support AV, although none fervently. A lot of PR advocates – which, despite your best attempts, there still exist a few of us 🙂 – favour AV as a ‘slightly less bad’ version of FPTP. There’s also a purely partisan case that AV benefits the Labour party, and I daresay there are one or two Hull students for whom anything that benefits the Labour party is a good policy.

    • Croft says:

      I don’t know Hull well but if it is anything like most student politics its largely made up of different shades of the left

      • djb13 says:

        There’s student politics (related to the University union), which is largely dominated by the Athletics Union (AU), although the Labour party also gets a look in occasionally (but the Labour party at Hull is very much New Labour).

        Of the five main elected positions we’ll see three (President, VP Community, and VP Education) swing between the AU and the Labour party (some years the AU does very well, some years the Labour party does very well, other years it’s split). VP Sports always goes to the AU (obviously), and VP Welfare more often than other positions, tends to someone unaffiliated with either Labour or the AU. Obviously these are general patterns, and you can’t really make cast-iron rules. The more minor elected positions don’t follow any pattern.

        The students at Hull have a fair split left and right. We have the usual contingent of communists, anarchists, stalinists, New Labour, Old Labour, liberals, lefty-liberals, neo-liberals, High Tories, Euroskeptics, and so forth. I don’t think the student body is overwhelmingly ‘shades of left’.

      • Lord Norton says:

        Croft: I passed on your comments to one of my classes. As half of those in the class appeared to be members of Andrew Percy’s campaign team in Brigg & Goole at the election, I think it fair to say that there are shades of blue on campus.

  4. Croft says:

    Then I consider you lucky – my somewhat national experience was of a division between those who saw student politics as part of their inevitable and wholly deserved rise to a think-tank/SPAD/Councillor/MP and those who seemed to be re-fighting the 70s or thought the SU was part of the global struggle against capitalism! I tended towards the opinion that the SU should worry about students being properly treated by the university, give support/advice and ensure that the student deli/bar wasn’t a public health risk 😉

    • ladytizzy says:

      Mr Porter seems to have escaped the division you describe.

      • djb13 says:

        Aaron Porter clearly wants a career in the Labour party.

        We certainly have a large number of those who want to be politicos (I daresay that the presence of Lord Norton and the BPLS course contributes somewhat to that group). There’s a decent contigent of anarchists, communists, and marxists (one was elected last year!). I’m not trying to say that our Union politics isn’t very corrupt and self-serving (it is), it’s just not corrupt and self-serving in the way you originally described.

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