Meeting the President

Hull University Politics Department produces eagle-eyed graduates.  One of them, Andrew Barrett, spotted this picture of me being introduced to President Obama.   You can see the back of the head of the Speaker, John Bercow, on  the right of the picture.  The Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman, is half-hidden by my side.  At the back, holding his staff of office, is the Lord Great Chamberlain.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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6 Responses to Meeting the President

  1. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Could this be the template for a new postmodernist British version of Mount Rushmore somewhere in the Highlands or Wales?

  2. ladytizzy says:

    Dumb question(s) of the week/year/century: when, by whom, and why is the House of Commons so named? Why not House of Shires or House of Knights? Further, if an when Scotland and N Ireland break off from the UK will the HoC revert to the old name of House of Commons of England or will Wales be included?

    Quite separately, in an earlier post Carl H asked if he should make a video of people responding to questions on HoL. I went low-tech and asked selected friends two basic questions (with strict instructions not to google before replying): what does the HoL do, and how many can you name. Some early results:

    . “They have the ability to overrule any thing passed in House of Commons.”
    . “Some are life peers and some are granted peerages on dubious grounds.”
    . “…my lists of Real Lords and Pretend Lords…”

    More worryingly, no-one has named a female peer; I’m guessing that the title House of Lords is a tad gender-biased.

    Does this mean that LotB has a way to go or should I change my friends?

  3. The Duke of Waltham says:

    I don’t think anyone in specific can be credited with the name “House of Commons”. Personally, I like it: it has a nice ring to it, and the body’s members do represent communities. Your two alternatives would be inaccurate, because neither did all MPs represent shires nor were they all knights (burgesses represented boroughs and citizens represented towns).

    Regarding the hypothetical name in case of a dissolution of the Union, the easy answer would be “yes”. The name of Parliament (and by extension the name of the country) can be changed by statute, as it was when the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 was passed in (slow) response to the secession of the Irish Free State. The House of Commons would therefore take whatever name the new state would take: for “Kingdom of England”, the full name would be “The Honourable the Commons of the Kingdom of England in Parliament assembled”. However, such a hypothetical state would conceivable pay much more attention to the Welsh element than Tudor England did when it absorbed that country, and so a change of name might be politically desirable. Technically, Wales is a principality, not a kingdom, which is why it does not feature in the United Kingdom’s symbols (namely the royal coat of arms and the Union Flag). I suppose you could have a Kingdom of England and Wales, though it most assuredly couldn’t be called “United”.

    “House of Lords” may indeed be biased as a name; after all, female members were only admitted fifty years ago (starting with life peeresses in 1958 and continuing with hereditary peeresses five years later). That said, I understand there were some abbesses in the House before the Suppression of the Monasteries resulted in the removal of the lower clergy—a reform of the House, if you will—only a few years before the title “House of Lords” started to be used in 1544.

    I wonder whether any of the Lords named was among the four who attained publicity thanks to “Cash for Amendments”. I distinctly remember that one of them was Lord Snape, and that I immediately considered him guilty. I mean, the only member more likely to have done something wrong would be Lord Voldemort, and I don’t believe he has been introduced yet. Now, that would be a sight to behold.

    (Seriously, though, I suppose several Lords are more well-known thanks to the circumstances of their appointment to the House—and potential opposition thereto—rather than their activities there.)

  4. azoic1 says:

    I feel very proud in knowing Lord Norton he is grace full and a very good gent we all should take a leaf out of is book .

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