I spoke yesterday to a conference, La Conferencia Permanente De Congresos Locales, in Mexico. It was attended by about 500 members drawn from local legislatures. The lecture was delivered from Westminster via video link. There were initial technical problems establishing the link: it took more or less as long to get the problems sorted as it did to deliver the lecture. I spoke on ‘Parliaments in the 21st Century: the representative challenge’, identifying the problems presently faced by legislatures and the opportunities that exist for them to meet the challenge and to engage more effectively with the people. I was able to explore some of the themes that I will be developing when I speak at the Italian Chamber of Deputies next month.
Half-way during my talk, the division bells in the Commons started ringing. I ploughed on regardless, but it was probably a bit of a shock to the audience. The fact that I didn’t move probably intimated that it wasn’t the fire alarm.