Highlights of the week

indexI am conscious I have not posted anything recently.  It has been a busy week.  Among the highlights were:

* Attending the Speaker’s Lecture on Monday, when John Redwood MP spoke on ‘Parliament and economic policy’, arguing that Parliament was more effective in calling government to account when there is disagreement than when there is consensus.

* Chairing the Parliamentary University Group ‘Frontiers of Knowledge’ lecture on Tuesday, in the River Room of the House of Lords, at which Professor Rana Mitter, of Oxford University, spoke on the history of China’s relationship with Japan.  It was a fascinating lecture, well attended, not least by peers.

* Speaking on Wednesday to students from the University of Ulster on the role of the House of Lords and lecturing on Thursday morning to students at Wroxton College in Oxfordshire on the role of the House of Commons.

* Speaking in a debate in the House on Thursday afternoon on the report of the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege.  You can read the speech hereI welcomed the report, but argued against those recommendations that in my view were not necessary to protect either House in fulfilling its essential functions.

* Chairing a Parliamentary Studies lecture this lunchtime, in which Sarah Petit (Clerk of the Public Accounts Committee) spoke on ‘Parliament and Scrutiny’, and hosting a reception this afternoon to mark 25 years of the Hull parliamentary placement scheme.  The reception was well attended by current students as well as an array of graduates.  When students begin the four-year British Politics and Legislative Studies (BPLS) degree, I always tell them that the four years will fly by, each year going quicker than the one before.  The same applies to the 25 years of the scheme – it doesn’t seem like a quarter of a century since I organised the first placements.  Then I organised placements for three students.  I am in the process of arranging placements this September for thirty.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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4 Responses to Highlights of the week

  1. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,

    You certainly have wide-ranging interests built into the schedule you have developed over the last quarter century. I note however that you have abstained from bringing into your narrative or today’s post any news of the crisis in Ukraine, Crimea or Russia. I am sure also it has come up in conversation.

    Less noted there is the renewal of BP’s privilege of entering into Lease Auctions in Louisiana and USA waters in the gulf of Mexico after several years of exclusion. Hopefully, the world will find its way past this crisis in Crimea and one day it will be possible to see normalized relations all around without too great a loss for any party to survive.

    That is perhaps a more dovish sentiment than I usually express these days. However, I do find that although each of these crises is profoundly different from the other they both have the quality of capturing world attention for a while and both are related to energy supplies. One was very near me and the other far away from me but of course Louisiana is three times as far away from London as Crimea is and sometimes Americans can forget that vast distance..

    • Lord Norton says:

      franksummers3ba: The situation in Ukraine has been the subject of debate in the chamber, as well as away from the chamber. It was also a topic of conversation with some of our graduates at yesterday’s reception: they were well informed.

  2. What do the placements do?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Rhoderick Gates: They combine working for an MP (or peer) while also fulfilling academic research. They study Parliament before taking up their placements and utilise their knowledge to analyse the institution in which they are working. We have weekly seminars in Westminster to enhance their knowledge.

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