House of LordsAt 7.30am on a cloudy Monday morning, six LVI (Year 12) Politics students including myself, as well as Dr Kirk and Mrs Visser, set off on the long journey to the House of Lords, where we would spend the day.

After making our way to Westminster, we were met by the Earl of Kinnoull, who would be our guide for the rest of the trip. We began with an absorbing tour of Parliament, visiting both the Commons and Lords Chambers, which gave us the unique opportunity to see first-hand what we glimpse on TV almost every day. We were also treated to much in-depth discussion about both the architecture and art within the building itself, before being guided to an extremely ornate and beautiful committee room where we were afforded the brilliant opportunity to quiz the Earl of Kinnoull on subjects as far reaching as Brexit, democracy in the UK, the work of the House of Lords and hereditary peerage. The unique insight and technical knowledge he afforded us in regards to the inner workings of our own political system was priceless, and will surely come in very useful as we move closer to our exams.

After an hour of questioning, the class was treated to a delicious lunch within the House of Lords itself, and this afforded yet another opportunity to discuss our very own democracy with a man so well versed in its operation. During our meal we were also lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Lord Hain, who recently made headlines through his use of parliamentary privilege.

Following this, we then enjoyed a trip up to the public gallery in order to observe Question Time in the House of Lords (via a trip to the gift shop), where we got to observe Lords tackle issues such as the remembrance of Pakistani World War One soldiers and of course, Brexit. It was immensely interesting to see first-hand how the House of Lords operates from day to day, an opportunity afforded to relatively few.

It was a memorable and educational trip which I think everyone learnt a lot from. We must of course extend our warmest thanks to the Earl of Kinnoull for being so kind and obliging, and for giving up his time so freely to answer all of our questions and guide us through Parliament.

Jolie (LVI Form)