Houses of Parliament


Hello! It's been a while, but I've been rather busier than expected. All my friends are back from university now, so we've gone hard - and not always gone home -  for the last few weeks. As I write this, I'm trying to format the first set of shorts into an ebook, but it's taking a while. And two days ago, I got home from my work experience at the Houses of Parliament, in London!
It was so cool.

I stayed with my uncle, who has a flat in the city, and that was really fun too. Ate Vietnamese cuisine for the first time with him, which I can 100% recommend to anyone. It's a little like Chinese food, but much spicier, and I actually prefer it! Unfortunately I have no photos of the food because I ate it before I could remember to take any. Also it turns out that I am absolutely abysmal at using chopsticks.
But, I digress.

I had to catch the bus to the Houses of Parliament each day (and get it back!) and as someone without a sense of direction to speak of who is used to a small city only, this was pretty daunting. However, my bus route took me past most of the big sights (St Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square etc) so it was still pretty cool. I had to keep asking for directions, and you can say what you like about Londoners being grumpy - everyone who I asked was really kind, especially two policemen who offered to actually show me the way themselves.
I'm such a tourist.

Maybe I'd get better at things if I actually lived in London - who knows? But I sort of want to live there now, at some point in the future. Also, London buses get the weirdest people on them. First day I was going back to my uncle's, I was treated to an hour-long, full-on sing-and-clap-along-to-Jesus-songs session, from a man who I suspect was profoundly drunk at this point. Unfortunately I could hear him through my iPod at max volume; and when Nine Inch Nails is being drowned out by something else there's a problem.

The first thing that I did was go on a tour of the houses, which was great - but unfortunately, you aren't allowed to photograph anything. The House of Commons is absolutely tiny, way smaller than you think it is from TV. The House of Lords is blinged up to the absolute max with gold. There's all kinds of funny, interesting and largely pointless traditions. And the architecture and artwork is awesome. Someone had to build all that. It's crazy!

After this, I went off to meet my MP. Then I was able to go into the public gallery at the Houses of Commons and watch some of the debates. It was about the EU Common Agriculture policy, which was pretty interesting. The one Labour MP got up and delivered an ever-so-pretty, extremely flowery speech that included comparisons to the 'charge of the Light Brigade' and speaking in French, but by the end of it he hadn't really said much at all. When pressed for an actual opinion he didn't give one, so effectively he thought the same thing as the Conservatives but couldn't possibly say this. This is always what frustrates me about our politicians - at the end of the day most of them are very much the same, and they'll u-turn as soon as they get into power and people just don't see it. People forget.

I also had to do some admin work, like going through my MP's post and filing things. I also had to sign something saying I wouldn't talk about it, so I won't in case I get arrested. What I can divulge is that MPs have some rather interesting people writing to them  - and that's probably about the kindest way I can put it.

The next day was the best, however, because I got to see Prime Minister's Questions. I saw Dave! Well, first of all I saw Ed Miliband (ugh), then Nick Clegg (UGH), a handful of other big names and then David Cameron (still mostly ugh.) The first part of PMQ's was effectively Ed and Dave getting bitchy at each other, which was quite funny - some of their comments just made me think meow! Politicians behaving badly. In the end the speaker told Dave off a bit, because I think he got a bit too personal. Shame, really.

The other thing I got to sit in on was a meeting of the Scottish Independence committee, which got rather dry towards the end but was still pretty interesting.

The view from the office window!~
At the end of the day, I'm not sure I could be a politician. High Overlord maybe, but first you have to be a politician. But London's an awesome city, and I could see myself living there in the future. As a lawyer, maybe - or, preferably, as a successful author. :v

London also has Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Does Cambridge have Krispy Kreme? I think not.