Lords leaps to mark Parliament Week 2011

Members of the Lords and political experts debate Parliament and the public: the Difference the Lords Makes. © Parliamentary copyright
04 November 2011

The House of Lords invites people of all ages to join the last of the celebrations of democracy in the UK in the final days of Parliament Week 2011, which ends on Sunday 6 November

Listen out for Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws on a Parliament Week edition of the BBC's World Service, The Forum which discusses the nature and characteristics of democracy. Is the Western version the only model of democracy and what's the future for 21st century democracy in a globalised world whose societies are becoming more diverse?

The programme will be broadcast on at 9am, Sunday 6 November and available to download or listen to online. Photographs from the discussion will also be available from The Forum website.

What’s happening today?

Today 15 Peers in Schools visits took place in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Lord Speaker made her first school visit since she took up the role to Wallingford School in Oxfordshire. Schools can register for a Peer to visit by emailing the Lord Speaker’s office.

In the last videos from our YouTube series on Members of the Lords and their stories of democracy Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza discusses her role, UK democracy and involving more people in the work the House of Lords does. Opposition Chief Whip, Lord Bassam of Brighton outlines his role and how the Lords keeps a check on Government.

Lords activities and events for Parliament Week

If you can’t make it to any of the remaining events, you can enjoy many of our materials online.

Short films

Videos introducing Members of the Lords and their stories of democracy have been released throughout Parliament Week, including:

  • Lord Strathclyde, the Leader of the House of Lords, discussing the contribution of the Lords to UK democracy
  • Lord Sugar reflecting on his journey from a council estate in Hackney to becoming a Member of the House of Lords
  • Former Paralympic athlete, Baroness Grey-Thompson on how House of Lords changes to legislation changed her life
  • Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Lord McNally on the role he played in legislation curbing the powers of the press
  • Baroness Neuberger talks about the House of Lords' "independent spirit" and how it gets the Government to do the right thing
  • Baroness O'Cathain, Chairman of the Internal Market, Energy and Transport EU Sub-Committee, highlights what she did to get the EU to cut mobile phone roaming charges
  • Former Attorney General for England and Wales, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, talks about her place in history
  • Lord Laming, Convenor of the Crossbench Peers – the Members of the Lords who are not aligned to any political party – discusses his role.

You can watch all of our videos on the Parliament Week YouTube channel.

Read Lord Sugar’s blog on how he thinks social media is breaking down barriers between people and Parliament.


You can also watch Members of the Lords and experts discussing Parliament and the public: What difference does the Lords make? The panel debate was chaired by Peter Riddell and included Mark D'Arcy, Baroness Young of Hornsey, Lord Soley, Lord Norton of Louth and Baroness Scott of Needham Market.

The Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza opened and closed the event, which took questions from the public via Twitter.

In another Parliament Week first, BBC One Question Time came from the Houses of Parliament for the first time. Baroness Williams of Crosby was a member of the panel.  Watch the Parliament Week edition on BBC iPlayer.

Other events

Blogging Peer, Baroness Deech, was on the panel for a Festival of Social Science event on how social media are being used to promote protest and political change. The event brought together academics, politicians, activists and journalists.

Lord Norton of Louth, Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies at Hull University, discussed his views on the Parliament Act 1911 which drastically curtailed the Lords' powers, in the History of Parliament Trust's annual lecture.

The Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza, took questions from representatives of education charity FILMCLUB at the launch of their new film 'Stories of Democracy: Making a Difference', in which Members of the Lords revealed their heroes of democracy alongside their favourite films.

Further information

The inaugural Parliament Week launched on Monday 31 October, with a variety of activities taking place at locations across the UK. Parliament Week is a new national initiative launched jointly by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which raises public awareness of Parliament and encourages people to engage with the UK's democratic systems and institutions.

Image: [Left to right] Lord Soley, Baroness Scott of Needham Market, Peter Riddell, Mark D'Arcy, Baroness Young of Hornsey, Lord Norton of Louth debating Parliament and the public: the Difference the Lords Makes. © Parliamentary copyright

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, House of Lords news, Lord Speaker news, Members of the Lords, Lords news, Parliamentary Outreach

Share this page