Celebrations for this are happening between November 13 and 17, with events in the historic Westminster Hall and the modern Parliamentary building called Portcullis House. 1300 schools and over 2600 other organizations are taking part, to make the work of Parliament better known and understood.
Against this background, I thought it might be of interest to give a snapshot of my activities this year. I am an 85-year old back-bench member of the House of Lords, sitting as an independent Cross-bencher. I have taken part in the House since 1971.
This year, I find that I have spoken in the House on 31 occasions, with interventions ranging from a one-line Question to a 10-minute speech, including at least two Oral Questions. I have tabled 235 Questions for Written Answer, besides writing many letters to Ministers, usually in the Foreign Office or Home Office, on subjects such as Middle-Eastern wars and peace, refugees and migrants, terrorism, social justice in Britain or the 2018 Commonwealth Summit meeting. I visited Guys Marsh Prison in Dorset, as well as Malta and Rome, all on Parliamentary business. Later this month I will go, with colleagues, to Syria to meet religious leaders and to discuss the return of refugees and essential reconstruction after the civil war.
In order to keep informed I belong to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and many All-Party Groups focussing on individual countries.