Tag Archive for Palace of Westminster

If only…

Lord Norton

I switched on BBC1 this evening, too late for Panorama, and no sooner had I switched on than I saw a shot of Westminster.  This was in a programme called New Tricks and it showed what purported to be a meeting with a Labour peer at the House of Lords.  The programme-makers clearly have no knowledge…

Parliament and international crises

Lord Norton

Parliaments generally sit according to a set timetable.  International crises can occur at any time.  Events in South Ossetia are understandably causing widespread international concern.  They also illustrate the problem that attaches to parliamentary recesses.  There is no mechanism by which Parliament, short of a recall, can debate what is happening and question Government.  The…

A historic building….

Lord Norton

The Palace of Westminster is a historic building.   It is a magnificent and awe-inspiring edifice.  Its age, though, can have its problems, not least in terms of maintenance.  This appeared this week on the parliamentary intranet: Flooding in Peers’ Lobby 29 Jul 2008 Following Monday’s flooding in the Peers’ Lobby, tours have now resumed using…

Navigating the Palace

Lord Norton

The Palace of Westminster is a mock gothic building completed in the 1850s.  It was  regarded as an architectural masterpiece of its day and its remains an awe-inspiring building.  It is difficult for anyone working in it not to be impressed by it.  Buildings tend to shape how an institution operates.  Parliament would not be the…

Summer recess

Lord Norton

Both Houses rose yesterday for the summer recess.  The Lords finished its main business shortly before two o’clock and then adjourned until 6.50 p.m. when the Lord Speaker announced Royal Assent to two measures (the Housing and Regeneration Act and the Crossrail Act).  There were eighteen peers in the chamber to hear the announcement.  The…