Parliament Week: Various locations November 19 - 25 2012.
If accountability sometimes seems at a premium for a public distrusting of politicians, the annual Parliament Week is both an antidote to cynicism and an open invitation to talk to decision makers.
“From the outside this place looks so majestic,” says Caroline Lucas, the unusually popular Green MP, discussing the two chambers whose past forms the centre of the campaign.
Lucas acknowledges the fearlessness of the “brave and strong” young people who examine parliament over the course of the annual campaign, and says the Houses have a responsibility “to make it much more about ordinary people and peoples’ lives.”
For Parliament Week that begins with outreach efforts in places such as Nick Clegg’s Sheffield, where people are being encouraged to meet MPs and generally find out how they can get more out of Westminster, and Leeds, where a push is on to get sport on the parliamentary agenda.
As you might expect history features highly: Suffragette Mock Trials are being held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham.
In exhibitions, there are protest Christmas cards at Newport Museum and art Gallery, leaflets and posters at Wakefield Museum and, in a whirlwind of newspaper and carpet tube, an ambitious plan to build model Houses of Parliament at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
As you might expect, there’s a lot going on in London, where exclusive tours of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament are just two of the stand out events.
The English Speaking Union hosts a timely debate on press regulation, and the Hansard Society takes over Westminster for a special youth edition of Question Time and, at Port Cullis House, an event exploring the role of Charles Dickens and Parliament.
Many of the events are particularly suitable for schools, as are the range of talks and workshops taking place from Petersfield to Portsmouth. The education charity FILMCLUB is also getting on board by inviting Key Stage 1-5 teachers to order a series of specially selected films they can show to pupils.
For those not planning a trip out, a 24-hour tweetfest called EurVoiceLive will allow young people to question key politicians and community figures. See http://eypuk.co.uk/eurvoice-live for more.
- Visit www.parliamentweek.org for full listings and more information.
- Follow the campaign on Twitter @Parliament_Week.