Parliament Week

Parliament Week is a national initiative which seeks to connect people from across the UK with Parliament, its work and its members. Now in its second year, I hope that Worcestershire people of all ages will get involved with Parliament Week when it takes place in November. The idea is to celebrate and learn more about democracy and its roots.
We often say that ours is the Mother of Parliaments and it's true. Countries around the world have based their governing institutions on ours and this is something we can very proud of.

And by the way, the authors of both our freedom and our democracy lie buried in Worcestershire - King John, the reluctant author of the Magna Carta in 1215 is buried in Worcester Cathedral and Simon de Montfort, the man who called the first representative Parliament in 1265, died - and is commemorated - in Evesham.

When I announced my recent decision to stand down from Parliament at the next election, I said,

“It is fashionable to deride politicians and the political process, but I believe there is no nobler cause than the representation of the people in democratically elected institutions – at parish or town, district, county, national and European level.”

Unfortunately, and for a wide range of reasons, a lot of people have become disengaged with the political process. Parliament week aims to inspire people to get involved with politics and encourage them to make their voices heard on the issues that matter to them. We all have a part to play in democracy and it is important that we remember and use that right.

I have written to high schools in my constituency encouraging them to get involved by holding debates in the classroom or engaging in the debates taking place in Parliament.

Organisations such as the Royal Society of Arts, the National Children’s Bureau, UK Youth Parliament and FILMCLUB are joining with Parliament to host events about democracy and political engagement. BBC Question Time is being broadcast from the historic Westminster Hall and the Hansard Society is hosting ‘Young People’s Question Time’. It looks set to be a very exciting week of events.

Around the world - and even here in the UK - people have died for the right to vote. We must never take this right for granted.


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