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Tuesday, 19 February 2013
I’m working through my notes and printed articles which have formed the background to my Ph.D. research – checking through to see if there is anything I missed before I submit. There was one article I had missed completely (though sadly it won’t provide any additional ‘evidence’ for my thesis).
It was an article about a 1996 Channel Four Series called “Annie’s Bar”. I didn’t watch it at the time (I was a busy County Councillor with a heavy load of teaching commitments across the Midlands – with a General Election coming up!). I thought that all traces would have disappeared, but I found it on 4OD. It sensationalises and exaggerates a bit – it is a drama after all – but it is actually quite good on explaining parliamentary practice. There's quite a bit on whips - I recognised some of the 'sources', and the originals go get referenced in my thesis - though the reality is they were rare events rather than the norm (which is suggested in the drama)
If you are able to watch it (I’m not sure if it is available outside the UK) – it’s quite enjoyable. I’m happy to answer any questions arising about parliamentary practice (and what has changed since 1996). Just drop me a line or post a comment.
I am a tutor for the Open University and have practical experience of working in the UK and European Parliaments.
Until May 2010 I worked at Westminster as Political Secretary to Lord Bach and to Lord Hunt of King's Heath. Previously I had worked as Research and Policy Director in the Office of Sir Peter Soulsby MP. In 2001 and 2005 I stood for Parliament in the South Leicestershire Constituency of Blaby. In 2009 I was a candidate for the European Parliament in the East Midlands Region.
I have a keen academic and practical interest in the workings of both the UK Parliament and the US Congress. I have made a number of study visits to Washington DC - and monitor proceedings, procedure and practice in the four chambers [House of Commons, House of Lords, House of Representative and the Senate]
Over the years I have broadcast on both UK & US Politics for BBC local radio including Radio Northampton; BBC Three Counties and BBC Radio Oxford.