I’m still not sure how these fantastic students managed to fit in so much today! We started the day with the inimitable and ever so knowledgeable Kim Dewdney , whose command of Brexit and electoral politics is second to none – including most academic treatments I’ve read on the subject. Kim’s background informs the way that she helps us understand the very real – and also socially constructed – discontents that led to the 2016 Referendum – she helped us understand it as being largely about the Conservative Party’s need to pull itself together and take the steam out of UKIP’s sails.
Accordingly, we began at Conservative Party Headquarters, carried on to the polling station at Methodist Central Hall to talk about how voting works, to the Treasury to discuss the role of the Northern Ireland office housed within, then around the back of the famous Horse Guards’ Parade to view 10 Downing St and talk about Boris Johnson’s historically abysmal record of losing votes in Parliament.
We just happened to catch the Changing of the Guard (more impressive than Buckingham Palace, IMO!) before going on to Whitehall to the Brexit office and to view the very moving war memorials, still covered in poppies from Remembrance Day.
We finished at the Supreme Court, in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and just across the square from the Houses of Parliament, where Kim poetically connected the four pillars of UK governance: the Parliament, the Sovereign, the Executive, and, most recently, the Judiciary (where we will be visiting on Thursday).