The Mother of Parliaments

On Westminster Bridge, with the Palace of Westminster (more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament) behind us.

What an incredibly unique opportunity to go from a parliamentary campaign to the “Mother of Parliaments”, the Palace of Westminster, in one short tube ride! We took advantage of the opportunity to see things behind the scenes that would not be possible while Parliament was sitting, including the “Aye Lobby” and the “No Lobby” -and just our group were even secreted through the House of Lords library!

On Westminster Bridge with the London Eye and London County Hall behind us (on the South side of the Thames).

Amazing artwork, most of which we were not allowed to photograph — but now we’ve been to the place where modern republican democracy is often claimed to have 

been born, where seismic


Outside the Palace of Westminster.

constitutional growing pains have been being worked out, and where the most pressing modern test of populism appears poised to continue after this general election.

Inside 1000-year old Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the mostly Victorian-era Palace, where courts have sat for centuries.

In Westminster Hall.

One of the few pieces of artwork we were actually able to photograph! In the entrance hall outside the House of Commons.

True fact! The term “lobbying” originates with the lobby outside the House of Commons – where you can still queue to speak to your MP!

About Bethany Barratt

Dr. Barratt earned her PhD from the University of California in 2002, and her BA in Political Science/History from Duke University in 1994. She is Director of the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, which joins forces with community partners in Chicago and cities abroad to draw and apply comparative lessons to make measurable gains in respect for human rights in urban settings. Professor Barratt has conducted archival and field research in Yellowstone National Park, Central Asia, the UK, Canada, and Australia. She is author or editor of several books including “Human Rights and Foreign Aid” (Routledge, 2007), "The Politics of Harry Potter" (Palgrave McMillan, 2012), and coeditor o "Public Opinion and War: Lessons from Iraq" (Potomac, 2012). She has also authored articles on environmental politics and justice, conservation policy, human rights, foreign aid, US, British, Canadian, and Australian foreign policy, and counterterrorism, in Political Research Quarterly, The Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and edited volumes from Ashgate and Lexington Books. Besides her teaching experience at Roosevelt and the University of California, she has also taught in a number of jails and prisons. She is an officer or member of several scholarly associations including the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.
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