House of Lords

What is the role of political parties?

This video discusses the importance of political parties within British politics, namely as a driving force for legislation through a framework of principles specific to each party.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The different parties within the UK.
  • The way in which political parties and the political system interact.
  • The necessity for political parties as a way to direct philosophical motivations into legislation.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The importance of political parties.
  • The function that political parties serve for our political system.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Adam Alfriyie MP
  • Madeline Moon MP

Image – House of Commons (UK Parliament-Catherine Bebbington)

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What separation of powers is there?

This short video covers the separation of power within the British governmental system, whereby checks and balances ensure accountable and responsible governance.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The separations of power between the Crown represented by the government de jure, the legislative in the form of Parliament, and the judiciary.
  • The restrictions and necessities born from this separation.
  • The contrast to the American system of checks and balances, whereby the the government cannot be part of the legislature.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The manner in which the powers of government are separated.
  • The individual entities which comprise this system of checks and balances.
  • The key differences between the British and American systems of separation of power.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Scotland
  • Lord Cormack
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How do the two chambers complement each other? 

This video summarises the relationship between the lower and upper houses of Parliament, and the way they fulfill complimentary duties.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The expertise thatthe House of Lords brings, and its untimed scrutiny.
  • The duties of the House of Commons – such as the duty to legislate on behalf of those MPs represent.
  • The way in which these duties compliment each other.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The undemocratic, yet essential nature of the House of Lords.
  • The fundamental role to Parliament that the House of Commons plays.
  • The way in which these two houses combine to legislate, and make said legislation accountable.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016
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How are Peers appointed? 

This short video elaborates the different appointment processes for the House of Lords.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • Appointment procedure for party affiliated Lords.
  • Appointment procedure for Crossbench Lords.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The indirectly elected nature of the House of Lords.
  • The underlying democratic justification for the House of Lords
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Norton

Image – House of Lords (House of Lords-Roger Harris)

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Why have two different chambers?

This video covers the contrast between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and crucially, the benefits that this contrast brings.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The necessity of different chambers for checks and balances.
  • The contrast between the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
  • The different duties and functions specific to each house.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The differences between the two houses.
  • The overall function of Parliament that the individual functions of the houses combine to make.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Tyler
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016
  • John Bercow MP, House of Commons Speaker 2009-present.
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
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What is the role of the House of Lords? 

This video is a short summary of some of the duties and functions of the House of Lords, specifically in contrast to the lower house: the House of Commons.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The function of scrutiny for the House of Lords against the executive.
  • The contrast between the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
  • The benefit of expertise that an indirectly-elected upper house accrues for governance.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • The specific role of the House of Lords.
  • The contrast between the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Norton
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016

Image – House of Lords (House of Lords-Roger Harris)

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What function does parliament serve?

A summary of the functions of Parliament. This video explores the overarching role and function of Parliament, and the specific duties it carries out as necessities of those functions.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The core functions of Parliament.
  • The duties that Parliament owe to the electorate.
  • The necessity of democratic accountability.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • Parliament’s democratic nature.
  • The wider function of Parliament.
  • The duties of Parliament towards the electorate and its functions.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

Image (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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How does Parliament’s history inform how it works? 

This video discusses the history of Parliament and of the wider UK political system of government, and shows how this history has molded it into its contemporary form.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The evolution of governance from monarch to elected representatives.
  • The lack of formal constitution that this evolution has brought.
  • The symbolism of Monarchy, and the traditions of both Houses, which still play crucial roles in UK governance.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • Parliament’s history and evolution.
  • The imminency of the House of Commons in contemporary British government.
  • The importance of history, customs, traditions, and symbolism in government.
Credits

With thanks to

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What are the underlying principles of the UK’s parliamentary system? 

A summary of the principles of Parliament. This documentary covers the basics of our parliamentary principle and the functions that drive the House of Commons.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The principles of the parliamentary system.
  • The specific democratic nature of the House of Commons.
  • The relationship between its democratic nature and its function as the heart of Parliament.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • Parliament’s democratic nature.
  • The role of the House of Commons.
  • The underlying principles which guide the House of Commons.
  • The functions of the House of Commons.
Credits

With thanks to

  • John Bercow MP, House of Commons Speaker 2009-present.
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A Brief History of UK Parliament

Our short history of the mother of parliaments. This documentary covers the basics of our parliamentary history, its past conflicts, and the forces that have molded into its current form.

Video Information

This video covers:

  • The formation of Parliament.
  • The at times dichotomous relationship between the Crown and Parliament.
  • The past conflicts that have shaped the modern Parliament and its foundational legislation, e.g. the Bill of Rights.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of a lesson, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key points, including:

  • Parliament’s historical role.
  • The historical clashes between Parliament and Crown.
  • The Resolution of these conflicts.
  • The birth of our modern Parliament from these conflicts and resolutions.
Credits

With thanks to

  • Lord Norton

Image (UK Parliament-Jessica Taylor)

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Q&A: How long do the Lords have to speak in a debate?

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Q&A: What happens to a Bill if the House of Lords do not pass it?

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Parliament in 30 Minutes

Watch Parliament in 30 Minutes – our short insight into the workings of the mother of parliaments. This documentary covers the basics of our parliamentary system; how our institutions work, how laws are made, and what our representatives do.

Video Information

This the introductory video in the Parliament Revealed project. This video covers:

  • The roles of parliamentary institutions – examining how the various institutions of government in the UK function and interact.
  • How laws are made and scrutinised – examining the processes of law-making, the typical stages that a bill will pass through and the various forms of scrutiny that laws undergo before, during and after their passage through Parliament.
  • The role of representatives – examining the work of Parliament, the different responsibilities and powers of MPs and Peers and the staff, resources and mechanisms available to support them.
  • How Parliament works day to day – examining how business is conducted, how timetables are determined, the rules of debate, the function of specific instruments such as Early Day Motions and Adjournment Debates, and the roles of specific actors such as the Speaker and Clerks.
Information for Teachers

Teachers can use this video as an introductory tool for students, at the start of the module, or as a summary at the end.

The video provides a sound summary of main topic areas and covers key questions, including:

  • What is the role of parliament?
  • What are laws, and how are they made?
  • What are representatives?
  • How does parliament work?

These key questions are answered by parliamentarians past and present.

Credits

With thanks to (by order of appearance):

  • Baron Lisvane (Robert Rogers), Clerk of the House of Commons 2011-2014
  • Lord Norton
  • Baroness Boothroyd
  • Keith Vaz MP
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
  • John Mann MP
  • Natascha Engel MP
  • Andrew Rosindell MP
  • Baroness D’Souza, Lords Speaker 2011-2016
  • Baroness Scotland
  • Lord Tyler
  • Baroness Smith
  • Lord Cormack
  • Baroness Stowell
  • Baroness Stern
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