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Virtual tours of UK Parliaments

Virtual tours of UK Parliaments

For the final step of this week, I would like you to take a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament in order to gain a flavour for how governmental politics functions in the UK.

Next week you will explore the ways in which politics expands far outside the limitations of government; a familiarity with governments and their institutions is fundamental for understanding the subject.

This week I would like you to take a tour of the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament.

There are two ways in which you can do a virtual tour of Parliament: either guided or by yourself. I would highly recommend that you book yourself onto a guided tour; I have done a number of tours of the Houses of Parliament in person and have always been amazed at the knowledge and helpfulness of the guides.

They are as engaging as they are knowledgeable and will definitely give you a fantastic overview of the building and how it functions. If you cannot do a virtual guided tour, there is an option for you to do a tour by clicking on different rooms and information icons.

Please do have a look around the Parliament, either through a virtual session or independently. This will help you develop an understanding of the context within which British politics takes place.

During the tour, picture yourself as a Member of Parliament walking alongside the statues and paintings of former leaders and military engagements lining the walls of the building and consider following;

  • Does the history of the building and the building itself lead to a particular kind of politics?
  • What do you think Members of Parliament feel as they walk through the halls of the House of Commons?
  • Do you think they feel like they are public servants or are of a higher status?
  • Does the building give you the impression of an open, relaxed environment for the close scrutiny of technical policy, or a different feeling?
  • What about the chamber itself, with its oppositional design far too small for the number of Members it is supposed to seat?
  • What are your impressions?

Write down your thoughts in the comments and see if you agree or disagree with other learners.

Perhaps also consider how do you think institutions and their histories affect the sorts of decisions that are made by the people in them?

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Understanding Politics

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