Over the past few weeks I have been able to settle more into the office and I am beginning to feel more confident in what I’m doing and little more at home in the environment and patterns of Westminster. Each day is consumed by a variety of projects and tasks, some big and some small, some straight forward and others some less so, but all integral. There is a great sense of team work in the office and everyone is keen to muck in and help out with anything and everything. Whilst there is no such thing as a usual day it would not be unusual to find yourself perhaps working on research for the tabling of a parliamentary question in the morning and then perhaps helping to stuff some letters in the afternoon.
A fair amount of my time is spent managing Nic’s diary. This is daily task which and can often feel like solving a complex jigsaw puzzle whilst juggling. Among a variety of other projects the whole team has been working hard to put together the ‘Small business Saturday awards’ which have been a huge success in celebrating some of the great work done by small businesses in the constituency.
Outside of the day to day office stuff working at Westminster provides the opportunity to be at events which constantly amaze and enlighten. Off the top of my head, in recent weeks I have observed a Westminster Hall debate on the future of the UK steel industry in which Nic pointed out the government’s poor record on procurement of UK steel for public infrastructure projects. Nic also praised the leadership shown by the community, workforce, unions and management team in making Scunthorpe’s long products business a success.
I went along to a Joint Committee which discussed the implications for Human Rights as we navigate our way through the Brexit process. Evidence at this debate was given by a selection of respected experts in this area. Whilst the arguments of those who gave evidence was sometimes conflicting it was always very carefully considered and impartial. This, for me, is where Parliament is at its best. When cross party representatives from both houses ask questions, listen and absorb evidence. All with the goal of finding a route through a complex issue which will affect us all.
And finally, I attended the reception for the Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos. The president had recently been awarded the Noble Prize for peace for his work towards a lasting ceasefire between the Columbian Government and the FARC, a revolutionary people’s army who have been at conflict with the Columbian government since 1964. This was quite an experience and was attended by many big names from UK politics, both past and present. Simply finding myself in the room for this and any of the other events I have outlined above is something I’m not sure I will ever completely get used to.
Over the past few weeks I have been able to settle more into the office and I am beginning to feel more confident in what I’m doing and little more...
I have now been working in Westminster for almost a month. The first two weeks were an induction where those of us on the scheme were introduced to the environment and the various departments of the house. The stand out experience from the induction for me was a trip to the Parliamentary archives where I got to hold the 1946 National Health Service act. There was also a copy of the American Declaration of Independence in the room, but I would argue that the NHS act is of more importance. The induction was rounded off with a trip to Downing Street which as a happy coincidence happened on my 40th birthday, so it is a day I am unlikely to forget.
The past two weeks in Nic’s office have been very fast paced, with a good variety of projects, duties and experiences. Admittedly, at times I have felt a little out of my depth. However, Nic and his staff, in both Westminster and in the constituency office, have always been very helpful and there to offer guidance. The demands on an MP’s time have perhaps been the biggest surprise to me and I have a new appreciation of the sheer workload of an MP. In my short time in the office so I have already learnt a lot and I look forward to learning much, much more over the coming months.
I have now been working in Westminster for almost a month. The first two weeks were an induction where those of us on the scheme were introduced to the environment...
Hello I’m Mel and I’m the new addition to Nic’s Westminster office. I have joined Nic for the next nine months as one of the successful, and very fortunate, applicants for the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme. The scheme offers 10 places each year to applicants who would otherwise find it difficult to get a job in politics. Far too often entry level positions in politics, and many other professional fields, are the domain of those with the funds to be able to work for free in one of the world’s most expensive cities. The Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme, run via The Creative Society, aims to remedy this by offering placements which pay the London living wage. As a not so young man with a young family the Speaker’s parliamentary placement scheme was arguably the only way for me to gain experience in Politics.
I am particularly proud to be working for Nic and the Labour Party. Like most my political beliefs are somewhat formed by parental influences and past experience. In the late 80s my Dad worked in the building trade and I remember vividly having the family home repossessed as interest rates hit 18% and the building trade collapsed. Fortunately, at the time we were able to be re-homed in a council house. This for me was an early lesson in how politics affects lives and the importance of a social policy. From my perspective socialism replaced a roof over my head after the banks had taken one away. Then in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash I experienced a similar turn of events and a 15 year career in the nightlife industry stuttered and collapsed. This forced me to adapt and retrain. Something increasingly common for today’s job market, where job insecurity is increasingly the norm. I spent the past 4 years studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics with the Open University and it has literally been life changing.
Hello I’m Mel and I’m the new addition to Nic’s Westminster office. I have joined Nic for the next nine months as one of the successful, and very fortunate, applicants...