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Blog: A Visit To Westminster

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On Tuesday I went to WESTMINSTER for a special DO celebrating the completion of the EPPSE project. This was long running longitudinal study which my old boss had been one of the people in charge of, so I'd done bits and bobs for it over the years and INDEED had had the last 18 months or so of my final contract paid for by, so I thought I ought to go!

The event was taking place in Portcullis House, a new-ish extension to the Houses Of Parliament (it's over the road, but still counts). I'd been forewarned by those in the know that it could take a while to get in through the airport-style security. People in the know KNEW, for it took AGES, and the wait was not helped by the two posh women behind me who complained NON-STOP about how it was going to make them LATE. It turned out that they'd been told to get there at least fifteen minutes early but had turned up ten minutes later than their event STARTED, but no, apparently it was the fault of the people who dared to be in front of them. "There should be a seperate queue" they said, like people who'd clearly been in a seperate queue their whole life.

There was quite a lot of this sort of thing going on, especially when we got near the front and people tried to brush past. In front of me were more posh types (it's part of Parliament, i was probably one of the least posh people there), including a VERY stern man who protected the queue integrity. "We have an engagement to get to!" protested one interloper. "WE ALL DO" said the man ahead, STERNLY. He brooked no dissent, it was ACE.

Inside it was all very pleasant, although I soon realised that pretty much the only people I knew there were my old boss and my OTHER old boss, both of whom were GLADHANDING, so I got myself a glass of wine and went and looked at the ART insteadd. All around the building were specially commissioned or purchased portraits of famous politicians, which was DEAD interesting. Some of the artworks were ACE, some were RUBBISH: ART REVIEWS. There were also Actual Politicians swanning around between rooms that they'd booked. One very familiar face strode past me, leaving a meeting. "Who IS that?" I thought, then turned and saw a room booking display which said "PETER HAIN." If only such displays were provided in everyday life, it would solve me a lot of BRANE STRAIN!

The DO itself was very pleasant - I said hello to various people, had some vegetable samosas, and watched a whole bunch of speeches. The first was from THE MINISTER, who seemed TINY and YOUNG, though this may have been because he was AFEARED talking to a room FULL of gristled, street tough ACADEMICS. His name was Sam Gyimah and he was a TORY, but it was still All Very Pleasant - Early Years Policy Making (for such it was) does encourage Consensus and Agreement as it seems to rely on this KRAZY IDEA called EVIDENCE BASED POLICY MAKING. Imagine that!

After some more speeches by the various BOSSES and some more BOOZE it was time to go. As I left I was texting home and almost fell over the out-stretched legs of someone lolling in the corridor. I turned to see which OAF had almost tripped me up and realised that it was a jolly, slightly drunk looking, Ken Clarke! Talk about GLAMOUR!

posted 11/9/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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