Lord Rosser Talk for Sixth Formers
On Friday 20 March, the whole of the Sixth Form attended a talk by Lord Rosser. This talk was part of the Peers for Schools programme which aims to bring peers into schools to explain their role in politics. Lord Rosser was an incredibly interesting speaker, telling the girls all about his position as a Labour peer in the House of Lords and how he was elected to the position. Lord Rosser explained many of the myths about the House of Lords.
He touched upon the portrayal of the Lords in the media and contrasted this with the fact the House sits on a daily basis. Lord Rosser took the girls through the political process of writing legislature and focused on the role of the House of Lords as the “revising chamber” to the House of Commons. As we had many budding feminists in the audience, Lord Rosser was questioned about the role of women in the House of Lords. He explained that women, while still underrepresented, do play an active part in the House of Lords.
For example, the current Leader of the House of Lords and the Lord Speaker are both women. He also explained that the Lords come from a wide range of backgrounds and among their midst are well known names such as Tanni Grey Thompson, Ruth Rendell and Alan Sugar. Lord Rosser acknowledged the controversial nature of an unelected chamber influencing our laws. He explained the advantages of this chamber but encouraged the girls to think for themselves about whether they felt there was an overall benefit.
At the end of the talk, the girls asked many pertinent questions. These included how long it takes for laws to be passed, whether the Lords receive a salary and whether people can reject an appointment to the House of Lords.
The girls were all very interested and, as they left the talk, many of them commented on the fact that they now had a much greater understanding of the role of the House of Lords.