17.5.05

State Opening of Parliament

....was really cool.

After getting to Westminster, I was allowed past the barriers, and past the protesters (Iraq, Gay rights) and then went between the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey to watch the splendid procession and the queen's arrival. The pomp and pageantry is something I'm not used to, but there was more of that to come.

After the procession, I went to the canteen for a hot cup of chocolate, then up to my flatmate's office, on the way up there I met a really good looking lady who I later found out was an MP !! Anyway, I then proceeded to the central lobby. When the queen called the MPs into the House of Lords, they walked past us. I saw them all, Tony Blair, Micheal Howard, Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson (who I suggest should get a new hairdresser), John Redwood, David Blunkett, David Davies, George Osborne, Charles Kennedy, it was good to see how different these 'powerful men' looked in real life. After the queen's speech, they
walked past us again, and then their family members and close friends arrived, even the graceful Cherie Blair gave us a smile !!

Then it was outside to watch the procession as the queen left, and then back to the office !!

I was really glad to have an opportunity to experience British culture at such 'close range', and hope that this will not be the last time !!

Although the real show was not in London, the real show was in Washington DC where George Galloway was facing a senate committee investigating claims he received barrels of oil as bribes from Saddam Hussien. The MP for Bethnal Green and Bow is not high on my list of role models, and I'm not excatly his biggest fan, but I have to say I love the way he handled the American senators, he was his usual outspoken, defiant, rebellious self. It was box office stuff I tell ya !!

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