Saturday, June 14, 2008

Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords

My focus these days seems to be across the pond ...

The House of Lords doesn't exactly have a cutting-edge reputation, so if you see them on YouTube addressing the question of "What's it all about?", that says something about YouTube's status as a mainstream medium, not to mention something about the House of Lords.

One could take such a clip as a stuffy bunch of old geezers trying to use the web to spiff up their image and try to convince the world that they're a hip, happenin' kind of legislative body like, say, the U.S. Senate, but that would be unfair. Actually, it's a nicely put together, brief and cogent explanation of what the House of Lords actually is, what it does and why people, and Britons in particular, should care -- if they do say so themselves. I certainly learned a couple of things from it.

In other words, it's an entirely legitimate use of modern media to help people understand what their government is up to. This being the web, if you want an alternative viewpoint, such are also available. Interestingly enough, the House itself maintains a listing of recent proposals to reform or abolish it (I think I'm safe in calling "since 1900" recent in this context).

Just make sure you follow the link above, or go through the House of Lords' own web site. The "What's it all about?" video seems to have made its way up the rankings since I first looked, but if you search YouTube directly you're just as likely to end up with a band by the same name, or footage of a peer appearing to sleep through a speech ...

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