I work for a political party advising the front bench on a specific policy area. I also work with backbenchers to help them prepare for debates and question sessions related to my policy area.

I'm based in Parliament and have worked there since 2017, but I've been up and down the country with Members for everything from elections to Question Time appearances. AMA anything about Westminster, UK politics or whatever springs to mind.

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Comments: 836 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

WolfCola4282 karma

How did you get into your job? Were you always involved with party politics on a local level, go to uni to study politics, or did you get into it all later in life?

Womble_Rumble257 karma

Its Britain so I'll give you a hint based on the overwhelming majority of people in British politics. They went to a private fee paying school and then did PPE at either Oxford or Cambridge, thus making them the 'right kind of person' to be allowed into the political establishment.

WhatDidEdwardSay43 karma

I went to a state school and then to a university an hour's drive from where I grew up.

WhatDidEdwardSay213 karma

I studied a subject related to my policy area, interned at big-name organisations for two summers during and (after a time doing shit jobs and living at home) found a policy role in a completely different area where I worked for a few years. The time came for me to job-hunt, I saw this job advertised and applied!

Before the interview, I was relatively on top of the policy stuff (I thought), but I was told by a friend to read the recent tweets of the MPs who were interviewing me and see what they've been thinking about recently. I was able to speak about quite niche topics they obviously had a long-running interest in which I think definitely helped at interview. I also basically memorised the relevant section of the most recent manifesto which was a life-saver as I was asked what I would have changed if I had written it myself.

It turns out that I had actually met one of the MPs before - they had attended an event I had organised while at uni, and they still remembered me. I am sure that helped as well.

I was never involved in local politics, although now that I see how rewarding it can be I do wish I had gotten involved a little sooner. I have been a party member for around most of my adult life though. To be honest I am not mad about party politics and I find these people who 'live and breathe for the party' a bit unhinged / wannabe career politicians. IMO parties should be broad churches and vehicles for getting towards a shared vision of the future, not an identity.

Also, reading u/yaquresh's comment, I would also add that I come from a working class background (first to go to uni, etc.) with zero family contacts in London, let alone Westminster.

Termehh263 karma

What is the general internal opinion of how Boris handled the Cummings situation?

WhatDidEdwardSay672 karma

It does of course depend on who you speak to you, but I spoke with friends/colleagues in all of the major parties (except the DUP because I don't know anyone there) and it was just universal confusion - why didn't the PM just get Cummings to put his hands up and say 'I did this bad thing, here is why I did it, I now recognise that I shouldn't have and I'm sorry'?

If they were sensible, Cummings would have done just that and offered to resign only to have the PM refuse his resignation. The problem is that - as the country saw - Cummings is an egomaniac who is pulling the strings and the PM is willing to sacrifice almost anything for him.

Sparkletail87 karma

And why do you think that is?

WhatDidEdwardSay91 karma

The PM is a massive people-pleaser and amazing at interpersonal, one-on-one stuff. He needs someone else to do the big picture stuff (y'know, government) in order to leave the legacy that he so desperately wants and he thinks that Cummings is the one person who can match the scale of his ambition.

misterlegato125 karma

How close is “The Thick of It” to reality?

WhatDidEdwardSay133 karma

The shouty bits, not so much. The general making it up as you go along? Definitely.

DeadlyDancingDuck115 karma

Without spin, what should we know about our political systems and politicians in the U.K.?

WhatDidEdwardSay478 karma

The overwhelming majority of politicians genuinely want to do good things and would pour their heart and soul into fighting for their constituents and the causes they believe in. I think the uncomfortable truth is that a fair chunk of that number, through no failing or fault of their own, just don't have the ability to do that job well. There are, of course, some lazy bastards who get away with doing almost nothing - especially in the two major parties.

Ensoface13 karma

Could you elaborate on why their abilities are limited?

WhatDidEdwardSay39 karma

Some people are charming and great speakers but don't have the attention span needed for long-term detailed policy projects. Others are incredibly bright and have great ideas but have you falling asleep after 20 seconds of listening to them speak.

There is no real reason unique to politics - they are just 650 different people drawn from different backgrounds the length and breadth of the country, and given next to no training before being thrown into Parliament and told to make the law.

McFluri107 karma

Are you a SpAd? They’re the bane of my life at the moment (civil servant here. I jest... sort of).

As a civil servant I’m constantly frustrated when our jobs to provide impartial advice is dismissed as “we’re being too negative if we say something won’t work”, and by short-termism which ultimately leads to rush-jobs and never leaving enough time for things to settle and be assessed properly.

Is it that way for you within parliament? Are you often left frustrated by what seems to be the constant chasing of short-term, quick wins? Are the ministers? Or is it the party line?

WhatDidEdwardSay120 karma

The single biggest thing that makes me look for the door is the short-termism, and the primacy of politics over long-term policy. I know several Ministers who share this feeling as well.

I think Rory Stewart was a great example of politics done well - he used to do the unthinkable and praise SNP policy when he was Prisons Minister because he believed it worked. Many others would sooner bite off their own tongue than go against the party line in public. That being said, look what happened to him...

CowboyMathematician91 karma

I’m an American who’s interested in politics but I am genuinely ignorant of what happens in the UK. Is there an issue that isn’t being talked about that you feel should be top priority for your country?

WhatDidEdwardSay446 karma

Hm, good question. I don't think the UK has had anything close to a coherent foreign policy for the past five years because any discussion of anything abroad has been tied into Brexit - the Government was undertaking a big review of this which has now been paused post-corona. The PM is giving a speech on "Global Britain" tomorrow in the Commons tomorrow so we might find out more then...

Something that might not be "top priority", but should be talked about much more is the Horizon Post Office scandal. Horizon was the computer system used by post offices across the country which was faulty and led to thousands of postmasters being accused of theft of thousands of pounds after money went "missing" in the system; in many cases they were convicted and imprisoned for it because there was no way the computer could be wrong. At least one person killed themselves as a result of the pressure to repay the missing money. For something that has been described as the "largest miscarriage of justice in our history", you don't hear an awful lot about it.

However, I think the absolute top priority should be electoral reform: the two-party system is fundamentally broken and leads to people feeling completely disenfranchised and like their vote doesn't count. But I am sure you are all too familiar with the reasons why the two parties will never go for reform!

Fake-Chicago-Man10 karma

What is, in your estimation, Britain's role in the world? A hundred years ago it used to be that if britain wanted something from someone they could just park their navy in someone's harbor; however, those days are long gone, and based off how the brexit negotiations have gone, it seems to be that Britain's ability to project power beyond its borders has been utterly neutered.

WhatDidEdwardSay5 karma

This an interesting question. I am just about to start work but will come back to this in the afternoon if that's alright.

TimothyGonzalez5 karma

So how come you have parties that are equivalent to Trump / UKIP flourishing in countries that do have proportional representation then? In the Netherlands the two "right-wing populist" parties are polling at roughly double the numbers of the second largest party (the Centre Right party is the largest), and they have PR and lots of different smaller parties rather than 2 big ones.

WhatDidEdwardSay20 karma

You have parties, people and views like that everywhere across the world. PR gives them a chance to be heard and these views to be challenged (if that's what you think needs done). This, from a recent state election in Germany is a case in point. You can see who's voting for what and be faced with the consequences there and then rather than ignoring a growing segment of the population until their grievances boil over.

This way, you don't end up with "shock results" that the media and politicians never predicted, like Trump or Brexit, i.e. there isn't such an enormous disconnect between the political establishment and the majority of voters.

ExtraPolishPlease48 karma

"Political Advisor" seems like a vague term. I am curious how one becomes a political advisor? Is political advisor a general term and the specific title is something different?

I've studied politics and always wanted to try and get into that field, but most things I see are "I interned and the representative liked me and hired me." Or, I see "I got my PhD and did research at a thinktank and they hired me on." How much policy experience did you need to have for the position before? Or did you learn all that on the job? Etc.

JagoBrown9120 karma

It basically means those appointed due to political merit - either working for an MP or directly for the party - rather than through a competitive process. Add onto that Special Advisors (SpAds) which are employed by Ministers, again on political merit (or nepotism). MP's staff are paid out of public funds through an MP's discretionary staff budget, party staff by the party, and SpAds by the Civil Service.

Second to that is Civil Servants who politically neutral staff employed by the Crown to advise the government of the day, either in a Department/ Ministry/ Agency or for the House of Commons/ Lords. Senior civil servants have some degree of political authority in making decisions, but only when not contradicting the Minister's advice.

Key difference is civil servants get their jobs through competitive process - and I mean competitive, the Fast Stream gets something like 100,000 applications and takes on only a fraction - and don't lose their jobs when government changes. These are the people who provide the expert advice. SpAds and MP staff depend on their MP/ Minister having a job and provide the political advice, alongside civil servants' advice, on which the Minister will then make the judgement call.

WhatDidEdwardSay19 karma

The interview process for this was pretty competitive as well thank you very much ;)

But yes, I know what you mean. A lot of it can be personality fit too - realistically the MP is hiring someone they will see more of, and in more stressful situations, than their partner.

WhatDidEdwardSay18 karma

I hope I've answered that in my comment above - feel free to DM me if you have any specific questions.

I would say that I could write a list of the things I learned outside the job and I have actually used in practice on half a sheet of A4 paper. So much of politics is interpersonal: I don't kid myself that I am a policy expert but I do know about the politics of the area and I am now well-connected in it. I see my job as connecting the experts (academia, industry) with the politicians - the biggest power of the adviser (imo) is that they have a lot of influence over who the MP meets.

Lukeplease1044 karma

Do you believe that they genuinely understand the challenges faced by the working class? Do you believe they actually are about the working class?

WhatDidEdwardSay65 karma

I don't think the 650 MPs could really be described as one big group, i.e. 'the establishment' or whatever you want to call it. Many understand and advocate for the working class, even (especially?) among the new 2019 intake of Tories in the north of England.

Many are from working-class backgrounds - the problem is that it is the Jacob Rees-Moggs and Boris Johnsons of the world are more fun to watch speak (and more persuasive) rather than some ex-miner who was never trained in public speaking. These people tend to get promoted up, leaving working-class people as 'ordinary' MPs while those who become Ministers tend - but not always - to come from certain backgrounds.

Owlstorm38 karma

How tied are you to one party?

If you hopped the aisle, would that mean burning bridges? Or is it a normal thing for advisors to work mainly with the party in power?

WhatDidEdwardSay41 karma

There is nothing official tying you to one party but, much as I said I am not a fan of party politics, you do end up with sort of a tribal mentality that makes it almost unthinkable to work for the other guys. I also can't see a situation where the other party would trust you enough to hire you in a similar role.

Civil Servants are the impartial ones, who work with the government regardless of who they are.

On a side note, I always felt a bit bad for the staff of those MPs who defected to Change UK / resigned the whip. Your career is to a large extent tied to that of your political masters and they just seem to have hitched their cart to the wrong horse.

olidav832 karma

What's the drug scene in Parliament like? We hear the odd scandal but I feel like it's prolific and it gets buried a lot of the time.

WhatDidEdwardSay51 karma

I am in the pub one or two nights a week with MPs and staff from all parties and have never seen or heard of anything. To be honest I cannot imagine anything worse than doing drugs around your colleagues.

frankpl2429 karma

Do you think Dominic Cummings should be sacked?

WhatDidEdwardSay71 karma

I don't think a SpAd should have to be sacked (unless they are incompetent etc). In cases like this, the relationship between Minister and SpAd should be such that, if there are stories of a SpAd's fuck-ups in the press they should offer to resign. Cummings should have offered his resignation, the PM should have declined it and then we could have all moved on with our lives.

The fact that didn't happen shows there is something broken in the Minister-SpAd relationship.

FitzInAFritz28 karma

On your desktop there is a bookmarked tab called "music". My question is what banging tunes are you listening to throughout this whole ordeal?

acid_horse24 karma

Popular perception now is that science has gone out the window and the Covid-19 response is being directed by the economy. How accurate is this perception?

WhatDidEdwardSay39 karma

The science has always been political - you can see from different countries all taking such different approaches (compare e.g. Germany and Sweden) while all claiming to be 'following the science'.

But you are right - the last two weeks have been more political. When was the last time you saw the Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the daily briefing?

Prfkt_BlAcK19 karma

What do you think of John Bercow?

WhatDidEdwardSay48 karma

Hm. First, he had a great vocabulary even if he did repeat the same phrases - "take a soothing medicament" etc - all the fucking time. That gets grating when you have to listen to him for eight hours a day in the background.

Overall, I think he was good for Parliament in 2017-19 but the spotlight went to his head and he was far too egotistical and self-important to be Speaker in normal times. Did you see that bizarre TV tour when he went around Europe saying 'order' on daytime talkshows?

PantherEverSoPink18 karma

How much is your life like Chris Addison's in "The Thick of It"?

WhatDidEdwardSay11 karma

I will say that my partner has zero interest in politics - so there's at least one difference!

blue_strat16 karma

Do stories that appear in Private Eye actually cause a stir, or do they tend to be common knowledge before publication?

WhatDidEdwardSay28 karma

They are definitely not common knowledge. As I think I mentioned above, Parliament - like every workplace - is a world of bubbles (young Tories / Corbynistas / Irish people / Oxford classmates / gym bunnies etc) and so very few stories jump across all of them and the only things that are 'common knowledge' in Parliament are stories which people outside probably know too.

It's always interesting to see MPs you know of who have been up to no good and everyone loves the gossip, but I think where Private Eye is really good (and depressing) is in highlighting the slow-buring, deep-rooted injustices and corruption. The Horizon Post Office scandal is a perfect example.

IEpicDestroyer13 karma

How confident are you that the UK will have a trade deal for brexit by the end of the year, to avoid hard brexit?

WhatDidEdwardSay30 karma

Not at all. I think by the end of July we will know for sure though.

Jakepetrolhead13 karma

How on earth are you keeping sane through all this?

WhatDidEdwardSay11 karma

I am doing pretty well actually - life is a lot more stable and less stressful now that the government has such a huge majority so the job feels like a job again and not a lifestyle.

Thetonn13 karma

[removed]

WhatDidEdwardSay35 karma

I am not sure if this counts, but many politicians from Ireland, Scotland and the north of England (basically anywhere not easily commutable) did not see their families very much at all in 2019, because they had to be in Parliament for debates and committees relating to Brexit. I always felt bad for them, especially those with young children.

theduck_7613 karma

Whats the prettiest room of Parliament have you been in?

WhatDidEdwardSay22 karma

Westminster Hall isn't very pretty but it is magical - it's the oldest part of the Palance and I always walk the long way round to the Chamber so I can walk through it.

The Committee Rooms are also amazing - they all have different, very psychedelic wallpaper and carpets.

affordable_firepower13 karma

How much does advise affect policy decisions, and conversely how often are politicians looking for the advise/evidence to justify their policy?

Red_Historian14 karma

Not op but I worked in parliament for a shadow front bencher so I will try and give you an answer. It honestly depends on the MP. Mine was good and knowing what they did not know and taking my advice on policy. Others would have very set views on things.

They key is that particularly with more niche issues the staffers have time to research the issue and can very much lead the MP the the decision they want, the important thing is for the MP to have staffers they trust to make the right decision for them as well. However if there is an issue that the MP is passionate about then it can be hard to dissuade them of its merits even if presented with the evidence.

WhatDidEdwardSay15 karma

^ I couldn't have put it better myself. Niche issues, or decisions that are to be made during busy times for the MP, are often made by me and rubber-stamped by the MP after a five-minute chat and explanation of my decision.

I also think that it's often less a case of 'do this not that', and more a case of priorities, i.e. 'you need to put more time and energy into this and waste less time on that'. They love getting distracted with mad ideas that will never come to fruition.

GlamGemini12 karma

What's boris really like? Is there anyone that's super nice?

WhatDidEdwardSay23 karma

The most right-wing "old school" Tories will always hold a door open for you and say thanks if you do the same. One of them - someone I have always thought was absolutely unhinged - once ran out of his office to help me with a door when my hands were full and asked if I needed help with the one at the end of the corridors.

I just typed out a bit saying that their pre-political background influences how they treat staff but I deleted because I started to think of more exceptions than rules. I suppose it's just a mix of so many different personalities that you get some who are lovely and some who are, to put it politely, exceptionally difficult.

bluexcrement10 karma

What do you and your colleagues make of Jacob Rees-Mogg's decision to make MP's vote in person, and in your opinion what's the true motivation behind the decision? It seems he's lost a lot of credibility for what appears little gain. Thanks for doing this, I'm often frustrated by the news not discussing the subtext of political decisions, it's great to get some inside knowledge.

WhatDidEdwardSay26 karma

People say it's because the PM wants a crowd back for PMQs because he is a natural performer and has been floundering without an audience. I am not sure.

I am more inclined to believe it is the same fear of change / respect for tradition that stops people like him wanting to move out of Parliament into a modern-purpose built building for the restoration and renewal. Once you have MPs used to electronic voting, attending committees remotely and being told when they will be called to speak instead of sitting in the Chamber trying to catch the Speaker's eye for forty minutes, why would they ever go back?

This obsession with preserving the Commons as is can be seen most ridiculously in the rebuild after it was destroyed in WW2. Despite being too small to fit everyone inside even then, it was deliberately rebuilt to the same size in order to preserve the atmosphere and tradition. Mad if you ask me.

thatotherworld10 karma

How has your view of parliament evolved since working there?

WhatDidEdwardSay11 karma

I think I have come to view parliament almost as a mini ecosystem, with so many different worlds inside it that no-one could ever fully know everything. Some aspects are old and definitely need to be reformed - like electronic voting - but I have a new-found respect for the heritage and traditions of the place.

brazenwildhoney10 karma

Why is it the government keep saying that more funds have been given to those who are dependant on disability related benefits which are not Universal Credit (ESA for example) when no such funds have been given? It has been asked a few times and each time we are told that money was given to all who are benefit dependant, but this is false.

I have checked it myself several times over, yet we as disabled have had our care cut and are now needing to food the extra charges for things like supermarket deliveries and so on (please don't suggest the NHS boxes the food isn't suitable unless you are not allergic, don't have an eating disorder and own and can use cooking technology, many of us just can't use these boxes... same with food banks).

Can I ask why no one has done any research into this question in particular and just believes everything said when it is clearly false at best and a malicious lie at worse? I can't afford to keep feeding myself...I have nothing left.

WhatDidEdwardSay9 karma

I am really sorry but I don't know anything about this. Have you emailed your MP for help?

tumblingfumbling7 karma

What’s the general feeling around Westminster towards China in light of COVID?

Under Cameron the U.K. was bending over backwards to accommodate the CCP, has this changed?

WhatDidEdwardSay15 karma

Good question. The combination of Huawei and Covid has potential for a big rebellion on the government backbenches that has definitely made the government a bit nervous. And yes - you are definitely right that Osbourne's 'Golden Age' is over, but the PM still went out last week describing himself as a 'Sinophile' who wants to bring the two countries together. Definitely one to watch...

Cubitt7 karma

What're your views on the current legislation surrounding cannabis, and do you believe regulation of the market would be a good way for us to bounce back from Covid and a post-Brexit Britain?

If not, could you ever see it happening?

Thanks!

WhatDidEdwardSay10 karma

Legalise it; no - we would be talking losses of billions across multiple sectors as a result of covid and a no-deal Brexit.

random25025 karma

[deleted]

WhatDidEdwardSay3 karma

😻

adeiner5 karma

I’m not sure how to transpose US politics here so bear with me. Here political consultants usually just work with one party, while ad firms might work with both. Do you ever find it difficult to work with multiple parties and on the flip side is a Labour supporter ever less likely to hire you knowing you’ve worked with Tories (or vice versa)?

WhatDidEdwardSay7 karma

I am employed directly by just one party - I think it tends only to be media consultants who work cross-party in the UK.

mamamia10014 karma

r/ukpolitics have been trying to organise AMAs with prominent politicians/journalists but haven't had a lot of success so far. do you have any connections they could use?

WhatDidEdwardSay3 karma

To be honest the only way I could get someone to do an AMA would be one of those cringe ones where they ignore every interesting question and get their staff to spend an afternoon answering all the ones that make them look good. I am not sure anyone wants that!

burtvader4 karma

Why are our politicians incapable of delivering a straight answer with honesty, truth and integrity? They seem to answer a different question with pre-canned waffle and then ignore the fact they haven’t answered it.

WhatDidEdwardSay10 karma

One answer is practicial; one is political.

Practically, Minsters answer questions every month about their work (the PM does it every week) and they can be asked anything at all. It's much safer to waffle than give a decisive answer to something that you're not quite sure about that can be later used as proof you're not on top of your brief. You may be interested in seeing the written questions MPs ask the Government - the answers to those are much more straightforward because the Minister (or more realistically their staff) has time to look up the proper answer and give a proper reply.

Politically, straight answers can - and will - be used against you if your position changes a few years down the line as proof that you're a hypocrite or ill-informed. God forbid someone change their mind upon receiving more information...

DavThoma4 karma

Not sure if you can answer this, and not sure how much I can say myself, but what is your opinion on the state of our benefit system? As someone who has experience on the working side of it I honestly find it to be a bit of a shambles in a lot of areas, yet pretty good in some.

I honestly feel Covid-19 has shown a lot of people how difficult it is to live on, but it's also shown just how broken the benefit system is.

WhatDidEdwardSay4 karma

Yeah it's an absolute disaster. Ministers will confess the same in private but they have sunk so much into UC that the only way through for them is to plough ahead.

jimmycarr13 karma

What percentage of the time do you find yourself disagreeing with your own party lines?

WhatDidEdwardSay6 karma

I wouldn't be working for them if I didn't agree with most of it.

My biggest disagreements have been when MPs want to fudge controversial topics rather than take a side, but I recognise that it's very easy for me to be principled and controversial when I am not up for re-election at some point.

phoenixbbs3 karma

Should MPs be required to wear a 'live' camera / microphone at all times to prevent corruption ?

Should lying in parliament be an offence leading to dismissal and barring from office ?

WhatDidEdwardSay3 karma

Short answer - no to both.

  1. Being an MP is not a 9-5 job and the lines between work/play are very blurred. Do they switch on the mic when they are having lunch with a journo on the weekend? How about the camera when they are lying in bed texting their mate who is asking for a favour?
  2. How do you prove someone was lying and not just forgetful / misspoke? Parliamentary privilege is a very special right and we should be careful not to impede upon it.

lyzabth3 karma

If someone is feeling disempowered and frustrated, would you encourage them to be more (party) politically active themselves, i.e. upto and including running as an MP?

My assumption is that's an extreme and probably really inefficient way of personally trying to contribute to making big legislative changes, but I also feel other ways are just a drop in the ocean (donating to charity, supporting a local campaign, petitioning etc)

WhatDidEdwardSay5 karma

No - I would encourage you to join a group based as locally as possible that tries to tackle a specific issue that is important to you. That could be anything from elderly loneliness to pollution in the local harbour, but I think that's where - in my opinion - really empowering change is made and communities are built.

careuno2 karma

How many languages do you speak?

WhatDidEdwardSay4 karma

Three

Zammerz2 karma

How accurate is Yes, Minister?

WhatDidEdwardSay3 karma

Don't know - I work in Parliament on the political side (think The Thick of It) while Yes, Minister is about with the Civil Service across the road who work on policy.

Only1MarkM2 karma

I always believed (from afar as a Canadian) that Theresa May was much more intelligent than Boris Johnson but seriously lacked charisma and charm and became Prime Minister at the worst possible time. Which premiership did you prefer working with?

WhatDidEdwardSay3 karma

I think that's a good assessment. I'm not sure she ever really wanted to be PM - she had no real vision - but just saw it almost as a civil duty to do the job no-one else wanted.

I have never worked directly with the PM but - personality aside - May's premiership was awful because it took place in a hung parliament during a constitutional crisis. I am not anyone enjoyed working there during it.

PCG_YT2 karma

Do you think that politicians are disconnected from the people in term of political opinion and actions? ie Brexit being delayed. The Shamima Begum situation was controversial in Parliament but 8 out of 10 British People didnt want her returning.

WhatDidEdwardSay5 karma

I think we see that everywhere. I was shocked to read that 87% of Dutch politicians see themselves as 'innovative and international' while 89% see the Dutch people as 'traditional and conservative'. To me that highlights a massive (imagined) gulf between a people and a self-perceived elite.

However - like Cameron pushing through same-sex marriage against popular opinion - I do think there is a place for politicians to do what is right rather than what is popular.

teaqualizer2 karma

How often is "The Thick of It" mentioned in your job or is that a major faux pas?

WhatDidEdwardSay4 karma

You have no idea! I think everyone has watched it more times than they can count.

jediintern19762 karma

What's the proper Royal Protocol when the Queen farts in public and everyone knows its her? Is it ignored like a vibrator at customs or do you refer it as"A Fart" but not necessarily "The Queens fart"?

WhatDidEdwardSay6 karma

Bit of a crappy (pardon the pun) picture but this, on a slightly related note, is the Robing Room in the Lords, used to dress the Queen before the State Opening of Parliament. The wooden panel immediately to the right of the chair has a hidden toilet behind it - one of the first flushing toilets in the UK.

NoBoDil1 karma

Is that what they call a lobbyist?

WhatDidEdwardSay26 karma

No, a lobbyist works for a company or other external organisation - their job is to persuade the politician/party to act in that organisation's interest.