Politics in motion for Meldrum pupils

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PUPILS at Meldrum Academy were given a glimpse into the corridors of power at Westminster, after receiving a talk from Labour peer Lord John Sewel of Gilcomstoun last week.

Lord Sewel, who helped to draft plans for the Scottish Parliament in 1998, has previously served as a local councillor, convenor of COSLA, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, and Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries. He is currently an active member of the House of Lords,

He is more widely known as the man who gave his name to the ‘Sewel Motion’, which allows members of the Scottish Parliament to delegate specific powers to Westminster to pass legislation on matters which would normally be Holyrood’s preserve.

Arriving on Friday, the peer undertook a brief tour of the school, speaking to junior classes who were studying social sciences, and questioning them on the differences between democracy and dictatorship. He also spoke to Headmaster Andrew Travis.

His talk - given to Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Studies and Politics pupils at the school - was followed by a question and answer session, and a great opportunity for pupils to ask questions, said teacher Lynn Massie.

“Pupils at the talk are studying a number of subjects - including for advanced higher dissertations - covering topics including law and order, public scrutiny and the House of Lords,” she told the Times. “Having Lord Sewel here is an excellent opportunity for them to ask questions that will help them understand their topics better. It’s also a great chance to hear first hand from someone involved in UK politics.”

Lord Sewel added: “It’s a fantastic school, and it’s a pleasure to be here.”