April 6, 2017 37th and O

#HoyasInUK Day Two


by Edward Weizenegger

"It's like trying to run as a Republican in California, or maybe a Democrat in New York," Patrick Spencer (MPP '16) explained to us to illustrate his long odds in Thursday's election. Just over a year ago Patrick was graduating from the McCourt School, and this morning he was sharing his experiences standing for parliament for the Conservative party.

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Asked what motivates him while running as a Tory in a Labour stronghold, he said it comes down to his confidence in his party's ideas, and their unique suitability for his nation's contemporary challenges. A fascinating window into an alumnus experience, and an impressive bar set for those of us graduating at the end of the coming
year.

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We were then joined by GU Politics' own Mo Elleithee, gamely joining us straight after deplaning from D.C. Wasting no time we were off to meet Mark D'Arcy, a correspondent for the BBC, on what it's been like to cover one of the UK's most unforeseen election. He shared that some 77% of young Brits name the BBC as their most trusted source of news. Particularly with the advent of 'fake news' at home and abroad, D'Arcy stressed the responsibility his organization feels to continue to present unbiased, scrupulously fact-checked material to the British public. Like nearly everyone we've met so far, he had no bold predictions about what polling day may bring.

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Of course, we couldn't focus on politics for the entire day -- it was it me for a little British history. We were given an unforgettable tour of Parliament, strolling through both the Houses of Lords and Commons and standing on the very spots where Queens have addressed Parliament and traitors to the Crown have been put to death. With history palpable in the air it helped place the current election into perspective - as perhaps a short chapter in a long story, but an undeniably weighty one.

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To end the day in proper British fashion we repaired to Kensington Gardens for High Tea. Black tea, finger sandwiches, and a considerable assortment of confectioneries was the ideal ending to a day steeped in the past and present of the United Kingdom.

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