Ah hello you must be King John. Excellent. So its 1215 and you have just signed the Magna Carta – Congratulations – (realise you lost the battle which meant you had to do it!) you have just ensured that no one – yep not even the King is above the law and an advisory council of 25 barons have got you to sign up to 63 rules about how the country and the law will operate. Thank you King John good to meet you.
Well well Simon de Montfort – quite a character – good to meet you – and you have just rebelled against King Henry III isn’t that right and created the first ever parliament with invited representatives from the towns and shires. Well let’s hear a big thank you to Simon for creating the first parliament for us and going on to create the first model parliament with a House of Commons and a House of Lords.
Ah yes I see a bit of time has passed now and finally the Monarch – Henry V to be exact does actually finally acknowledge that the approval of both Houses (Commons AND Lords) is necessary to make a new law. Well Henry still the system we have today so many thanks for that acknowledgement back in 1414.
Leaping forward over 100 years and here we meet another Monarch – hello Henry VIII – looking very well – and you have just joined England and Wales I gather? Yes the Act of Union in 1536 isn’t that right Henry. You made sure England and Wales have to follow the same laws and is Wales now represented in Parliament? Marvellous. Oh and your palace , Westminster Palace had gone on fire a few years back hadn’t it? Did you move out? Yes? Give it to Parliament? Fair enough. They still use it you know. One of the most iconic buildings in the world. Thank you.
Ah Guy Fawkes – hmmm – well now trying to blow up parliament is not good. Yes yes we understand Catholics were being persecuted but really blow up the House of Parliament???! You will be burnt on bonfires for 400 years for that!!!
Now then King Charles I good to meet you. Gosh its all been going on with you hasn’t it. You burst into parliament 7 years ago trying to arrest some MPs and well no monarch has been allowed in since. And then you go and start the English Civil War. Good Grief man no wonder you lose your head. Tried in 1649 in the Great Hall at Westminster and Executed. You’d better sit down!
So 1649 the House of Commons abolishes the monarchy (kicks over/turn throne upside down) AND the House of Lords (remove sign)! And England is declared a Commonwealth. Then in 1653…
Oliver Cromwell how are you? Made Lord Protector I understand? Great. What happens when you die. New Lord Protector democratically elected? No? Ah your son inherits the title. Ah right and then he is deposed and then we have political anarchy? Right. Maybe you should have thought about holding a general election!!
Hang on the Monarchy is back. Yep here is Charles I’s son Charles well yes you guessed it Charles II and guess what he restores the House of Lords too
So the king is back until hello Mr William of Orange from Holland. Just popped over from Holland to invade us and take the throne off James II yes? Right. And what’s that this leads to the Bill of Rights eh? Yes it most certainly does. So William what does the Bill of Rights do exactly? Doesn’t it constitutionally prevent the absolute rule of Kings and Queens and make Parliament the true seat of power which it remains until this day?
Well in 1707 we had another Act of Union this time between England and Scotland and then in 1721…. Hello you must be Sir Robert Walpole…acknowledged as the 1st ever Prime Minister. Lovely to meet you So you are the longest EVER serving PM. How many years was it? 21? Amazing. And King George II gave you a house to live in I understand and here are the keys to number 10 Downing Street London. Congratulations Mr Walpole. (give him keys to 10 Downing St)
Now not many people could vote back in 1707. In fact you had to own a large property and have a lot of money but thank fully in
1832 & 1837 there were a couple of reform acts and by the second all male householders, not matter how much their house was worth, could vote. Well that’s good for all the men but it wasn’t until 1918 that
Women finally got the vote (5 years after Emily Davison threw herself under the King’s horse to get women the vote in 1913) and all men could vote whether or not they owned a house.
One year later the first ever female MP was elected – Nancy Astor
Only women over 30 who owned property could vote mind you until…
All women aged over 21 get the vote
We finally had one person one vote
The European Coal and Steel Community was formed which was the beginning of the EU (European Union) and was formed to help keep peace in Europe after WWII
The labour party creates the Welsh Office
The voting age was lowered to 18.
UK finally joined the EEC in
First Welsh Referendum on independence. Majority vote against
People of Wales hold another referendum the majority vote in favour (just) (50.3%/49.7%) of Wales being a devolved nation and creating a Welsh Assembly.
Until 1999, the UK Parliament was the source of all legislation across the whole of the UK (ie made all the laws).
Devolution. Since devolution, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly have taken on the task of passing laws for their respective nations and have developed distinctive new bodies of law in areas of devolved responsibility.
The Senedd opens (Senedd is Welsh for parliament)
Referendum on giving Welsh assembly law making powers without need to ask Westminster. There are 21 areas which are devolved and which the Welsh Assembly can create laws about without reference to Westminster so it is very important that people of Wales vote in the General election AND the Welsh elections
Welsh Government passes the Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015) which gives people in Wales the ambition, permission and legal obligation to improve their social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being. The Well-being of Future Generations Act requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.
Scotland passes law to allow 16 year olds to vote in Scottish and Local Government elections
UK voted to leave the EU
Welsh Government passes law to allow 16 year olds to have the vote in Welsh elections.
Senedd’s name is changed to Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament.
UK left the EU