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  The MiP files: Bend it like Becks - at school!
Updated 08 April 2003, 14.37

Each week, we unlock some of the secrets of the most powerful place in Britain - Parliament.

Our Man in Parliament has all the latest info every Tuesday!

You can also ask him questions or get him to ID your MP. Go to the bottom of the page for how.

What's the link between science lessons and David Beckham?

Well, according to one politician it's all to do with the way Becks bends it!

Ian Gibson reckons you can learn how to bend a football the way the England captain does it by studying physics.

Mr Gibson was talking in Parliament about trying to make science lessons more exciting for kids.

He's worried that not enough children will go on to become scientists in the future.

Should chewing gum be banned?

Some politicians think so - saying it's "disgusting" when people spit it out on the street.

They're asking the government to think about a complete ban - or stopping shops near schools from selling chewing gum.

What do you reckon?

Do you go to school in Cornwall?

If so, your schools were being talked about in parliament last week.

Andrew George, the politician who represents the town of St Ives, reckons kids in Cornwall aren't getting a fair deal from the government.

But schools minister David Miliband assured him: "The government have the interests of students in Cornwall at heart."

Each week our MiP will give you the chance to have your MP identified.

Just send us your name and postcode using the boxes at the bottom and he'll do the rest.

This week, Anna, 13, from Matlock gets her MP identified.

Patrick McLoughlin
Where are you from?
Cannock in Staffordshire
School nickname:

Greatest achievement:
A bill on transport to help the schemes run by volunteers to help the elderly and disabled.
Winston Churchill
Last movie I saw:
Not sure - but one I remember well was 'Saving Private Ryan' which I saw with my son, and I think showed us both something of the reality of war.
Football team:
Derby County
MP I admire:
(Home Secretary) David Blunkett. I think to become an MP with his disability is an impressive achievement. To be an effective Secretary of State is a tough job for anyone, but for someone who is blind, it is really remarkable.
Were you interested in politics as a child?
Yes, following a school visit to the House of Commons.
Why does politics matter?
It affects every aspect of our lives, although we can not always see it at the time. The schools you go to, the roads you drive on, the medical treatment you receive etc, all are influenced by politics.
What one thing would you change tomorrow?
The regime in Iraq
Anna also asks: "What are you doing to help young people and how can you show you take our views seriously?"
Everything an MP does for his constituents and constituency, is also for young people. They are just as affected by hospital waiting lists when they or their family are ill, traffic jams when they want to get to places, crime levels, which may restrict their freedom to do what they would like to do.

Got a question for our Man in Parliament?

Want to know who your MP is?

Send stuff to him using this form!

Your first name

Your age

Your town

Your postcode

Any comments or questions for our MiP

Send us your details if you'd like us to hunt out your MP! We'll put a new one up each week.

More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesPhotos of the top MPs
Find OutHow does Parliament work?


Past StoriesBORDER=0
The MiP files: How many PCs in your school?
The MiP files: How much should teens be paid?
The MiP files: Play the Speaker game!
The MiP files: Time to get angry?!
The MiP files: Praise for hip hop and rap!


Web Links
UK Parliament site for kids
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Also in The MiP files now:
MiP Files: The prime minister's crucial week
MiP file: Tory leader faces off with PM
MiP files: A new leader for the Tories?
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