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  The MiP files: Checking out Big Brother!
Updated 27 May 2003, 08.34

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

Our Man in Parliament will have 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.


Big Brother is back....and some politicians are watching with interest!

They reckon they might learn something from reality TV shows.

Millions of people vote for their fave people in programmes like Big Brother.


But when it comes to the election of politicians, lots of people don't bother to vote.

And that is causing lots of concern - which is why the powers-that-be have tried stuff like voting on the web and by text message.

One politician, Kevin Brennan, raised the popularity of shows like Big Brother in parliament last week.

"In the recent local elections fewer people voted than vote in many reality TV game shows," he said.

He wonders if the people in charge of elections can learn anything from that.....wonder if they're tuning in to the Big Brother house?!!


"Young people matter, their voices need to be heard at the heart of policies which affect them.

"Tomorrow's adults are already making key decisions on their own lives today, it is right that they should have a voice in the policies which will shape these futures."

- Young People's minister Ivan Lewis reckons the powers-that-be are listening to you....what do you think?


Are some Hollywood film stars wimps?

Politician Kim Howells reckons they are - for staying away from the UK because of fears of terrorist attacks.


He says "grannies from New York" are happy to fly to Britain - but "swashbuckling" stars like Tom Cruise don't like the idea.

The star says that's just rubbish.

I bet Tom and his pals would like a little chat with Mr Howells - but will they dare fly over to see him?!!


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, Sophie, 10, from Gosport gets her MP identified.

Name:
Peter Viggers
Age:
65
Where are you from?
Gosport
Party:
Conservative
School nickname:
Viggie.

Greatest achievement:
As minister (one of the politicians who run things), the privatisation of two of the biggest companies in Northern Ireland. As an MP, winning pensions for 25,000 widows of people who served in the army, navy or air force.
Inspiration:
Lord Nelson - who led the British navy triumphantly before dying at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805
Last movie I saw:
Russian Ark
Football team:
Gosport and Fareham Rugby Club
MP I admire:
Oliver Letwin - the Conservative spokesman on things like law and order.
Were you interested in politics as a child?
Yes
Job before becoming an MP?
Lawyer and banker.
Why does politics matter?
It deals with the big decisions about the future of the country.
What one thing would you change tomorrow?
Make people more considerate of each other.

Sophie also asks: We have a lot of problems around our local park, which kids vandalise. Is there any way you can sort it out? If Sophie lets me know which particular park she means, I will be happy to make enquiries.

MiP adds: You can write to Mr Viggers at House of Commons, London SW1A OAA. Or check out his website: http://www.peterviggers.co.uk/

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    PicturesPhotos of the top MPs
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    Past StoriesBORDER=0
    The MiP files: Learning in your living room!
    The MiP files: Targeting the litter louts!
    The MiP files: Ban for TV ads aimed at kids?
    The MiP files: The man in charge of the money
    The MiP files: Bend it like Becks - at school!
    The MiP files: How many PCs in your school?
    The MiP files: How much should teens be paid?

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    Full UK Section
    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?
    Teachers:
    Look at our citizenship stuff
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