The new GCSE thematic topic at The Mount School is ‘Power and the People’. From Magna Carta to LGBT rights, we are studying how across the centuries powerful people have been challenged to share that power. We have learnt that in the Civil War period in the 17th century there was a titanic struggle between the Crown and Parliament over sovereignty. That’s what makes what is going on in the Supreme Court so fascinating. We don’t agree with the journalists who say it’s boring. We’re really interested in taking our thinking about history and politics much further by listening to what is being said. When we hear Richard Gordon QC argue that the [royal] prerogative power is residual, it doesn’t mean it’s not important but it is residual, and that “the prerogative is declining”, yet what is being said here is that “it can be used to drive through the most major constitutional change …of the last 40 years”, we could imagine similar arguments in the camps of the parliamentary army, or the meetings of a citizens’ group in 1648. There is great historical resonance here and it’s great that GCSE History students have some of the historical context in order to better understand what is going on.
You can follow the hearing at: BBC live feed to Supreme Court case