Fabulous line-up of speakers on Politics

The Politics Conference in London recently attended by AS Politics students turned out to be a terrific day. Any one of the speakers would have been great to hear on their own but because the Central Methodist Church Conference Hall was a stone’s throw from The House of Commons, we were treated to a fabulous array of speakers, each of whom spoke for fifteen minutes and answered questions for fifteen minutes. Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrats) outlined the distinctive position of his party. Neil Hamilton, ex Conservative now Vice President of UKIP, spoke optimistically on UKIP‘s future based on their significant recent By Election results. John Bercow, Speaker of The House of Commons, gave a lucid account of his role, and Alan Duncan spoke about International Development. David Blunkett (with his dog), the Home Secretary under Tony Blair, was amusing and Tony Benn added gravitas with his heartfelt address on the topic of War. He was himself a pilot in The Second World War and spoke with considerable authority and phrased his delivery beautifully. Nadine Dorries (Conservative MP and I’m a Celebrity star) spoke about women in Parliament, and Douglas Carswell, a reform-minded Tory, outlined proposals for significant reform. We were also treated to an address from Tristram Hunt, rising star of the Labour Party and its educational spokesman. The only disappointment was the absence of George Galloway who last year set the hall alight with his fiery dialogue. This was the very best conference conceivable to grab the interest of politics students and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

By Jonathan Selby, Teacher of Government and Politics


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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