Diverting from the conventional ‘vote for me’ approach, Prime Minister David Cameron opened his speech with a relevant list of reasons why living in Britain as a young person should “cheer you up”. In highlighting the growing economy, and its ability to provide 1000 jobs a day, the high standard of universities in Britain and the positives of our “growing network of international connections”, it was evident he genuinely understood the effects political decisions have on young people in our country.
After a brief introduction, the Prime Minister was more than eager to move on to hear from our politically minded students who had a vast range of questions. The topics varied from morality of fox hunting to economics and women’s lack of representation in the political system and even stretched as far as afternoon tea with the Queen. While staying true to his conservatism, he ensured the facts and figures were all pertinent to us as students, making it extremely interesting and eye opening; while keeping us engaged in current political affairs.
The first question asked was “what policy do you want to be remembered by?” to which he replied with a list of his achievements. In particular he focussed on “the current strength of our economy” and his pride in “controversial” educational reforms. Furthermore, through an anecdote referring to a grateful number 10 doorman who was able to marry his partner, the Prime Minister expressed his delight in his government’s decision to pass the 2013 Marriage Act and make same sex marriage possible. It was inspiring to see him take pride in his achievements and notice the effects of political decisions on a more personal level.
Before returning to his busy schedule, he informed us that due to events in Scotland, the topic of the voting age would be discussed in Parliament. He was very keen to hear our opinion on this matter and asked us to take part in a mini survey. The concluding vote was that the voting age ought to remain at 18; a viewpoint which he expressed he shared. It was comforting to know that someone with so much power was considering the opinions of sixth formers.
Overall his talk was very insightful and extremely relevant to us, which was refreshing and eye-opening. We are all very grateful for the opportunity to have him come and talk to us.
Georgina Partridge | Grace Braithwaite | Milly Gribben