On Friday 16th November, year 12 A Level Politics students visited Hull University to attend a politics conference.
The day started with a competition called ‘There Ought to be a Law,’ and the students watched as different schools presented speeches as to what they thought there should be a law on. They then listened to a speech from Dr Matt Beech on ‘The Struggle for Labour’s Soul’, which focused on ideological factions with the real struggles being over defence, gender, Europe and the sovereignty of the state. Afterwards, Lord Norton of Louth gave a speech on ‘Parliament: more powerful, less trusted?’ which introduced the ideas of challenges faced by Parliament in the long term and more recently, as well as looking at ‘the best of times’ and ‘the worst of times’. Amelie Smith, who attended the conference, told me, “Lord Norton’s speech was the best bit. It was very interesting because it looked into the future of the democracy, and it was also quite funny.”
After listening to the two speeches, the pupils had a range of different sessions they could attend, depending on what they were interested in. one of these sessions was ‘Trump’s Nuclear Weapons Policy,’ but there were also sessions that directly linked to their course content such as ‘Electoral Reforms and Voting Behaviour’, so it was good revision for the students, whilst helping to expand their subject knowledge further. Some other available session options included, ‘The Future of Britain’ and ‘Life in Britain post-Brexit.’
To end the day, there was a Q&A held with contributions from local party members. Amongst these was the Hull MP, Diana Johnson, as well as Liberal Democrat and Labour party members.
Amelie told me, “It was a great day as we got to look at lots of different aspects of politics, and both of the Lords were interesting – it was good to listen to those with experience in politics.”