|17 Mar 2022|
|History & Politics|
Last Friday we were honoured to welcome Political Editor of Channel 5 News, Andy Bell, back to Tonbridge to give a talk in the Barton Science Centre to many Tonbridge boys, staff, as well as some visitors from the Skinners and Judd Schools. Andy has achieved much in his career and is a face many will recognise from the television, so it was very exciting that he made the time to come and visit us, especially with the political climate such as it is currently.
Andy described much of the chaotic politics of the past few years and focused especially on what he referred to as the ‘perma-crisis’ felt in the UK and by Boris Johnson during his premiership. In his talk he reflected on each major political event of the past few years and gave the boys an exciting insight into his working life.
Another key part of the talk was Andy’s analysis of Boris Johnson where he anticipated that he would not be voted in as PM for the next election, although he made explicit he did not like to predict future events as nothing is inevitable. He gave his thoughts on Johnson’s character as a whole in which he described his populism, ability to win votes and his humorous nature but also showed his deficiencies such as that of his speech to the CBI in which he talked about ‘Peppa Pig World’.
With his job the boys got to hear about Andy regularly talking to close advisors of Prime Ministers, opposition leaders and MPs alike; as well as this, Andy talked about his recent trip to Estonia with the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, who was speaking to UK troops based there.
In the final section of the talk we had a Q&A in which the boys and staff got to ask him questions ranging on topics from the current situation in Ukraine to Carrie Johnson and her influence on the Prime Minister. Andy answered all the questions with an honesty and insight which was refreshing for many of the boys, and it was fascinating for all to hear.
Alexander Beverton-Smith (Sc 4)