Over the past two years, the Greeate Political Project has coordinated a fantastic array of workshops and trips for students at Christ the King Sixth Form College. Each of these events serves to broaden young people’s understanding of the British political system, and encourages students to reflect on the roles of both local and national level politicians. The principal aim of the programme, which is led by Christ the King alumnus Jason Ochere and his colleague Cephas Williams, is to break down the barriers between British parliament and state comprehensive institutions. By introducing young people to an array of political figures, the project increases academic confidence and inspires students to think decisively about the society that they live in.
This term, over one hundred Politics students at Christ the King Sixth Form College were fortunate enough to attend a talk by British historian, author and politician, Lord Lexden, which took place at the Lewisham site. As a peer of the House of Lords and an official historian of the Conservative Party, Lord Lexden’s knowledge of the British political system is extensive. His talk, which was delivered to students from all three college sites, offered a fascinating insight into the roles and responsibilities of the House of Lords and inspired students to think more proactively about organised politics.
After graduating from Peterhouse College, Cambridge, in 1970, Lord Lexden forged a prolific political and intellectual career. Over the past forty years, he has contributed a great deal to the academic, educational and political sectors of the United Kingdom and has held a variety of influential posts, including Director of the Conservative Political Centre, General Secretary of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and Editor in Chief of the Conservative Research Department.
One of the highlights of Lord Lexden’s talk was his summary of a “typical” day in the House of Lords, as this provided students with a detailed insight into the type of work that Lexden and his fellow Lords members carry out on a daily basis. Drawing on his own experiences, Lord Lexden discussed how the House of Lords complements and operates alongside the House of Commons, and credited the expertise of its members, and their ability to scrutinise, as their most significant contributions to the broader initiatives of British government.
The overriding responsibility of the House of Lords, he explained, is law making, and members are heavily involved in all stages of this process; from proposing legislation to revising and amending existing legislatures. Furthermore, Lords also bear the responsibility of reviewing the work of the Government, and frequently question the decisions made by Ministers and Government Departments.
At the end of his talk, Lord Lexden opened up the floor for a question and answer session and responded to an array of interesting and thoughtful questions. This proved particularly valuable, as it gave students a unique opportunity to speak to Lord Lexden directly.
The College would like to extend its thanks to Lord Lexden and to the Greeate Political Project for making this event possible. Lexden’s talk provided valuable advice and inspired many young people in the audience to engage more consciously with contemporary British politics.
Lower Sixth student Stanley Ebhodaghe said:
“I found Lord Lexden’s talk very interesting. It was inspiring to hear him encourage young people our age to become involved in politics and the running of our country.”
Fellow Lower Sixth student Brandon Bicar said of the event:
“I have never met a Lord before; it was really interesting to hear from someone who actually helps to create the law.”