On 28 April 2021, the 1922 Society welcomed the Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, speaking in ‘Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Role, the Experience and The Vision’. Mr Rees-Mogg addressed the Society and the College regarding his position as Leader of the House of Commons and his vision for the country, before answering pupils’ and dons’ questions.
The talk was a great success, with almost 200 pupils and dons present, and with numerous questions ranging from foreign policy to the integrity of the Union, inequality, freedom of speech and trade to Conservative ideology. The questions were interesting, relevant and challenging and from all sides of the political spectrum.
Conor Sexton and I founded the Society in October 2020 with the aim of providing high-quality political speakers for the benefit of all Wykehamists and to promote political discussion and discourse throughout the College. Despite the challenges of the already substantial extra-curricular programme, we have had regular meetings and held our first talk last term: ‘Sir Graham Brady, the Making and the Unmaking of a Prime Minister’.
The talk with Mr Rees-Mogg was of particular significance to the 1922 Society and our members. It was reminiscent of an interview in style, and I was honoured to have had the role of interviewer. Equally important were the roles of the team in managing the talk, as behind the smooth nature of the event we were sifting through a wave of incoming written questions, linking the topics, selecting and preparing questions and managing the overall running of the talk. To this end, I would like to give special thanks to Conor Sexton and George Nutting. It was also due to George that we were able to first ascertain such a high-profile speaker.
During the talk Mr Rees-Mogg outlined the importance of our constitution, stating ‘the four pillars of the constitution (monarchy, liberty, democracy and parliamentary sovereignty) have led to our country being one of the most prosperous nations in the world’. He spoke further about freedom of speech and the need to have impartial universities and educational bodies, as one single viewpoint being transgressed without criticism would be detrimental to society.
One of the most resonating questions was from Freddy Beddington, a Philite, regarding how to improve socio-economic equality. Mr Rees-Mogg suggested that education was key: to provide the quality of a ‘Winchester education’ to all.
We were proud to represent the College at such a high profile event, and it will set a precedent for the future of political speakers and talks for the College. I thank all those who attended the talk, all the members of the Society who helped us succeed and Mr Rees-Mogg for his time, and detailed and illuminating responses.
We look forward to welcoming alumnus, The Rt. Hon. Rishi Sunak in June, in ‘Rishi Sunak: from Winchester to Westminster’.
30th November 2020
Every year Winchester and Cheltenham Ladies' College pupils work in teams to deliver presentations at a Science Symposium for their peers. 2020 required more technology than usual but was as rewarding as ever.
22nd November 2020
The Royal Navy section of the CCF marked Trafalgar Day 2020 by collectively sending the message: England expects that every man will do his duty.
8th November 2020
A wintry Winchester was the perfect location for the boys' first introduction to bushcraft and survival skills.
19th September 2020
Science School has a diverse collection of fascinating objects, from an 18th-century microscope, fossils and taxidermy birds, to apparatus used to teach physics in the early 20th century. Twenty-four of the most interesting and unusual objects from the collection are now online.
22nd June 2020
English don Tom Quayle considers how literature bears "the indelible impression of its time" and what that might mean for the writing taking place during this turbulent period.
15th June 2020
Delivering lessons online and then wandering an empty campus, English don Mrs Lucia Quinault, feels the presence of previous pupils and teachers, with the grounds and buildings imbued with their happy memories.