Sarah Sands discusses election trends at Westminster Academy
11 March 2015
Westminster Academy were delighted to welcome Sarah Sands, editor of the Evening Standard newspaper, to speak to 60 year 12 students about the elections.
Referring to the fragmentation of politics, Sarah told the students that the difference made by voting could never have been greater. “At present, there are 20 marginal constituencies in London alone.” She gave the example of Glenda Jackson, who at the last election became MP of Hampstead and Kilburn on the basis of only 42 votes.
During the Q & A, Sarah observed that following the Blair years “we are now once again in a time of great rhetoric”. She referred to the success of charismatic leaders, who have managed to “create dreams” while with the relentless focus of major parties on “competence, efficiency and the economy… the narrative’s just not there.”
After a discussion of the techniques of political leaders and the need to look beyond sensationalist rhetoric, Sarah encouraged the students to believe in their ability to effect change. She observed that as native internet-users, they had every opportunity to be well-informed, entrepreneurial change-makers – and a force for good in the future of the UK.
This talk is a part of the charity’s national #S4SNextGen “Why I Vote” campaign to engage and inspire state schools students on the upcoming election. See the launch debate hosted with Rick Edwards and special guests.