We were honoured that Alastair Campbell visited JFS to deliver a speech about his political career to the Year 13 assembly. The former senior adviser to Tony Blair shed light on his time in the Cabinet, speaking on a wide range of issues, from Labour Party successes to the infamously rocky relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He was then grilled by Year 13 students when he opened up to the floor, with many questioning Blair’s controversial decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003. Campbell also gave his valuable opinions on the current state of UK politics, which was especially useful for those taking exams in Politics in the next few months.
After the assembly, ten students were invited to have lunch with the former spin doctor in the boardroom. There, he further developed points made in the assembly, adding some humorous anecdotes about various political leaders on the global stage, including some interesting encounters with George Bush! Campbell did not however stop short of predicting the winner of the next general election, with politics ‘being so dependent on the ever-changing health of the economy’. He later tweeted comments about his visit to JFS, describing us as a ‘very very bright bunch’.
Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity to have a man of such stature come to speak to Year 13, and Politics student or not, it was extremely valuable to gauge the opinions of someone exposed to such high level policy making.