Reflecting on Remembrance Day - Article for Evesham Observer

Two weeks ago I was with schools at the other end of my constituency, in Droitwich and last Friday I was with the sixth form of Prince Henry’s in Evesham. The age groups were rather different as in Droitwich I was meeting largely primary and middle school pupils, but my overall feeling when I left both meetings was the same – huge encouragement, even inspiration.

Some people, especially in the national papers, are fond of running down young people saying they don’t care about issues and aren’t engaged with society. And, the violent protests in London about higher education fees from those who perhaps care too much haven’t helped the image of students either. But, based on experience, I am an optimist about young people.

It’s pretty intimidating standing in front of over 200 sixth formers at the beginning of the day and talking to them about the importance of democracy – and then taking their questions on any subject. But the people of Evesham and the Vale should be proud of the courteous and challenging way they approached so many of the big questions of today.

Just as I had found with those younger pupils a week earlier, they are better informed, more aware and more passionate about the troubles of the world than any previous generation. Talking with them was a real pleasure.

I wasn’t surprised – this has been my experience so often in recent years; but I was surprised to discover that so many of the Prince Henry’s sixth form read a daily paper; they don’t get all their information from the internet and there’s hope for traditional journalism after all!

So though this column, I say a big thank you to the sixth form of Prince Henry’s. Keep that interest and passion alive and you can make the world a better place.


Back to Articles