Brentwood School’s Sir Antony Browne Society welcomed Natalie Bennett, former leader of The Green Party of England & Wales, to talk to them about ‘Real Change in British Politics’.
Bennett, who appeared on the televised debates during the 2015 election campaign, started her talk by apologising to the students for the ‘mess’ that her generation had made of the planet and explained how the UK was consuming a staggering three planets’ worth of energy. She went on to say how British Politics hadn’t really changed since the election of Margaret Thatcher and that the first-past-the-post electoral system was outdated. She explained how she thought that we were experiencing a very worrying time in global politics where polar opposites (from Donald Trump and Brexit on the right to Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn on the left) were attracting far more popularity than ever before.
Bennett went on to answer questions from students on topics such as proportional representation, Brexit, the European Single Market, European environmental progress, the British tax system and fracking. She spoke of an ideal world where a local company would source locally manufactured products, and use local services to maintain it.
She said she first realised she was politically minded at the age of five, when she was told that she couldn’t ride a bike ‘because she was a girl’.
Head of Politics, Mr Mike Willis, said that her passion for campaigning came across during the talk. “It was a pleasure to welcome Ms Bennett back to the School to give her view on what is an ever-changing but vitally important political issue, which always sparks much debate among students,” he said.