Whitgift’s Academic Enrichment programme and the History and Politics Department were delighted to welcome Lord Richard Wilson this term – perhaps one of the most influential diplomats of the past 40 years.
Lord Wilson initially addressed the History and Politics Society and Sixth Form Politics students, impressing them with a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about his experience of government, peaking the boys’ interest with his acute observations on the three Prime Ministers he worked under: Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.
After school, Lord Wilson spoke in the Performing Arts Centre about power - specifically the exercise and transition of it - encouraging the audience to reflect upon where power is held in their own lives, and how this may change in the future. Of particular note was his description of the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when he was the most senior person at 10 Downing Street, personally making the precautionary decision to close some of London’s airports. He temporarily had great power, but, as he wryly noted, this rarely lasts long.
Students, staff and parents were treated to some really captivating subject matter, and we hope to welcome Lord Wilson back to Whitgift again in the future.