Dr Caroline Lucas MP, the UK’s only Green MP and co-leader of the Green Party, visited Malvern St James Girls’ School in November to deliver the Old Girls’ Association lecture.
Caroline was delighted to be back on familiar turf and spent a while having a look for her old classrooms and favourite haunts before her talk started. Caroline left Malvern Girls’ College in 1979 before going on to Exeter University. She became involved in the Greenham Common peace camp, and reading Jonathon Porritt’s book Seeing Green was her “lightbulb moment”.
The girls were enrapt as Caroline spoke about topics as wide ranging as Brexit, Proportional Representation, closing the Westminster gender gap, what she thinks about her colleagues in the House, the things she most wants to see achieved in her political lifetime (electoral change, proper action on climate change and cessation of fracking) and how she relaxes (walks on the Downs with her huge rescue dog).
Caroline is a powerful and compelling speaker and her politics come “from the head was well as the heart”. Her campaigning work for local and national charities has brought many accolades and awards from high-profile organisations such as The Spectator, the Environment Agency, and The Observer. The girls found her very warm and accessible and, as a woman who has cut a swathe through Westminster politics, a powerful role model.
MSJ students took to heart Caroline’s closing comments that politics “needs more women, fired up and wanting to change things.” Year 13 student, Lucinda Hobden, who interviewed Caroline on stage, commented “This was such a good experience and definitely something I’ll remember for a long time to come.”
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Katie Powell / Fiona Meredith