Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP, OE visits Eastbourne College to deliver whole school talk
On Thursday the 18th of January, the college gathered in All Saints Church for a talk, given by Johnny Mercer, an OE who has been the MP for Plymouth Moor View since 2015. Having attended the college between 1995 and 2000, Johnny would later join the armed forces, fighting in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan amongst others. His time in the military would shape his outlook on the world, and after leaving the army, he soon went into politics. It was under David Cameron when he first joined the conservative party in 2014, and he would later go on to serve as the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs under both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, and currently serves that same position under Rishi Sunak as well. Despite being fired by both Johnson and Truss, Mercer’s reputation as a steadfast, caring politician with the interests of all veterans at heart has allowed him to overcome these challenges and be in the position that he is in today. Given all of this, it has to be said that the college was incredibly grateful to have welcomed Johnny back to his roots in order to share his remarkable story.
The speech itself engaged and informed everyone who heard it, and though Johnny admitted that he never actually prepared any words, it was the rolling and passionate nature of it that captivated the audience. Speaking from the heart, Johnny was able to form a connection to the audience that cannot be replicated by simply reciting from a sheet of paper. Covering a wide range of aspects from his life at the college to fighting Taliban insurgencies, Mercer’s combination of an upbeat style and an efficient delivery made his words resonate among everyone whilst also igniting a sense of belief inside many more. Besides this, having mapped out his journey from the college to the cabinet, he demonstrated the realistic nature of his achievements. Finally, to conclude proceedings, a wide variety of questions were sent Johnny’s way, some pre-prepared and others not. These included questions on the schemes that he was integral in implementing, as well as the current state of affairs in the world and, of course, his stance on Brexit. Answered honestly and to the fullest, no question was left with an uncertainty after it. Therefore, as a result of all of this, it goes without saying that I myself was just another enthralled audience member who attended Johnny Mercer’s speech, not knowing what to expect whatsoever, but being more than pleasantly surprised by what I heard.
(Rueben, Year 12, Reeves)