The bonds that unite us

Was it Winston Churchill who said something about democracy being the least worst way of running a country? Today there will be some who are ruefully nodding their heads. There will be others who are jubilant. Election campaigning is, of course, comparatively easy. Exercising power often proves more difficult. If ever there was a time for a bringing together then this would be it. British elections follow a well-established pattern. Successful candidates are seen throughout the night accepting victories and then at around 4.30 a.m. a result is declared. This time it came a little later. The nature of victory is curious for there will be many who remain sceptical about the policies that the winning party has put forward. Who knows how long the constituencies that have changed hands will remain behind their new MPs? One thing is clear and that is British politics has a government who has been given a mandate and they will push through at least some of the campaign promises that they have made with their large majority.

Britain’s status in the world will change in the coming years. Its place in Europe will change at the end of next month. I can only hope that those who are to lead the nation into the next decade will do so with an eye to unity and cohesion. Our young people deserve a country in which all can express their views safely and all should feel that they belong. Whilst politics is often used to divide it can be and indeed should be a force for unity and inclusion.

This morning we celebrated International Day at the Senior School. Fifty-five nations proudly showing off; fifty-five nations proudly working together as one community. Yesterday we came together to celebrate Christmas at the Junior School. Songs from around the world were sung, we revelled in the different genres of music, we marvelled at the soloists and found pleasure in the chorus’ joyful sounds. Both of these events celebrate the bonds that unite us rather than the divisions that separate. Different cultures, different beliefs and different customs all woven together to form a unique international community. It is good to be proud of our nations and our cultures, but in a school like this it is always striking to see how much brings us together despite our differences. I trust that the Prime Minister will follow our lead and seek to bring together rather than drive apart.

These events mark the end of the Autumn Term. Our longest term. Much has been achieved and there is much to be celebrated. This newsletter is slightly different as it contains a number of personal perspectives. Success, as we often say at the BSP, comes in many different ways and I think that this approach shows what achievement means to different people. I’m sure you will enjoy reading these views as much as I have. If nothing else, they show us that we find enormous satisfaction in the myriad aspects of this school and that it may well be the small or unseen that is the most satisfying. In a few weeks we will join once again as a school for the Spring Term and I hope that we will be refreshed and ready to scale new heights, think more deeply and support each other to an even greater extent.

Until then I hope that you have a fantastic, restful holiday.

Nicholas Hammond