40 years of teaching Politics at MGS

Posted on: September 14th 2018School News

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Last evening, more than 100 Old Mancunians from around the country gathered at the fantastic location of the National Liberal Club, in the heart of London, to celebrate 40 years of teaching Politics at MGS. 

The guests included several Old Mancunians currently active in Politics, MP Chris Matheson, MP Alex Norris, former MP John Leech, Councillor Sam Wheeler, Councillor Dominic Hardwick, as well as former MP and MEP Den Dover.

It was also good to see comedian, director and actor OM Chris Addison (OM 1983-1990) and author, broadcaster and Channel 4’s political correspondent Michael Crick (OM 1969-1976) at the event and reminiscing about their time at MGS.

OM Sandip Jobanputra introduced the School’s current Head of Politics, Rick Kelly, after dinner.  Rick gave a great speech to the room and the guests also enjoyed sharing their memories of Rod Martin, the School’s first Head of Politics.

Below is a just an excerpt from Rick's speech:

'On the few occasions when Parker wasn’t around to oversee the visit of guest politicians, the results were far from positive. Take, for example, the visit of Michael Heseltine, who on account of Parker's absence was forced to endure lunch in the School Refectory.

'I had assumed that Heseltine was a widely recognised figure. But he obviously wasn’t recognised that lunchtime by a certain lugubrious colleague, who once told me (during my first week at MGS) that his mission in life was "to destroy any enthusiasm that anyone had about anything".  During the main course, the said colleague stared at Heseltine intensely and - eventually - looked at his face. Then, leaning over, he said to Heseltine: "Excuse me. Didn’t you used to teach at Bury Grammar?" And, when Heseltine said "no", the colleague continued: "Well, wherever you’re teaching, I wouldn’t come here because we’re going to the dogs."

'Heseltine’s humiliation that day was far from complete. Having finished lunch, and as I was leading him into the Common Room, the former Secretary of State for Defence was suddenly accosted by a Lower School boy, who thrust an exercise book into his hand. Heseltine looked even more bewildered when the boy then said: "Please,sir. Could you give this to Mr Shufflebottom?"'

This was a fantastic occasion, and we would like to thank all those OMs who attended and made it such a memorable evening and fitting celebration of four decades of teaching Politics here at MGS.