The time is currently 2.5 minutes to midnight. Time in most senses marches onwards without us having any possible say in things. Yet as the mechanism behind the minute hand of the world’s doomsday clock creaks and threatens to move we must step back from the brink and wind the clock back.

The situation all over the world is growing less and less palatable with the tone in many places becoming increasingly bitter. In Turkey the constitution is being rewritten to remove checks and balances against a backdrop of a referendum conducted without the tradItional freedoms and with the arrest of dissenting journalists. The US and China stand watch over the worst crisis of our time with North Korea threatening “thermonuclear war”. Every second Syrian who was alive at the start of the civil war is now dead or displaced. Terrorists who preach violence instead of peace threaten us with barbaric acts.

Everything about current events threatens our beliefs and values. What are these values? What are these British values? Our shared values? Democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and tolerance are given by many. We shouldn’t shy away from being proud of these. We should unite around them. The United Kingdom has despite its flaws a firm democratic and constitutional foundation. We must play our role to tempt the fire-headed leaders of the world back from the brink. No matter what you believe in, nuclear war should no longer be thinkable today.

– Henry Wright, Year 13

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