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Katie James
Upper Sixth
Worcester House

WT v WiH debate

WT v WiH debate

‘This house believes that the previous government are responsible for the current economic situation in the UK’

Friday afternoon kick started the exciting inter-house Sixth Form debating competition. To begin this fiercely-fought competition, West Town proposed the motion, ‘this house believes that the previous government are responsible for the current economic situation in the UK’, while Wiseman’s were tasked with opposing the motion. With Mike Foxall-Smith chairing the debate, a preliminary vote was taken and the motion was passed.

The first speaker for West Town was Gemma Heaven who started well with a clear introduction and concisely defined motion. Her argument was evident; that the previous labour government were to blame for the current economic turmoil, due to excessive and unnecessary spending.

James Moore then began Wiseman’s examination of the motion in question, with a well structured and planned speech. His humour engaged the audience, as he put forward a strong case for the fact that America could be blamed for the recession. His memorable words, ‘it’s too late to distance ourselves from the US’ added to his impressive delivery and argued that Britain had been dragged down with America.

Esther Bebb was next to take to the nerve-racking position at the lectern in the Redgrave, and brought the focus of the debate back to West Town’s fundamental argument; the government’s over-spending was avoidable. Her argument highlighting the embarrassing expenses scandal of the last government caused particular controversy. A point of information from Wiseman’s James Moore implied that ‘duck houses’ were surely of insignificant importance in the grand scheme of the national and international economy.

Another very well posed question was fired at Esther, again from James Moore, regarding her argument that the 6 year Iraq War was a further example of government over-spending. ‘Pulling out of the war so early would have cost lives; are you suggesting that lives are less important than money?’ This intelligent question provided little scope for an equally intellectual response, as either answer would have appeared either heartless or contrastingly naïve. It was however nicely side-stepped by West Town who dealt well with the pressure.

Victor Hall was Wiseman’s second speaker and began by addressing his opposition as ‘the lovely ladies of West Town’ which seemed to work in his favour given the lack of points of information during his speech! He was a very accomplished speaker, covering a huge amount of information. He argued that the recession was inevitable, that the government’s actions were necessary and that we as consumer were partly to blame.

Everybody enjoyed the debate and this was reflected in the number of thought-provoking questions raised by the floor (some of which were planted I’m sure). I certainly wouldn’t want to question James Kenny about his knowledge of the reregulation of banks! The role of the third speaker certainly seems the most challenging; having to answer to questions from the floor and summarise coherently.

Both Harry Shankar and Tamsin Davies did this very well, though with different techniques. Harry’s humour kept everyone interested. He concluded that for the previous government, inspiring consumer confidence would have been impossible and that we should point the blame at him, Mr Hasthorpe, and indeed ourselves as consumers, which was an effective way to conclude. Tamsin reinforced points earlier and highlighted the £3 trillion which the previous government supposedly have cost the public.

Interestingly, the motion was not carried the second time round, however after Mr Hasthorpe’s witty review he concluded that, ‘for pulling in the same direction, the debate must go to West Town.’

West Town therefore go through to the next round, and we all look forward to seeing what next week’s debate has in store!

15 November 2010

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