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Knightsbridge School Debating & Interview Club - 7th March

Updated: Mar 19

This was another excellent session with our Knightsbridge Debating & Interview Club.

Our skill focus this week looked at Rebuttal and how to respond to the arguments of an opposing team with active listening, evidence and POIs. 

With the budget having just taken place, our warm up question asked:

'If you were either the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be your top priority and why?'

The group gave a fascinating selection including:

Halving inflation;



Sustainability, the Environment and Climate Change;

Growing business / the wider economy;

Safety, Security and Defense; &


With the budget in mind our motion of the day looked at one of the proposed plans of the Treasury, to tax business class flights further, in order to free up funds to spend on other things or provide a tax cut. The motion asked:

'Should Business Class Flights be Taxed more?'   

At both tellings a substantive majority rejected the motion. 

It was argued the priority should be helping business grow and thereby generating more for the wider economy. Others felt that 'private jets' should be targeted, rather than commercial airlines. On the proposition side, many felt that business can afford it, and crucially this could potentially help the environment as business class flights carry a high carbon footprint. 

It was great to see some impressive rebuttal, POIs and active listening. 

For our second debate we turned to the motion: 'Should Zoos be banned?'

Here we split into teams to create a knockout competition. 

Those in favour of the ban felt that a Zoo was an unnatural space for animals, and welfare was a huge problem. There was also a dislike of the idea/fact that Zoos 'exploit' (or use) animals for profit. 

On the opposition, it was felt that research and scientists more generally benefited from Zoos and in turn wild animals benefited too from our understanding/and wider awareness. Education was very important along with the opportunity for rehabilitation. In addition, it was argued that many people cannot afford to see these remarkable animals in the wild, so a Zoo is a cost effective way of providing education (the proposition countered this with the example of documentaries). Finally, it was argued that conservation particularly of endangered animals meant there is a vital role for Zoos in the preservation of precious species.  

An excellent session - well done. 

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