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Knightsbridge Debating & Public Speaking (Enrichment programme) & Club - 22nd January

For our sessions this week, we looked at summary speaking and how best to use notes in a debate or presentation. It was great to see some excellent summary speaking examples during the sessions and indeed the incorporation of other key skills covered this term. 

We began with a newsround that took in proposed smoking & vaping bans to the death of US troops in the Middle East as well as the move of Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari.   

Our warm-up for the week involved the interview questions:

(a) tell us something interesting about the world?; and (b) tell us something interesting about you?

This saw a tremendous array of talents from martial arts, to languages, skiing, swimming, cricket and other hobbies and talents being listed. It also included some fascinating facts about the world - from the oceans to space. 

Our key debates looked at the motions:

(i) 'This House believes that age matters when it comes to Presidential or Prime Ministerial leadership?'

Given the likelihood of a Biden vs Trump contest for the US presidency and the possibility that for another term an octogenarian would be in office (at least for part of it) many were uncomfortable with a President being out-of-touch with younger people and the priorities of the next generation. Whilst, others argued that age brought experience with examples such as Queen Elizabeth II, Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill. We also discussed whether there should be a starting limit to leadership - whether 16?18? or older. The idea of a 'retirement age' for politicians was rejected at both tellings. 

Following the calls of NATO's chief along with the British Army General Sir Patrick Sanders comments, we asked:

(ii) 'Should Britain have a citizen army?'

The opposition were immensely uncomfortable with anything that looked like conscription or any form of compulsory element, whilst the proposition was deeply concerned about widening conflict in the world and the safety of the UK. The via media of greater military spending received support in the voting as the best alternative to a form of national service, by simply increasing or returning the army to the size it have been pre 2010 of c100,000. 

We ended the session with a further mini-debate/discussion on on whether social media or smart-phones more generally for under-16s should be banned as raised in Parliament this week. 

Very good sessions all-round!

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