Our first session of this academic year with our St Andrew's Pangbourne debating club was superb! With some old and new faces we had a high intensity session with excellent contributions from all and impressive argumentation.
The session began with a look at key skills from body language, to the use of evidence, stories and rhetorical questions. The group picked out key examples as well as targets for self-improvement. We also discussed as a warm-up goals for the term, from sporting progress to making better notes this showed a great array of ambition but also practicality.
Then the group was asked to present on key news stories of the week/and or the holidays. From the tragic earthquake in Morocco to wild fires, the group gave an wide ranging account of current affairs and this was very encouraging for the term.
Our key topic of the day focussed on China and potential espionage in Parliament. This was all the more fitting given the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was on his feet in the Commons discussing the topic as we were debating the very same issue.
The group voted overwhelmingly that whilst the UK should rebuke China (and specifically the Chinese government) for such actions (if they were found to be true) trade and relations were best retained by maintaining good relations and business as opposed to a complete break. An amendment to the motion and that of targeted sanctions on key Chinese officials did gain traction too.
Well done all on such a great first session of term!