This was another excellent session with our St Andrew's Debating & Interview club.
With the autumn firmly upon us and the nights drawing in we turned to the warm-up/interview question: 'what is your favourite season of the year and why?'
It was fascinating to see how birthday months impacted the choices made by the group.
After this we turned to a newsround covering:
The Cricket World Cup
Violent Crime in the UK
The continuing tragic conflict in Israel-Gaza
We then looked at our debating topics of the week with the Chancellor's autumn statement approaching we discussed the question of potential cuts to Inheritance Tax. After a relatively split vote in the first round with many undecided, the second telling saw the idea of a cut overwhelmingly supported. The emotional idea of a tax following the death of a family member weighed heavy on the group, along with the idea that the tax was a tax on earnings or assets likely to already have been taxed and that it was a natural idea to want to pass on to the next generation. That said, the group was very keen to see how any cut would be paid for. There was concern that a tax cut should not involve spending cuts to public services. All had to be properly accounted/paid for.
Our second debate again influenced by the approaching elections for next year in the UK and in the USA, turned to the question of whether we should have shorter or longer terms of office/gaps between elections. Here the group was again evenly divided at the first telling but moved to being in favour of shorter terms at the second telling. It was felt this was a greater check/balance on Governments - a better way to hold them to account. This trumped the merits of longer term planning with longer terms in office.
Well done all for such excellent points and questions.
It was also superb to see our skill of the week 'rebuttal' being used in such a sophisticated manner.
Looking forward to next week!