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St Philip’s School - 21st November

This was another excellent session with our St Philip's debating club. It is clear the group have grown in confidence post half term and are thoroughly engaged with the news/world around them.  

Our key skill this week involved looking at rebuttal and how best to implement criticism/rejection of an opposing argument/point(s). 

The best of the group today not only incorporated rebuttal in their speeches, but also remembered to show team work, active listening skills and structure to their argumentation with signposting. 

After a warm-up interview question on the seasons of the year, our two debates this week centred on the autumn statement/budget and the build up to elections next year in the UK and the USA:

(1) The Motion: 'This House would cut inheritance tax'.

Here the group overwhelmingly supported a cut, with the majority at both tellings very unhappy with the idea of taxing assets that had already been taxed and the emotional hit of taxing people after a death. It was also felt to be anti-aspirational. What is more natural it was argued than to try and hand down to the next generation. 

It will be fascinating to see what the Chancellor does in the autumn statement. 

(2) Our second debate was much more evenly split with many in favour of shorter terms, holding government and politicians more frequently to account. Whilst others felt that it was expensive to hold regular elections (millions in the UK and billions in the USA) and thought it would be better to have longer terms to allow for longer term planning such as infrastructure projects that would otherwise have little for them in terms of immediate vote gains. 

Well done all!

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