Rarely has an August/mid Summer session presented the Socratic club (Junior and Senior) with so many topics of national, indeed global interest.
For this special holiday workshop we focussed on current affairs, catching up on the Conservative leadership race and the candidates in the running to be Prime Minister, as well as wider European politics with the resignation of Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister. In global news, we turned to Taiwan, following the controversial visit of Nansi Pelosi (Speaker of the House of Representatives USA) and potential conflict with China. In addition, we touched on climate change and a cost of living crisis engulfing the world; and whether Covid no longer matters.
We asked the group who they would pick for PM of Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak:
(1) Liz Truss: 0%
(2) Rishi Sunak: 100%
Whilst the group felt that Liz Truss presented herself in a more commanding way, there was a strong interest across Junior and Senior for a leader that would deal with inflation and the cost of living crisis. Sunak was felt to have the better policies. We also explored comparison to former PMs such as Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.
In our second debate we turned to the question/motion: 'Should America/the West support Taiwan if China attacks?'
(1) Y: 100%; N: 0%
(2) Y: 100%; N: 0%
Here the geographical position of Taiwan played an important role in the opposition arguments, with a concern over the practicalities of support that would not lead to WMD; along with sanctions and the risks to the global economy. Whilst the proposition sought to emphasize a history of appeasement/risk of; the vital nature of sticking to
promises/agreements; and the risk of doing nothing to America's global position and that of the West in protecting the rule of law, democracies and the rights of smaller countries. The discussion also touched on Ukraine and the ongoing war and conflict and how this was playing out amongst India, China and Russia in diplomatic and trading relations.
Despite an impressive debating performance by the opposition, the proposition held sway with a consistent unanimous vote at both tellings in favour of support.
We ended with an overview of the cost of living crisis and climate change with drought and hot weather impacting much of the globe.
We will pick up these topics on 4 September and much looking forward to seeing our members then!
Well done all!