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The Socratic Club - 12th December

For the last Socratic club of this term - our Junior and Senior sessions began with a review and a quiz covering both current affairs and skills from the past year. The Quiz took the format of University Challenge style questions with the groups divided into teams. We were delighted with the recall from each session and just how much both groups have retained in skills and knowledge from the year. Junior Socratic Club In the second half of the Junior Socratic club session we tackled the headline on the No. 10 Christmas Party with the motion: 'This House believes we are getting too excited about an event that happened a year ago'. Vote 1 – Y: 17%; N: 83% Vote 2 – Y: 40%; N: 60% It was quite clear, although a small swing took place with the second vote, that the Junior club did not feel we were getting too excited. Overwhelmingly the group was very unhappy with a 'do as I say, not as I do' approach and many were shocked that such behaviour had taken place. Bubbles, and the fact the event had taken place over a year ago did little to mitigate the frustration expressed. Buzz words included 'Trust' and questions of 'Fairness'. We ended the session by touching upon the tension on the Ukrainian border with Russia and the recent talks between Biden and Putin. The group was split over whether the West should intervene should Russia invade Ukraine. The topic also allowed us to discuss proxy wars. It was an excellent session and the group asked superb questions and spoke throughout with imposing conviction. Senior Socratic Club As with the Junior group, our focus began on a review of the year and a University Challenge style set of questions. The competition was excellent throughout. The debate for the Senior Club turned to whether the next winter Olympics in China should be boycotted. The Motion, 'This House believes the UK should boycott the winter Olympics in China'. Vote 1 – Y: 33%; N: 67% Vote 2 – Y: 17%; N: 83% Whilst the entire group saw potential failings and human rights abuses from the current Chinese regime, the majority view felt that a boycott of the Olympics would make little difference. To many it seemed like posturing with no real damage to be be done to China and little chance of a change of policy towards minorities and Muslims or Uyghurs. Perhaps in Churchillian form, the group was persuaded by a consistent line of argument - that this would have little impact. If we wanted to be serious then trade was the way to go or sanctions, but boycotting the Olympics would achieve nothing at all. This was hammered home by the opposition to great design and the group was further swayed in the second telling. It was a tremendous debate - and passionately argued on both sides. We have been delighted with the progress made by participants of both club sessions throughout the year and greatly look forward to covering new skills and new topics in 2022! We wish you all a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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