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The Socratic Club - 23rd October

If we thought that the summer had been busy then October has given us the most remarkable month of political drama and market turmoil providing an extraordinary backdrop to our debates.

We began by looking at whether Liz Truss should have resigned; who should take over from Liz Truss; and should we have a General Election?

We were delighted with the knowledge shown in the group in terms of the events that led to the downfall of Liz Truss and the different perspectives raised for the outlook of the country.

The junior group voted: 83% in favour of Liz Truss resigning; the Senior Group voted unanimously in favour of her resignation.

We then turned to the skill of the week, and that of Rhetorical Questions. Each member of the different groups had to provide an example and to then use the skill in their debates. We were very pleased with the quality of exemplars given and the speed with which our members have grasped this skill.

In terms of the next Prime Minister in the Junior Group:

83% were in favour of Rishi Sunak

17% for Boris Johnson

0% for Penny Mordaunt

In the Senior Group, the voting was somewhat different:

60% for Rishi Sunak

20% for Boris Johnson

20% for Penny Mordaunt

Nevertheless, the majority supported the idea of the former Chancellor returning to high office in a spirit of reassuring the markets and the country.

This then gave rise to the central topic of BBC Question time and that of whether 'This House should have a General Election?'

Junior Group

1st Vote: Y: 71%; N: 33%

2nd Vote: Y: 29%; N: 67%

The motion was initially carried by the junior group, but questions of cost, several weeks of yet more instability and the lack of legal need, weighed heavily on the voting in the second telling.

Senior Group

1st Vote: Y: 60%; N: 40%

2nd Vote: Y: 60; N: 40%

The senior group saw a consistent majority in favour of a General Election, questioning the mandate of yet another Prime Minister, at a time of economic and political turmoil. However, we did see some splendid Active listening and argumentation, that saw several members switch sides having heard a very persuasive point.

In a packed session of topics we also covered the question of pensions rising with inflation in the Junior Group:

Should Pensioners get more money to be in line with inflation?

The general feeling was for more, but this raised the equally complex question of when people should retire.

In the Senior Group we managed to briefly touch on the protests in Iran, and whether the West should intervene. Many felt it the duty of America and others to lead the way in support. This was unanimously carried at the second telling, for all of the risks of intervention. It was a fascinating discussion.

Should the West help with the protests in Iran?

1st Vote: Y: 60%; N: 40%

2nd Vote: Y: 100%; N: 0%

Greatly looking forward to our forthcoming competition and to what the next week of current affairs will bring!

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