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The Socratic Club - 5th June


It was great to gather for the Junior and Senior Socratic clubs over the Platinum Jubilee Weekend.


We covered topical debates as well as more philosophical ideas/questions.

As always we were hugely impressed with the quality of contributions and the skills displayed. We will continue to focus on teamwork and evidence based argumentation in our forthcoming sessions.


Junior Socratic Club


Motions & Votes:

(A) 'This House would rather have a Monarchy (King or Queen) than a Republic (Presidency)'

Vote 1

Y: 50%; N: 50%

Vote 2

Y: 50%; N: 50%


(B) 'Does Money make you happy?'

Vote 1

Y: 20%; N: 80%

Vote 2

Y: 20%; N: 80%


We began with a rather topical question on royalty with a motion focussed on whether this house would rather have a monarchy or a republic. The debate rested not on the quality of service or work ethic and commitment of the royal family - that was much praised, but rather on the philosophical question of what mattered more - a hereditary system or a democratically chosen head of state. The voting began 50/50 and remained the same at the second telling. Whilst many wanted a 'people chosen/picked' leader, many also feared the possibility of a Putin or a Trump style ruler that would be harder to remove than the current system in which the UK has a constitutional monarch for symbolism rather than for political power.


Although strongly argued, the group felt that money was not the cause of happiness and other key features mattered more, such as health and family. Yet, a rear-guard action was fought pointing out that a degree of money was essential in those elements, from healthcare to education and housing and the corollary that without funds one would be unhappy. Nevertheless, the philosophical view that mammon did not bring happiness prevailed.


Senior Socratic Club


Motions & Votes:

(A) 'This House would allow key workers to strike?'

Vote 1

Y: 33%; N: 67%

Y: 67%; N: 33%


(B) 'This House would rather have a Monarchy (King or Queen) than a Republic (Presidency)'

Vote 1

Y: 67%; N: 33%

Vote 2

Y: 67%; N: 33%


With a rail and transport strike on the horizon we asked whether key workers should be allowed to strike. Initially the vote went against the motion. The group was strongly opposed to unnecessary strikes and thought other means should be sorted first and arranged such as through negotiations. Nevertheless, it was still felt that the right to strike was a key democratic right for workers and marked out the position in the 'Free World' in contrast to countries without the rule of law and democracy. This point won the day and the motion was carried at the second telling.


In contrast to the Junior Group we had majority support for the status quo in the Senior Group for monarchy. Fears of a Trump or Popularity contest weighed heavy on the vote, whilst the success of the current system, both in the Queen's service and in the money and prestige the royal family bring in, also played a strong role in the debate. 'Best of British' was a phrase used as well as the history of the system. Some felt that this was not a constitutional position one would create now, but it was, nevertheless, one that worked and 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'.


Well done all for such impressive contributions!



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