Bede's Economics Society: EU Debate Against Worth School

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The orators in question: Oliver Morriss, Edmund Cudlipp and Piers Nathan.

On Wednesday 26th March, three members of the Bede's Economics Society took part in a hotly contested debate about EU membership, hosted at Worth School.

Three members of the BES were taking part; Edmund Cudlipp, Oliver Morriss and Piers Nathan. This was a fairly new venture for us, with only one member, Piers, having taken part in a debate previously. Worth, meanwhile, have a society purely dedicated to debating and were therefore more specialised in this field.

That said, Piers came to the contest hot off his victory in the Wealden Schools Debating Competition, meaning that a Worth victory was far from assured.

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Piers during the debate at Worth School.

The motion proposed by us was 'The UK should leave the EU.' It was an Oxford-style debate, wherein each side had an introductory, main and concluding speaker. Kindly, Worth organised for an impartial judge of high calibre who was the Head of Debating at Hurstpierpoint College, who has vast experience in the judgement of this style of debate.

The first speaker was Edmund who introduced the idea that we, the UK, should leave the EU. He spoke with great authority and elegance, making an instant impression on the audience. It is imperative for a convincing debate to start in a strong, logical and succinct manor; three traits which Edmund certainly succeeded in providing.

2There were three main points which Ed's argument revolved around; The EU was draining the British economy, our trade would not be hindered if we left and that the EU is undemocratic and unaccountable.

Ed's opening comments were followed by our main speaker, Oliver, who supported and elaborated on the introduction. He was very well composed, speaking with great confidence for his first debate. He had a good use of rhetorical questions and ordered his points in a professional manner.

The main speaker must use a substantial amount of factual knowledge, interspersed with valid points of view, and must display an impressive presence to the audience.

This was well achieved by Oliver, who set a high bar for our opponents.

Worth presented us with frequent, valid and well-argued points which made the debate very close up to and after the main speaker, where an intermission was taken and questions were given in by the audience.

We were tested on various questions, with many of the inquiries proving challenging to answer. Regardless, the questions were answered with dignity and conviction, and soon we were onto our last speaker, Wealden Schools Debating Champion Piers.

Piers started by bringing the opposition up on some of the issues with their arguments; this was an effective way of starting as it rendered a number of their points unjustifiable, which immediately put them on the back foot. Piers then continued with his concise and coherent argument, which resulted in the Bede's team coming across as even stronger.

The final comments from the Worth side marked the end of the debate, but at this juncture the winner was far from evident. The judge then finalised her notes and calculated the total scores.

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Deis House's Ollie Morriss in full-flow.

The close nature of the debate was then confirmed by the judge, who announced that there was one point determining the victors.

After a nerve-wracking wait, it was revealed that Bede's had won. This was a tremendous achievement for our first debate, especially taking into account that the argument we were making was something that two of our members did not even support!

We would like to thank our opponents for a fantastic experience, and for being such superb hosts, and to the Head of Debating from Hurstpierpoint College for her superb oversight.

We now look forward to our next debate, which we hope will be taking place next term.

Edmund Cudlipp, Ollie Morriss and Piers Nathan

Bede's Economics Society