School Debates

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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rockfreak
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School Debates

Post by rockfreak » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:27 pm

Does the school still have a debating society? I still have a vague memory of some of the debates that took place in the 1950s and one that sticks in my mind went thus: "This house would rather be a minor athlete than a major aesthete." Have I got that the right way round??? If so it would be an interesting comment on the philistine attitudes in society in general back then and public schools in particular. Also, there was one in 1956 or thereabouts that recommended banning rock 'n' roll (before Seaman actually went and did it). I believe that Elvis, Little Richard et al carried the day, largely due to all the rockers and rebels at the school turning up in numbers to ensure the victory.

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Re: School Debates

Post by dsmg » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:01 am

I remember a couple of good ones in the 70s with Rex Sweeney particularly holding sway. Refresh my memory please - were they held in the little dining room next to the main one? I say little tho' it was probably about 200 m2!
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J.R.
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Re: School Debates

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:02 pm

I remember taking part in a couple of debates in the library in the early 60's, but I can't remember for the life of me, what the motions were.
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Richard
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Re: School Debates

Post by Richard » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:12 pm

Here are some debates of a political nature in which Michael Stewart participated in the early 1920s. He was later to become twice Foreign Secretary in Labour Governments under Harold Wilson. Stewart was an excellent debater and left wing politician, even at school, easily winning a CH mock election as a Labour and Irish Nationalist candidate, to the horror of many masters. With the approval of the HM, Dr WH Fyfe, Stewart founded the CH Political Society with himself as Vice-President. Presumably to keep an eye on what went on the HM was its President. The titles of motions below in which Stewart participated were obtained from “The Blue”, so if any reader has copies from other periods further titles of motions debated can be obtained.

Stewart participated in the defending motions against
- Mussolini,
- the Klu Klux Klan,
- Fascism,
- British Imperialism,
- the French occupation of the Ruhr
- and he debated for Irish Independence.

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J.R.
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Re: School Debates

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:56 pm

Richard wrote:Here are some debates of a political nature in which Michael Stewart participated in the early 1920s. He was later to become twice Foreign Secretary in Labour Governments under Harold Wilson. Stewart was an excellent debater and left wing politician, even at school, easily winning a CH mock election as a Labour and Irish Nationalist candidate, to the horror of many masters. With the approval of the HM, Dr WH Fyfe, Stewart founded the CH Political Society with himself as Vice-President. Presumably to keep an eye on what went on the HM was its President. The titles of motions below in which Stewart participated were obtained from “The Blue”, so if any reader has copies from other periods further titles of motions debated can be obtained.

Stewart participated in the defending motions against
- Mussolini,
- the Klu Klux Klan,
- Fascism,
- British Imperialism,
- the French occupation of the Ruhr
- and he debated for Irish Independence.

Quite an interesting and contoversial list.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: School Debates

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:52 pm

The great debater c. 1960 was Alan Ryan, whose subsequent career has, shall we say, been distinguished.
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J.R.
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Re: School Debates

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:08 pm

michael scuffil wrote:The great debater c. 1960 was Alan Ryan, whose subsequent career has, shall we say, been distinguished.

1960, MIchael ? As someone who enjoyed attending debates, this name should ring a very large bell - but it doesn't. Any further info ?
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Re: School Debates

Post by keibat » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:52 pm

Alan James Ryan, FBA was Warden of New College, Oxford, and Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford and is currently a lecturer at Princeton University.

says Wikipedia, though it's unclear to me whether he is actually now (2015) in the States or the UK. A political-science philosopher to be reckoned-with. One of a distinguished little galaxy of exceptionally bright star Grecians clustered round Michael Cherniavsky.

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J.R.
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Re: School Debates

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:30 pm

keibat wrote:Alan James Ryan, FBA was Warden of New College, Oxford, and Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford and is currently a lecturer at Princeton University.

says Wikipedia, though it's unclear to me whether he is actually now (2015) in the States or the UK. A political-science philosopher to be reckoned-with. One of a distinguished little galaxy of exceptionally bright star Grecians clustered round Michael Cherniavsky.

Thanks Keith. Obviously one of the educationally gifted scholars, but still no bell ringing in the back of my ageing brain.

Incidentally, your surname does ring a bell with me. Were you conected with the band, perchance ?
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rockfreak
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Re: School Debates

Post by rockfreak » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:13 pm

Keith Battarbee, remind me, was it you who appeared on University Challenge in the early 60s, answering the key question at the last gasp and winning the thing for your college, or have I got someone else?

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Re: School Debates

Post by YadaYada » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:50 am

Debating is still alive and well. My son is vice president or vice captain of the club this year. He's also represented the school in some debating competitions so still something that is encouraged.
I shall ask him for a list of some of the recent 'motions'.

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Re: School Debates

Post by Richard » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:51 am

Alan Ryan (La A) was a professor at Princeton University (USA) for some years before he returned to the UK to be a professor and the head of New College, Oxford. After reaching the obligatory UK/Oxford retirement age he returned to teach and research at Princeton, where he is now, for in the USA the national policy of anti-ageism means there is no compulsory retirement age. As has been already indicated he is a very distinguished scholar.

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Re: School Debates

Post by Mid A 15 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:16 pm

Ron "Nog" Lorimer presided over the Debating Society during my time.

The usual venue for meetings was the Dominions Library.

There used to be a House debating competition back in those days does that still happen?
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Re: School Debates

Post by alterblau » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:03 pm

I don’t remember any House Debating Competition in the 1950s. Then MT Cherniavsky was the master in charge of debating and took a keen interest in it. Meetings were popular and held in the Dominions’ Library on the few Saturday evenings when there were no other events. Occasionally there were debates with other schools. I recall three; one with Roedean (a distinguished girls’ boarding school near Brighton) and others with Charterhouse and with the City of London School. At the latter, one of the visiting speakers sang part of his speech. Although I was present, I do not remember the motions’ titles, or the results, but that will be in The Blue.

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Re: School Debates

Post by YadaYada » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:43 pm

Debates this term have been:
This house would welcome Syrian migrants.
This house would have a designer baby.

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