Family Debate

I have just had a new experience – I was a judge in a School’s debating competition.

To make it even better, the teacher organising the competition was my daughter Ellen. And one of the other judges was my younger son Graham. Another was Prof. Richard Norman (any relation, Liz? Wink).

There were three debates in the morning and two in the afternoon. The topics were:-

“Euthanasia should be made legal”

“A law banning Incitement to Hatred has no place in a Liberal Democracy”

“Soap Operas have no artistic merit.”

“If Global Warming is happening, there is no evidence that it is man-made”

“There is no room for ethics in British foreign policy”

I was one of 3 judges in nos 1, 4 & 5.

I think my proudest moment was during debate 2, when Ellen took the Chair, and Prof. Norman and Graham were 2 out of the 3 judges, and Graham’s mate Steve was the other. Watching Ellen chairing the debate as though she had been doing it all her life, and listening to Graham asking really searching questions of the two teams, totally confident in front of an audience, brought a tear to my eye.

Of debate no. 2, after we were at Ellen’s house eating Chinese food, Graham summed things up succinctly: “Quoting John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism when you are in the Lower Sixth is pretty fucking impressive!”

Probably just as well that he saved that one up for when the Head Teacher was out of earshot!

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