Broadgate Speakers came and joined us last week for our annual debate night. It was a great night full passion, prostitution and some good natured heckling! But how did it end? Are we the Champions, or the Chumps? Read on my friends, and find out….
Last Tuesday saw the next round in this annual struggle, and we welcomed the Toastmasters from Broadgate Speakers into our venue ready for the skirmish! Our Toastmaster for the evening (Ga Lok Chung) was on hand to ensure that it was a fair fight, and ran the meeting with the skill and precision we’ve come to expect from one of our most accomplished members.
For a warm up we held an adversarial based range of table topics, with our table topics master (Isaya Taingwa) dreaming up a great range of topics – all of which were controversial! From Legalising Cannabis to banning violent video games, with a sprinkling of outdated marriage and assisted suicide along the way. Our contestants were challenged and forced to pick a side for each and every one.
Isaya further raised the stakes by making all the Table Topics evaluations impromptu! Randomly picking an audience member after each topic had concluded, he foisted the responsibility of commending/recommending onto them and kept us all paying judicious attention to the proceedings.
In the end it was Matteo who took the crown for City Speakers giving the best Table Topic speech explaining how Women should be allowed to go topless in public!!
Since it was a special occasion, we upgraded our tea and biscuit selection for the break to include caramel digestives, and after a fill of sugar and caffeine we headed into the 2nd half of the meeting where our Debate Mistress Nerea presided over 3 excellent debates.
This house believes that people should be more involved in strikes & political issues.
Tamlyn (Broadgate) launched the debate in favour of Strikes. He told us how striking and political activism were good philosophically, empirically, and personally. Tamlyn concluded by pointing out that Nazis didn’t allow strikes so to be against strikes was to side with the Nazis!
Paul Rocks (City Speakers) immediately countered this argument by pointing out that the Nazis were pretty strong on their political views and that perhaps a little apathy would have gone a long way to quelling their ambitions! He followed up by pointing out that nowadays, when it is almost impossible to tell the political parties apart, and therefore a strike was “null, void, and ineffective”.
Anthony (Broadgate) took up the point next, encouraging us to make our voices heard to hold our politicians to account. Finally, Bill waded into the debate pointing out that if we voted, then we are responsible for the governments choices and can’t then complain about the result! He hammered it home with his final point that sealed the deal in favour of City Speakers: Politicians are all the same, our main parties are Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, and Tweedle Dem!
This house believes that the Internet is making people smarter.
The second debate motion stated that the Internet makes us smarter. Rob (Broadgate) kicked us off by reminding us how the volume of knowledge at our fingertips and the collective power of the hive mind grant us limitless possibilities.
Agnes from City Speakers set out to prove that the Internet, on the contrary, is making us dumb and crushed her Broadgate opponents’ arguments. She told us how the fact that we’re human, and as such, fallible and weak, is reflected in the way we use the Internet, mostly pottering away the hours on Facebook and YouTube rather than improving ourselves. Also, a lot of what we find on the Internet is not to be trusted. At the end of it we were left in no doubt that Internet turns us into self-indulgent, lazy slobs.
Her arguments forced Broadgate’s Anthony clearly on the back foot as he spent his time on stage refuting Agnes’ points rather than laying out his case in support of the motion.
City Speakers’ final contestant in this round was Matteo, who really drove home the point about the drawbacks of the Internet. He gave us plenty more evidence how lazy we all are by default, which prevents us from benefitting from the Internet.
This house believes that dogs are better than cats
In the final combat, it was Ian and Nikola’s turn on the stage to fight for City Speakers and the guys, indeed, let the dogs out! Their task was to argue the case that it’s better to have a dog than a cat.
The audience was deeply touched when Ian described how your canine friend would help you get out of a burning house, while a cat would just worry about saving its own skin, in which case you’d be dead.
Rob took to the stage again in defence of cats, although he somewhat scuppered his own argument by suggesting that in the burning house scenario, the cat would alert you by clawing you while you slept!
Nikola continued our theme, arguing that a dog will be your friend for life and picking up after it is little price to pay, undermining Broadgate’s view that keeping dogs is a hassle. Dogs are the only beings to give you unconditional love and save you a fortune in gym membership fees.
Ian and Nikola’s speeches were so powerful that it even prompted for final speaker (Nush from Broadgate) to admit that while she favoured cats, dogs were cute too! This clearly forced the cat back into the bag and secured City Speakers a well-deserved victory.
Debate Winner: City Speakers
So after a great well fought debate night, and a clean sweep of wins (only slightly helped by the home advantage!), it was City Speakers who retained the crown of best debaters for the next year. Really got the blood flowing and the competitive spirit up – now we just have to wait 12 months for the next one… looking forward to it already.
by Ed Patmore and Agnes Lovasz