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City and Islington College students debate the return of socialism in Europe
Submitted by Alexander Cavell on 28 June 2012
The United Kingdom’s Debate in the Neighbourhood programme staged its first ever public debate this week, at City and Islington Sixth Form College.
The culmination of a total of 18 hours of debate and speech training delivered to 16 and 17 year-olds studying for AS-levels at City and Islington, the event brought together six young debaters, two special guests and an audience of 100 students and teachers to discuss the motion “This House believes that socialism in Europe is dead.”
Subtitled “Young Citizens Explore Europe’s Future”, the motion was selected collaboratively by City and Islington’s students and staff. Reflecting the concerns and interests of the young people studying at the College, the debate was designed to give the speakers and their audience an opportunity to explore and express opinions on the deepening financial crisis in the EU and the changing face of political opposition in Europe.
Proposing the motion were Essack Chowdhury Miah, Kyla Vanbrook and Jackson Arnold. The proposing team spoke alongside Brendan O’Neill, editor of the news website Spiked, a writer for the Spectator magazine and a columnist for the Big Issue.
Gabriella Pini-Colbert, Victoria Adeyi and Nikita Quarshie opposed the motion, and were joined by Judith Orr, editor of the campaigning left-wing newspaper the Socialist Worker.
Young Citizens Exploring Europe’s Future showcased City and Islington students working together to build on their understanding of the policies and politics that are shaping the societies they will inherit. The debaters engaged in an exciting and wide-ranging panel discussion, demonstrating a commitment to research and preparation on par with the best that the international debate circuit has to offer. Addressing their subject with confidence and poise, the debaters drew plaudits from the audience for taking the debate beyond the commentaries of the mass media by working to develop their own unique perspectives and ideas.
Argument ranged from an analysis of Keynesianism by Nikita Quarshie to Essack Chowdhury Miah’s incisive points on the French presidential election, political capital and the role of economic competition of in western societies.
The UK DiN team would like to extend its thanks to City and Islington College, Brendan O’Neill, Judith Orr and all of the young people who contributed to the debate.
Young Citizens Exploring Europe’s Future is only the first of DiN UK’s programme public events. Each DiN debate will take a similar approach to local, regional and international controversies most important to young people and their communities.
Debate in the Neighbourhood arrives in south London
The next DiN public debate will take place on 02 July at Ladywell Fields College in south London. A group of 13 and 14 year-old pupils will take a fresh look at the culture and background of secondary education in the UK when they discuss the motion “This House believes that all UK pupils should be allowed to decide the curriculum, timetables and rules of the schools they attend.” Their audience will be made up of their classmates, local politicians and members of their communities.
Get involved in Debate in the Neighbourhood
Debate in the Neighbourhood UK continues IDEA’s goal of creating open, vibrant and transparent democracies by introducing public speaking and critical discussion into new settings and communities.
With a focus on delivering debate training to young people, Debate in the Neighbourhood aims to bring communities together through a culture of open discussion and debate, focussing on local issues and interests.
DiN promotes a unique, informal and fun approach to public discussion in order to increase civic participation amongst young people, and to encourage the open and respectful exchange of ideas across diverse cultures and faiths.
DiN UK works with youth groups, schools, colleges and neighbourhood organisations across London and the United Kingdom. Teachers and youth leader who want to get involved in the Debate in the Neighbourhood programme should contact Alexander Cavell via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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