Debate This: Just how useful is Jane Austen?

George Townson, Jack Hunter, Lottie Heslop and Tanaya Khisty

An Urmston Grammar team of debaters – comprising Harriet Short and Ange Boli in Year 11, and Cat David in Year 13 – having qualified to the second round in December, competed this week in the next stage of the nationwide Debating Competition – The English Speaking Union’s Mace. Speaking for the proposition that ‘This House Would make Vaccinations compulsory’, the team worked very well together, making a strong case for a rather extreme position: forcing everyone to get vaccinated in order to overcome the fake news about vaccines sweeping the world, a paranoia which endangers the lives of millions and threatens to roll back two hundred years of medical advances.

A second team of Jack Hunter, Lottie Heslop and George Townson all from Year 12, also took part as another team was needed to make up the numbers on the night. Speaking against the proposition that ‘This House Believes that Secondary Education should give Equal Prominence to Arts subjects as it does to Science Subjects’, the team were by far the most entertaining of the night; largely arguing against their own beliefs, the team really raised the standard of the night and were suitably commended. Lottie Heslop got the biggest laugh of the evening by wondering at the usefulness of Jane Austen, an author she is currently studying for A-Level. The Urmston Grammar team didn’t make it to the Regional Final this year; however, it was great preparation for the competitions coming up next week.

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