General Election Debate 2019

Lancing College held a general election debate on 3 December in Great School. With nine parties represented, the topics under discussion varied from Brexit, the NHS, climate change policy, crime fighting positions and the Irish border. The representatives were a mix of year groups, Houses, genders and students in Politics and Debating Societies and those who volunteered due to an interest in this particular election. Each party delivered a prepared manifesto describing their priorities if elected and then the audience asked questions addressed to the various parties. Mr Drummond enquired as to which parties might join each other in coalition in the result of a hung parliament. The responses led to some very unusual pairings, none of which were welcomed by the Conservatives.

The real test of verbal dexterity occurred when the parties took one another on. A high point being when Dante P, representing the Conservatives, demanded to know why Sinn F was even participating. Max M’s spirited reply that the long-ago Tudor conquest of Ireland necessitated their presence got laughs from the audience, as did Charlie H’s robust defence of Jeremy Corbyn. The Green Party were poised and compelling as were Plaid Cymru as were the Brexit Party, and both the SNP and the DUP did a thorough job at delivering their manifestos and responding to the audience. The Liberal Democrats may pursue legal action as they felt the Chair did not allow them to speak as often as they would have liked.

Dr Elizabeth Keane, Head of Politics