Union Debate: “This House Would call Edward Snowden a hero”

The Oxford Union’s 6th debate was a passionate affair, with speeches focusing on whether whistleblowing constitutes treason or a call for justice, and whether Edward Snowden, the now-famous source of the files that revealed the National Security Agency global data-tapping programme, merits the title “hero.” Chris Hedges, a long-time journalist with the New York Times, […]

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“This house believes Thatcher saved Britain”

This week’s debate began with mixed tidings.  Union President Paulina Ivanova opened proceedings with the unfortunate news that Ken Livingston, a speaker for the opposition, would be unable to make the debate following  the cancellation of trains from London due to flooding.  The audience were not left regretting the loss long.  Ivanova quickly softened the […]

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Should song lyrics be considered poetry?

Alex Cowan: It’s hard to deny that ‘lyrics-as-poetry’ is an appealing concept. The very idea of ‘poetry’ comes with a whole raft of associations—artistic, literary, profound—that, (among other things) can go along way to justifying one’s own taste in listening. While I don’t want to argue that this kind of comparative literary judgement is an […]

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MEP “compares student to disabled King”

There are reports that MEP Godfrey Bloom mocked a physically disabled student at an Oxford Union debate this week. David Browne, a student from Merton, delivered a floor speech in which he criticised Bloom for accusing a previous speaker of racism. Bloom, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, responded by asking him: “Are you Richard […]

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This House believes religion harms society

Constituents and debaters of the fourth debate of Michaelmas Term weighted the merits of the motion ‘This House believes religion harms society.’ Along with ample discussion of the qualities of religion, the speakers raised the weighty question in a sometimes confrontational but engaging manner. Asking the crowd whether they had already made up their mind […]

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Students Wet Whistle On Willetts

During tonight’s scheduled debate on education, students were removed from the Oxford Union after hurling derogatory and incisive chants and insults towards Conservative Party Member David Willetts. During Willetts’ speech defending the proposition, on the motion “This house believes that education is a right, not a privilege,” a banner was unfurled from the balcony that […]

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Sepp Blatter at the Oxford Union: live blog

19:23: That’s all – in our editor’s words, the final whistle has blown. Sepp didn’t storm off the pitch like Galloway did back in February, but it was an interesting hour or so nonetheless. Thanks for sticking with OxStu, and have a good evening! 19:19: More laughs from the audience, as Blatter impersonates Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo […]

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Debate: Englishness is defined by being born in England

Proposition – Harry Noad The English are, by law, a nation. We inhabit this ‘green and pleasant’ land, a peoples originally descended from the Anglo-Saxons of old. In a week where a Belgian teenager of Albanian descent and a twenty-one year old from Stevenage have sparked raucous debate over the definition of Englishness, we the […]

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Debate: This House believes it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a banker to enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Ayes: 81 Noes: 190 In a lively and humorous debate, the Union considered the question of morality in the banking system and of bankers themselves. Standing Committee member Cai Wilshaw opened the debate in favour of the motion, stating: “bankers themselves are to blame for the financial crisis”. In particular, he castigated their “grand disregard for other […]

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