Tag Archives: st andrews university debating society

My first foray into the world of student debating…

St Andrew's DebateA few weeks ago, out of the blue, I had an email from the President of the St Andrew’s University Debating Society inviting me to take part in their annual Parliamentary Debate on the subject “This House has no faith in Her Majesty’s Government.”

I was heavily encouraged by my co-editor Stephen Tall (who had taken part last year) and others to accept, despite my reservations. It had been a long time since I’d been at a university debate and I’d never spoken in one, not even from the floor. They key thing for me is that I write, I don’t speak. My gob is not equipped with the advantage of a backspace key. Nor can I tell jokes or do all the theatrical stuff. I allowed myself to be talked into it, though. By the morning of the debate on Thursday, I was alternately hyperventilating and mewling into a pillow, wondering why on earth I’d put myself in this situation. I had no alternative, though, but to embrace the fear and get on with it.

My satnav took me on the scariest route possible to North East Fife. I had thought of defying her, but she gets incredibly passive aggressive if you do so. I joined members of the Debating Society’s Board of 10 for a pre-debate meal. Unusually, I was the only speaker there. Chatting to them and finding out about the university and the society really helped settle my nerves. They were very lovely and hospitable. 

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