Harris Society debate with Headington
On Friday April 22nd, ten budding geographers travelled to Headington School
in Oxford to listen to a talk and then join a debate. We met the girls at their
lovely music centre, where we went for a delightful meal and I would like to
say a big thank you from Radley for the hospitality, which was second to
After the meal, we went for a talk from Mr Trevor Cole, an expert, former
teacher and photographer, who showed us his magnificent pieces of work and
described the situation occurring in Ethiopia specifically: a place he has
worked and visited for many years. This was an excellent and enlightening talk
and taught us much about the issues regarding Africa, but also about what an
amazing country Ethiopia is.
We then started the debate. The motion was, ‘Aid to Africa does more harm
than good’. The team for the motion was Geordie Gordon-Lennox, Jamie Farr, Issy
Lang and Rosie Little against myself, Tom Allan, Hannah Anson and Izzy Morton.
We started off with an uninterrupted three-minute introduction on our thoughts
on the motion, before the two experts judging the debate asked specific
questions to us about the motion and what we thought. We were then asked
numerous questions from the audience which was very tough. Alexander Beare asked
the most controversial question of the night: everyone gasped, as he asked
whether one should allow Africans to die to save money. As the debate went on,
both teams debated and argued against one another, which was enthralling and
filled with many answers of a high quality.
As the debate came to a close, the ‘against team’ were given the victory
after our rebuttal of their point on Fair Trade and how Trans-National
Corporations use the poor and exploit them for their own benefit, as well as
using the moral obligation which we possess as a developed nation to help
The debate was great fun and one can only hope that Radley and Headington
have more debates between each other. A big thank you to GJAH for his
help in organising the debate, as well as Mr Cunningham from Headington, in
chairing the debate and allowing us to use their great facilities. Also thanks
to EGP for taking us there and a special thank you from Radley to the girls for
being such gracious hosts and for embracing us when we arrived.
Report by Charles Henry, E Social 6.1