Talbot Heath School was delighted to host the iDebate last week where leading political journalists from The Independent newspaper debated the motion: ‘Political chaos on May 8 would be good for British democracy.’ It was a public debate aimed at university students, although staff, parents and pupils also formed the audience for the evening.
Olly Duff, Editor of the i-paper introduced the event and as Fleet Street’s youngest editor he inspired the budding journalists in the audience. Jane Merrick, political editor of The Independent on Sunday, and Simon O’Hagan, editor of Independent Voices argued in favour of the motion. Chief political columnist for The Independent Steve Richards was arguing against. Chairing the event was The Independent’s Whitehall editor Oliver Wright. Some of the issues raised were whether the best voting system is in place; the influence of the SNP in Westminster and that an air of ‘disillusionment’ is present amongst voters which political chaos would not help to dissipate. The final vote from the audience was split equally on whether political chaos would be good for democracy.
The school were proud to be chosen as one of the regional venues for the debate and the Head stated how the in-house magazine team were a credit to the school during the event. The Independent editors acknowledged how generally pupils can be taciturn or over confident but the TH pupils ‘provided intelligent conversation’ and were ‘enjoyable to speak to.’