The ‘Phil Speaks’ Debating Competition 20th /21st January
Harry Oke-Osanyintolu reports:
The Phil Speaks competition 2017 was nothing close to what we imagined; it was much better. We arrived at Trinity College, Dublin at around 9:00 am before the first round. We had to register our names and our school’s name and then came the hard part, we had to talk to other people or else we would stand out as being socially awkward individuals. This was easier for some of the members of the team because they knew some people but for me, it was harder than the debates. They announced the first topic which saved me from embarrassing myself in front of strangers which was ” this house would abolish monarchism”. This was an unfamiliar topic to me but not for my better half, Jack Stokes who knew exactly what he was saying. There was a twist in this round because we had to go against our other team made up of Sophie Matthews and Marie-Pauline Bleyl. Both of them were capable opponents and lived up to expectation. I felt we debated this topic well by mentioning how monarchism led to patriotism and also mentioning aspects of monarchism that led to our present civilization. We mentioned the Oyo kingdom as a form of monarchism that brought music, art, architecture and other aspects of development into Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
Our opponents mentioned King Nero as a form of bad monarchism but we were able to use the fact that King Nero closed the Amphitheater for 10 years to ensure the safety of the people of Pompeii. We came second and our other team came third. This was a great first round outcome especially for our third team made up of Emily Devereux and Abraham Lozano who came out on top even though they thought they were supporting the motion while they were opposing it for the first minutes of the debate which I found outstanding.
The next round took it up a level, we were against people who were at our standard and the topic of “this house believes that feminist icons such as Beyonce and Taylor Swift and others like them have contributed positively to the feminist movement”. The moment we saw this topic our jaws dropped and we knew we had to bring out our inner feminist to ensure our victory in supporting the motion. This was very difficult but we used our fire and ice approach which was Jack would be calm and I would heat the place up by show of enthusiasm. We came second again but our other teams both came fourth which was a surprise because they thought they performed better.
As an event we were invited to, we felt it would be of a low standard but the truth is that it was far from it, We were served pizza which we all loved and also enjoyed spending time with different people who shared our love of debating. This concludes our first day.
We felt confident after our first day and our other teams were ready to rumble and our topic was that “this house believes that we should not trade with countries that have bad humanitarian records” This was a closed debate therefore, we don’t get our results but we felt confident that our fire and ice approach worked its magic. The next round was an,other closed debate but the first two debates on this day would dictate whether we earn a spot in the semi finals. after this round they served us nice warm crepes which were delicious and after this was the qualifying round. The topic was “this house would remove social media as a news source for younger people” We were in support of this motion but we felt we didn’t reach our fool potential but we kept our faith. We had our diner which was a burger and fries which was also great. After this was the moment we all had been waiting for, they announced the teams but when they said our college it sounded like they were saying something completely different but we did it but sadly only we made it, not our other teams. We knew that the level would be raised even higher. Our topic was that ” this house would ban politicians who don’t believe in climate change from seeking office”. We were against this and we tried our best to win it but our best was not enough when we found out we didn’t make the finals.