The AGM preceded the debate and all appropriate officers were appointed.
Under the chairmanship of Derek Cheek , the July question time panel of Helen Rees and Ray White addressed a diversity of questions about: Brexit, the World Cup, a Plastic Free Society, Jeremy Corbyn as PM and Transgender Toilets. With many varied contributions from the floor it proved to be a thought provoking evening.
At this month's debate: Mary Lane proposed that "We Live in the Worst of Times" as despite now knowing how to safeguard against the predicaments of war, poverty disease and ignorance they all continue on a larger scale than ever before. She cited over-population, the arms trade, toxic destruction of the planet and a marked lack of appropriate education as issues which still lead to widespread suffering for the human race Opposing the motion, Ray White acknowledged that the world was not yet perfect but felt it had improved throughout history because of the great progress made in many areas including knowledge, medicine and human rights. He argued that as a result we now live longer with more freedom and better prosperity and this should be both recognised and enjoyed.
Both speakers were thanked for leading an excellent debate which had prompted a variety of thought provoking responses from the floor. The motion was lost by 6 votes to 2 with 8 abstentions.
For this month's debate: John Ratford proposed that "Global Warming is Man-made" because research clearly demonstrates that human activity has produced a significant warming trend in the earth's climate in industrial times but especially since the 1970s. He felt that this was quite distinct from associated natural factors and that we needed to act on this evidence as the only people disputing it usually had a vested interest to the contrary.
However opposer Derek Cheek disagreed, citing other studies which had established that variations in the earth's axial tilt and precession of its orbit resulted in a naturally occurring cyclical pattern. He considered that this could be clearly seen in historical weather patterns and seasonal changes over thousands of years which had nothing to do with human actions and it was scaremongering to say otherwise.
Following lively input from the floor the motion was won by 7 votes to 3 with 6 abstentions
Under the chairmanship of Derek Cheek , the April question time panel of Lorry Greenall, Chris Lane and Bill Violen addressed a variety of questions about: the need for a second Brexit Referendum, Gender Pay, Universal basic pay schemes and whether the quality of TV comedy had improved since the fifties. With many lively and thoughtful contributions from the floor it proved to be an interesting and laughter filled evening.
At this month's debate Helen Rees proposed that "Race is an artificial Concept" since categorising people's racial grouping within a set of characteristics has no scientific basis. She argued that recent DNA research demonstrated that all humans descended from only a few African women and felt that racial classification had only been promoted by Europeans in the last few hundred years to justify their exploitation of newly discovered worlds.
Opposing the motion, Chris Lane asserted that the premise of race is a fundamental truth which can be easily explained by physicality, geography and sociology. Furthermore he considered that racist conclusions drawn about ethnicity are the real artificial concepts because they are formed by basic tribalism with its inherent violence, cruelty and greed.
Both speakers were thanked for leading an excellent thought provoking debate with many comments from the floor. The motion was lost by 5 votes to 7 with 3 abstentions.
For this month's debate Tony Oswick proposed that "Libraries are an Unaffordable Luxury" because they are outmoded, low profile facilities unable to realistically compete for the scarce monies available. He argued that demand for publically funded services had decreased with the advent of technology and that volunteers could administer residual resources in alternative ways. However Opposer Jon Salisbury disagreed considering libraries to be beacons of civilisation with an important role to play. He contended that they had been introduced in an era of extreme poverty and had subsequently greatly impacted on both literacy and reading skills. He felt that if we could look to the future with optimism we could afford libraries.
Following a variety of comments from the floor a vote was taken but the motion was lost.
Fourteen people attended to hearJake Clapton propose that "Prisons should not be privatised". Philip Donegan opposed and lost the motion.