Debating Competition 2019: ‘This House Believes we should talk a little less, and do rather more’

24th June 2019

Proposition, 2nd Speaker. 3-minute time limit. Just a note: I don’t necessarily agree with everything said in this speech – In debating, you use the arguments best suited to your audience.

Debating in a Toxic Environment | Nick Gold | Speakers Corner ...

Mr Chairman, Madam Vice Chairman, Members of the House. Above all, this motion is about the value of debating. Before I start, let’s examine the concept of debating club. Everyone filters into a room, and vents – all our opinions, angers, and frustrations, about the world. And then what? We leave the room and carry on with our lives. Nothing changes. The ice caps are still melting, the government is still broken, and the rain forests are still being mowed down.

UN Climate Change Conference
United Nations Climate Change Conference

We all just heard a passionate debate about climate change. Now, I ask you, will anything change because of that debate? The answer is no. And no, talking about a problem does not find the best solution. Because with climate change, we are running out of time. We form committees, hold conferences, and schedule summits, as a form of procrastination. We know exactly what needs to be done, but we don’t do it. And if we continue to waste time talking, humanity will suffer as a result.

My Learned Colleague mentioned Churchill. Churchill also said ‘you cannot reason with a tiger while your head is in its mouth!’

Line improvised during the speech
Parliament - Wikipedia
Parliament

Now, let’s focus on the short term. 3 years ago, to the day, we chose to leave the EU. Three years on, we’re still in it. Why? Because we refuse to act. How do we carry out the biggest peacetime task in our history? We talk, we debate, and we compromise but we don’t get the job done. Our government is the pinnacle, of all talk, no action. A bureaucratic, procedural mess.

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Conservative Party Leadership Contest

And that doesn’t look to change! Just look at the current leadership contest. Through buzz words, metaphors, and talking points, these clowns try to convince us that they could deliver Brexit. But no-one knows how! How stupid do they think we are! We need problem solvers, people who take action, who deliver real solutions and bring about real change. What this government needs to learn is that buzz words didn’t win world war two. Metaphors didn’t eradicate smallpox. And talking points will not deliver Brexit.

In school, we learn how to talk, not how to act. And our politicians do the same thing. Yesterday’s top story was: MPs vote on a motion to consider setting a date to vote on a bill. What an utter waste of time. We have mastered the skill of talking, discussing and debating. But now is the time to act, to deliver and to set the course of this rudderless ship.

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