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There’s a lot coming up over the next week, so here’s everything you need to know about what we’re up to in one short blog post.

We’re going to Parliament – twice!

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This Thursday morning, a group of us will be joining up with the British Youth Council to attend the parliamentary debate on votes for 16 year olds. The motion is being brought forward by Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, a long standing supporter of extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds. You can find out more about this campaign on the British Youth Council’s website.

We’re back in the House of Commons (how I wish we never had to leave in the first place) on Monday night for the Debating Group’s first meeting of 2013. An exclusive debating society run by and for the marketing and PR industry, every month they give us a handful of tickets to sell on to our wonderful members at an equally wonderful discounted price. Their next debate will be on corporate social responsibility, with some very interesting speakers on the panel including: Keith Weed from Unilever, Hamish Pringle from the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising, Liz Bingham from Ernst and Young, and Mark Lloyd Davies from Johnson and Johnson. We’ll give you the full low-down on how it went next week.

Debating in the news…

Stephen_Twigg_MPLast week Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg MP, triggered a small media storm when he called on state schools to provide debating and public speaking lessons, as reported by the Daily Telegraph last Thursday. The following Sunday, however, he received a scathing response from Observer columnist, Barbara Ellen. So, we only felt it fit and proper to back up Stephen’s commendable proposals with our own response, which included a few letters to the press and this piece, written for the Huffington Post on Monday.

We, here at CLDS, feel very strongly about the importance of teaching debating in schools from as young an age as possible, so keep your eyes pealed as this won’t be the last you hear from us on this matter.

Our next debate: should the criminal justice system prioritise rehabilitation over punishment?

Prison_cellTomorrow night, we return for our fortnightly debate at the Old Cock Tavern, where we will be sorting out the criminal justice system – you can thank us later Mr Grayling.

The motion is: This house believes that the justice system should prioritise rehabilitation over punishment and as usual it will be CLDS members themselves who will be doing all the talking with at least one of our panel of four speakers taking part in her first ever public debate. We look forward to giving all of them a warm CLDS welcome and invite you to join us too.

Admission to the debate is free as is membership of the club, so simply drop in on the night and say hello. We start at 7.30 pm.

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