Public debate: This House Would Privatise the NHS

The involvement of the private sector in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has been a sharply debated issue for many years. Critics have claimed their involvement drives down the standard of care given to patients and runs opposite to its core founding values. Proponents of privatisation call for more market competition to cut down costs while improving care, and to crack down on structural inefficiencies.

The MDU is situated in an area where many people such as students are dependant on mental health services e.g. counselling and under current circumstances, they have never been more essential. So we were proud to fundraise for the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust Fund!

We’d like to thank everyone who watched the debate, as well as the speakers themselves. More information can be found on the event page.

MDUxSoBSS Charity Debate

The Manchester Debating Union and School of Biological Sciences Society held a public debate for charity! The motion for debate was “This House would grant those with terminal illnesses the right to access treatments that have not completed clinical testing.”

The MDU was represented by Yusuf Steel and Jacklin Kwan in side opposition and raised money for the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, the United Kingdom’s leading dementia research charity.

MDUxMUN Charity Debate

The Manchester Debating Union and Model United Nations Society faced off charity! Each society supported a charity of their choosing, and debated on the motion: This House would remove all legal distinctions between economic migrants and refugees.

Two of our speakers, Will Allsopp and Yusuf Steel, represented the MDU in Opposition. The MDU gave the proceeds it raised to ‘Healing Venezuela’, a UK-registered charity that aims to deliver crucial healthcare supplies to Venezuela.

Artificial Intelligence Debate

The Manchester Debating Union collaborated with the AI and Machine Learning Society to host a public debate! The motion was: This House supports the creation and use of lethal autonomous robots.

Speaking in Proposition was Rudolfs Treilis, the advanced training officer of the MDU, and Mateusz Wasilewski, one of our members. In Opposition was Jacklin Kwan, the president of the MDU, and Constantinos Kamvysis. The debate tackled a wide range of the technical details of machine learning and AI, as well as the ethical implications of such technology in warfare.

The debate was chaired by Patrick Ryan.

Opt-Out Organ Donation in the UK

In collaboration with Students for Organ Donation, and the Manchester Medical Debating Society, the Manchester Debating Union hosted a public debate on whether a system of opt-out organ donation should be implemented in England after being adopted in Wales in 2015.

Speaking in proposition were the MDU’s training officer and secretary: Jacklin Kwan and Sarah Vickers! Speaking against them were Sam Taylor-Smith and Naeema Rahman from the Medical Debating Society in opposition.

The debate was chaired by Andy Martin.

LGBTQ+ History Month

The Manchester Debating Union collaborated with University of Manchester’s LGBTQ+ Society to host a public debate on the motion: This House, as the LGBTQ+ Movement, regrets the decline of gay areas, e.g. Soho in London and Chelsea in New York. In proposition was: Sam Cresswell, a trans youth worker with The Proud Trust, a local LGBTQ+ charity, and a Masters student in Religious Studies at the University of Manchester, as well as Dan Klein, a competitive debater from the University of Sheffield and the chair of the North and Midlands Debating Alliance. In opposition was: Lucía Arce, also from the University of Sheffield, and president of the Sheffield Debating Union as well as 8th best speaker in Europe in the English as a Second Language (ESL) Category. Speaking with her was Jacklin Kwan, the training officer of the MDU and a second-year Physics student at the University of Manchester.

Speakers were given their position before the debate, and the floor was opened up to audience questions after the main speeches were finished. The entire debate was chaired by our Inclusions Officer: Neil Roy.

This house fears the rise of China

Motion: This house fears the rise of China #

Emma Bean, MDU treasurer
Chloe Romanis, MDU convenor

Dr Shogo Suzuki, Lecturer in Chinese Politics at the University of Manchester
Dr Yangwen Zheng Lecturer in Chinese History at the University of Manchester

Result: The motion was not passed.
Best audience question related to the rise of China and its environmental issues.

Photography: Manting Chen

Welcome Week: This house regrets the legacy of Margaret Thatcher

Motion: This house regrets the legacy of Margaret Thatcher #

Kim Singleton, General Secretary of the Socialist Labour Party
Graham Stringer, Labour Party MP for Manchester Blackley, Manchester City Council leader during Margaret Thatcher’s Government

Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and West Sale and chairman of the 1922 committee
Jack Mellish, Externals Officer for the MDU

Result: Motion passed.
Best question from the audience: How far did Thatcher contribute to the demonisation of the unemployed?

Welcome Week: This house believes porn empowers women

Motion: This house believes porn empowers women #
Proposition: Dr Jude Roberts (University of London) and Renee Richards, former porn actress and 2008 Best Actress winner at the UK Adult Film and Television Awards
Opposition: Lisa Clarke (No More Page 3 campaigner) and Emma Bean (Treasurer of MDU)

Result: Motion passed.

Photography: Manting Chen