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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Glasgow University European Society Debate

    Last night Lord Monckton and I were speakers at Glasgow University Union in debate on whether the EU had been beneficial to Britain. There was no final vote and I think the audience were initially europhile but we did pretty well.

    I am certainly convinced we won the intellectually. I intend to post my speech tomorrow.

    It was divided into 3 sections - 40 minutes for 4 speeches, the same for debate on the platform and a bit longer for questions/points from the floor.

     It was also done with good manners on both sides though at one point I was forced to object to a claim by John Purves, former Tory MEP, that if UKIP took power we would be attacking Syracuse (Sicily) pointing out that his party supported wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and (at least the party leader) Syria whereas UKIP had opposed them all. He was perfectly entitled to approve of those wars but he was not entitled to say that UKIP were the warmongerings.

     The other 'phile speaker was John Brand, a former British diplomat and now leader of the (partly EU funded) European Movement in Scotland, which arguably says something about the impartiality of our foreign office.

      Their arguments were largely about the benefits of a free trading zone and how much good it had done us. I believe this was negated by my speech and indeed during the 2nd section I asked if they disputed my figures of the EU zone massively economically underperforming the rest of the world and likely to do worse in future. John Brand said this was because it is easier for poor countries to grow and I replied that this is an excuse popular with politicians in wealthy but failing countries and very popular in Britain but is not true. History shows that it is actually easier for already rich countries to grow than poor ones because they have the education, spare capital and infrastructure thus the industrial revolution happened in Britain not one of the poorer nations of the time. That it is confirmed by the fact that back then the disparity in income between Britain and Senegal was only about 3 times but is now 200 times. I said that the reason for the current faster 3rd world growth is that they have adopted the Washington Consensus, which is basically what Adam Smith taught 200 years ago, while we have adopted Luddism instead but that we could achieve world average growth any time our political class allow it. As confirmation I pointed out that Singapore, Hong Kong, the US, Canada, Australia and now Taiwan are richer per capita than us and still growing faster, indeed that Singapore recently achieved 14% growth in 1 year.

        That later brought a question from the floor by somebody who said Singapore allows unlimited immigration, unlike UKIP's policy. I'm afraid that I got a bit shirty about that when, after I said it is very careful about limiting immigration to skilled workers and that it is quite obvious, since they are surrounded by poor countries, that if they allowed unlimited immigration they would quickly be swamped by millions of immigrants. He again insisted they did and I simply said that was a silly assertion, which was not courteous but is true.

         Mr Brand also complained about how the media is biased against the EU - ie the Mail and Mirror and I said that the BBC, which is far more important is overwhelmingly biased in favour of the EU.

         Professor Curtis, who regularly, on election night, explains the trends on the BBC, moderated with patience and courtesy keeping even Christopher Monckton to time (and firmly asking a questioner making what appeared to be a personal attack on Monckton whether this was about the EU and excluding it when, despite the questioner's assertion, it turned out not to be).

         Lord Monckton was far and away the best speaker, eschewing mere microphones to march to the front of the stage and speak from there. I won't even attempt to repeat his definition of  what the EU call a spade since it must have run to 100 words. He knows his facts and he knows his anecdotes and he knows a dozen languages. He dominated the debate and clearly knew it (but this is my blog so I get to big up me ;-) ).

      I took half a minute from Chris's summing up (he is a gentleman and agreed though he was clearly the right person to do it) to say that, since it was agreed by all, that this debate had been informative as well as entertaining, and since free debate is a necessary condition of a real democracy, that I hoped everybody would agree that it would be a good thing if the BBC were to follow the example and actually broadcast some formal debates where both sides were present.

    And so to the beer bar. 

         According to this the audience was 269 which feels about right.

Labels: , ,

This is great, but where is the video ?

Answer: it doesn't exist !

A publicity gaff if ever there was one.
I did ask them and they did ask another GU club to film it but the Union administration stepped in and said video recording of events is not permitted in the Union building.

I agree that this would have been very good and would personally liked to have ridden Lord Monckton's coat-tails (since so many of his vidoes have gone viral) to international fame.
"Union administration stepped in
and said video recording of events
is not permitted in the Union

Of course this excuse doesn't
wash, even if the "Union
administration" said that, it is
plainly untrue, a prevarication,
a fob-off. The individual "Union"
official concerned needs to
explain themselves for this

See this evidence to the contrary :


& Even Pole Dancing Shows !

There are many other examples
Thanks for that. I passed it on the University European Association who ran it & got this:

"Thank you again for speaking at the event, it was most enjoyable and a resounding success. I think the final count was over 310 people.

I enjoyed reading your post and I agree that the Union's refusal to allow us to film is an absolute joke. The GUU had a scandal in one of their debates earlier this year and since then has been weary of filming any political (or interesting for that matter) debates. This of course is no excuse which is why I argued with them at length. I plan to meet the President of the Union and discuss things with him. I am also writing an article for the Glasgow University Guardian, which is about the GUUs failings and shortcomings.

The event with Otto Inglis will most probably be held in the Queen margaret Union, where they have accepted the debate to be filmed.

Thanks again for everything, I hope you will come to some of our future events"

If that article goes online I will enjoy linking to it.

There are some photos of the event here
Thanks for the images link,
though they are all a bit dark,
have clour aberrations, and soft focus.
I retouched and colour corrected just a couple
of images, you might like to have. . .

Picture of speakers panel on stage

Picture of Lord Monckton talking to 3 people

It's too much work to do all the images,
in a likewise fashion. Quite a
bit of retouching was required.

See my videos, many of which feature Lord Monckton
October 08, 2013
OK so I did one more image

This is the group shot at the end.
Still a little dingy perhaps, but
after many tries, I just couldn't
get the shadows to stretch any
further without introducing very
blocky aberrations.

Best I could do in under an hour.

GUES Board & Speakers from 02 Oct 2013 Debate

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