Glasgow University Union is not only one of the best competitive debating unions in the world, but is home to the unique Parliamentary Debates.
Parliamentary Debates are Glagsow’s own unique twist on the House of Commons, including passionate speeches, heckling and lots of traditions. However, our chamber differs radically to that of the House of Commons; the traditions are rather unorthodox, and the parties range from the beige & boring, to the extreme end of political ideology. The consumption of alcohol is not only allowed but very much welcomed and Prime Ministers questions is an opportunity to embarrass the Prime Minister, and, if they’re so inclined, let them brag about their exploits. Within 10 to 12 hours you can witness maiden giving their first ever speech in the Debates Chamber, European Debating Champions showing off their skills or speakers breaking into songs & taking the performative aspect of debating to the extreme. Parliamentary debating is not only a debate it is a show that everyone can be part of, and importantly a show for the “distinguished guests in the gallery”.
The clubs overview and leaders
For the first Debate of the 2017/2018 session, the Whig Club are in Government. The Prime Minister The Honourable “From Guilford with Love” (Isla Cunningham), will defend her bill of extremely progressive (or bland) liberalism. If you want to care about social justice, and think wishy-washy nandy pandy liberalism is the best way to guarantee it, the very amicable Whig Club should be your choice.
In official opposition will be Her Majesty’s Loyal Tory Club lead by the Assistant Honorary Secretary of the GUU, Douglas Jack, or as he is known to the chamber – The Honourable “Flashman”. The Tories of our chamber aren’t your typical Thatcherites or lovers of David Cameron, they speak with a love for traditions, tweed, the social order, and a strong and stable society (but mostly traditions and tweed).
Supporting the Prime Minister will be a club, which can amicably be described as “giving everyone a bit of land and a cow and letting them do whatever they want”. Do you hate the oppressive state, and long for the sweet embrace of the Invisible Hand? Do you like believing things with no way of following them through? Then Join The Honourable “Mcshlongland” (David Macdonald) in The World Almighty Distributist League.
Surprisingly alongside the Tories the second club opposing the bill will be The Independent Socialists headed by the President of the Dialectic Society, Harry Coloe, known to the Chamber as the Honourable “Sprinkles are Extra”. If you’re a champagne socialist, a cava Communist or Lambrini Leftist, Ind Soc are the club for you. You’ll be seizing the means of production, and maybe through some of the bourgeoisie in to the Clyde.
The last position is neither in real support or real opposition to the bill, the position where a club can often run the maddest policies and arguments they wish. This position for this debate is occupied by the Scottish Nationalist Association. Beware none of their philosophy is about Scottish Nationalism. Lead by the Honourable “Millennium Falcon”(Tomáš Kessl) they are very cynical about the human race, believing no one is smart enough to be allowed to make their own decision (except the other humans in charge – who are different, somehow?). If you wish to join the SNA leave your moral compass at home but don’t forget to bring your utile calculator.
Whether you want to dress up and join us on the benches or just take a quick break during your Friday Beer Bar session or Open Mic, come along and see the brave (or foolish) members of the GUU Board of Management in their maiden speeches. You are more than welcome to sit in the gallery with a drink, laugh and heckle.
Future Parliamentary debates dates:
– The Secretary’s Debate 20th October 2017 (Pre-debate 16th October)
-The President’s Debate:: 24th November 2017 (Pre-debate 20th November)
-The Dialectic Debate: 26th January 2018 (Pre-debate 22nd January)
-The Old Hacks’ Debate: 23rd February 2018 (Pre-debate 19th February)
-The Guest Debate: 23rd March 2018 (Pre-debate 19th March)
Head Clerk to the House
The Right Honourable Happy Endings