Friday March 16th saw the culmination of our annual inter-house debating competition, with a close final between old debating rivals North and Cubitt. The motion, “This house believes the rich should be taxed less”, was a topical choice, with the government voting on the 50p tax bracket that afternoon, and the students lived up to it with a high standard of debate throughout.

Noth, taking the proposition side, opened well, but Cubitt’s first opposition speaker Cameron Scheijde (IVth form) set the bar still higher with his professional demeanor and clear tone. The arguments continued to pile up, but it was not until the floor speeches that the full economic complexity of the motion revealed itself, with Laffer curves and state corruption probed en-mass by those assembled, with a face-off between the Thompson twins (Peter in the audience, James aiding the Cubitt team) a particular highlight. Oli Parker’s extension of the question to one of dividing society also particularly stood out.

With the summary speeches came a showdown between two of Cranleigh’s most seasoned debaters: Cubitt’s Alex Clarke, showing consummate skill in structure and clarity of view, took the competition to new heights; but it was Norths Patrick Wilson, articulating his perspective with depth and moments of real showmanship, in spite of some well timed points of information by Alex, that edged it for North in what transpired to be a very close judging decision.

TRB