This year’s Senior House Public Speaking was of an extremely high standard and a most enjoyable evening. It was also defined by an unusual cross-pollination of speeches, where speakers and other team members frequently referred back to earlier speeches during the evening; the questions were also sharp and well dealt with by the respective speakers.

This year’s speeches were opened with a detailed and engaging speech by Rachael Quarcoo about ‘The Misconceptions of Africa: The Danger of a Single Narrative’, for which she was runner-up for Best Speaker. Linus Holmes tackled the question ‘Will Humanity Ever Be At Peace?’; Beth Leishman spoke with great clarity and good sense about the discrimination of the ‘tampon tax’ in a speech entitled ‘Luxury – No Strings Attached’; Ian Hayes explored the topic of economic inequality and its potential benefits and disadvantages; Harriet Thomas gave an earnest discussion of ‘Aid: Our Corrupted View of Generosity’. Yalan Nie spoke without notes in an engaging and gently humorous talk on ‘Stereotype: Subtle and Harmful’; Kristian Manton-Dever spoke passionately on the topic ‘Does Democracy Make You Free?’; and finally Katie Moorhouse gave a reasoned and well-researched talk on ‘Streaming: The Future of the Music Industry or The Instrument of its Downfall?’.

Dale House were worthy winners of Best Team for a sophisticated and sharp overall performance – Jason Richards chairing with wit and deftness in dealing with questions, Pat Bunker giving a succinct vote of thanks and Joe Morford speaking engagingly and persuasively on ‘Insects: The Future of Food’ (with plates to try!).

Rory Kavanagh (Tower) was awarded Best Speaker for his thoughtful and wide-ranging speech ‘From Babel to Babble: The Importance of a Second Language’.

The event was adjudicated by the Chair of Trustees, Kathryn Carden, who gave very astute and encouraging feedback.