Stephen Twigg, MP on Westminster Bridge. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian
party has come up with a plan to introduce debating societies to schools
. Shadow education minister Stephen Twigg
floated the idea, along with more PE and the introduction of cadet forces. The party feels that the state sector should copy private school tactics to ensure pupils gain a range of life skills. The Communication Trust
argues that too many children are arriving at school unable to express themselves and leaving in a barely improved state, which urgently needs addressing. Still, debating societies? Really? Haven't we done enough to underprivileged youth already?
I'm joking. Well, to a degree. The most high-profile debaters are politicians, prancing about, enunciating their stilted scripted "banter" ("My dear fellow"), in a way that suggests their heyday was back in the fifth-form debating society, thrilling the throng with their zingers and put-downs.