The Cambridge Union Society
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Set up in 1815 under mysterious circumstances, the Union began in 1815 as a student debating society independent of the University. The Union started out in opposition to censorship and in favour of open dialogue and challenging debate.

Today the Union promote free speech and the art of debating by hosting speeches and weekly debates featuring prominent public figures. During the 20th century Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, David Lloyd George and Clement Attlee all addressed our members here in Cambridge. Over the course of the last year alone, Julian Assange, Pervez Musharraf and Sir Ian McKellen have all spoken at the Union. With a history like ours, it is impossible to name all of the incredible people that we have welcomed here.

We are also known for the famous figures that began their careers here on the Union Standing Committee. Vince Cable, John Maynard Keynes and Arianna Huffington were all President of the Union during their time at Cambridge. This blog is aimed at showcasing great writers and young thinkers from Cambridge University. If you are a Cambridge Union member and would like to get involved, email press@cus.org for more details.

Entries by The Cambridge Union Society

This House Supports the Right to Be Forgotten

(0) Comments | Posted 10 November 2014 | (09:14)

On Thursday October 23rd the Cambridge Union Society hosted a debate sponsored by Mendeley about the right to be forgotten online, and voted to oppose the motion. Gabriel Hughes, VP of Analytics at Elsevier and a former executive at Google, outlines his own stance in opposition and reflects on the...

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Should We Boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics?

(0) Comments | Posted 5 February 2014 | (16:24)

The Cambridge Union Society's Press Officer, Oliver Jackson, argues why the UK and all other 87 nations currently participating should boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics.

On Friday 7 February the 22nd Winter Olympics will kick off in Sochi, Russia. Our TV screens and Facebook feeds will be covered in updates...

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Would You Send Your Kids to Private School?

(4) Comments | Posted 27 January 2014 | (00:00)

The Cambridge Union Society's Press Officer, Oliver Jackson, as the product of a succession of British private schools, discourses on the arguments around the system that educated him.

The Cambridge Union Society, as is its wont, held a debate last Thursday. The motion under discussion was "This House would send...

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Does Business Hijack International Development?

(0) Comments | Posted 15 January 2014 | (13:13)

Rose Beale, Events Officer of Cambridge Development Initiative, explores the issue ahead of Friday's Forum.

There are a new cast of heroes and villains on the international development scene. They are not governments, charities, NGOs, but businesses.

Firstly, two caricatures - the big, evil business vs. the small, ethical...

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Why We Still Need Feminism

(50) Comments | Posted 12 March 2013 | (11:18)

Rebecca Meredith, one of the two debaters who faced sexist heckling at the Glasgow University Union, makes the case for feminism following her experience in dealing with the media and the online abuse she has received since her story came to light.

Last Friday marked International Women's Day. In...

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The Sexism I Faced at the Glasgow University Union

(0) Comments | Posted 7 March 2013 | (00:00)

At a debating competition at the Glasgow University Union last weekend, Cambridge debater Rebecca Meredith and her debating partner from Edinburgh University Marlena Valles were subjected to sexist comments and heckling as they were competing in the final. In this piece, Rebecca tells her story:

In the past three days...

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This House Regrets the Consequences of US Dominance

(4) Comments | Posted 4 March 2013 | (00:00)

Henry Lawton is a candidate for the M.Phil in International Relations at Jesus College. He has published a number of journal articles on different elements of contemporary U.S. foreign policy; including special operations raids in Afghanistan and Pakistan, tensions with Iran and the use of social media to monitor Human...

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This House Would Invite Marine Le Pen

(8) Comments | Posted 25 February 2013 | (00:00)

Ben Kentish, President of the Cambridge Union Society, explains why Marine Le Pen was invited to talk on Tuesday 19 February

Marine Le Pen's talk at the Cambridge Union last week unsurprisingly divided opinion. There was a protest by Unite Against Fascism and one of the NUS campaign groups, and...

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This House Would Fight for Queen And Country

(13) Comments | Posted 12 February 2013 | (00:00)

Last week, members of the Cambridge Union voted to reject the motion that "This House Would Fight For Queen And Country" after speeches from Dan Jarvis MP, Kevan Jones MP, Michael Codnor of RUSI among others.

In arguing that this house would not fight for Queen and Country, Ben...

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This House Believes Religion Has No Place in the 21st Century

(478) Comments | Posted 5 February 2013 | (00:00)

Last week the Cambridge Union welcomed Professor Richard Dawkins and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams among others to debate the role of religion in the 21st Century.

Tim Squirrell, a second year natural sciences student at Churchill argues that we would be better off without religion.

...

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The EU Youth Unemployment Crisis and the Cambridge Bubble

(6) Comments | Posted 4 February 2013 | (00:00)

Glen Watson gives his views on the EU Youth Unemployment Crisis and how life outside the Cambridge bubble is not easy for young people:

The job-related hurdles facing today's young people are well-documented. With youth unemployment at an all-time high, combined with deep cuts to higher education, the...

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This House Believes That Multiculturalism Isn't Working

(222) Comments | Posted 29 January 2013 | (00:00)

Last Thursday evening, the Cambridge Union hosted a debate about multiculturalism in Britain. Chris Romalds, a postgraduate student in Development Studies, explores the reasons why multiculturalism could be said to be failing. Sarah Garland, a second year English student at Newnham College, argues that despite its problems, multiculturalism has not...

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This House Believes Oxbridge Has Failed Britain

(4) Comments | Posted 22 January 2013 | (00:00)

Oliver Jackson, a current student at Christ's College, Cambridge, considers whether Britain's two most prominent educational establishments can be said to have failed the country.

How has it come to this? Our current prime minister, his Chancellor, the deputy prime minister, the leader of the opposition, his Shadow Chancellor, and...

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This House Would Go to War for Human Rights

(16) Comments | Posted 16 November 2012 | (12:53)

On Thursday evening, the topic for discussion at the Cambridge Union Society was the justification for humanitarian military intervention. Edward Delman and Mark Nelson, both postgraduate students and Cambridge University, argue in proposition and in opposition of the motion respectively.

Edward writes:

It has now been exactly 20 months since...

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Why Barack Must Win

(79) Comments | Posted 1 November 2012 | (00:00)

Mike Black, a current student of law at Madgalene College, Cambridge, and a former President of the Cambridge Union, argues why it is so essential that Barack Obama continues for a second term as president of the United States.

2012 feels like a heavy comedown for those of us who...

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This House Has No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government.

(0) Comments | Posted 18 October 2012 | (17:17)

James Counsell, former Union President and current member of the CULC Commitee, writes in favour of the motion:

Despite sitting happily on the centre left, I follow J. S. Mill's lead in considering an effective Conservative party to be essential for a healthy democracy. The worst excesses of the...

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This House Believes the Music Industry Is All Industry and No Music

(1) Comments | Posted 16 October 2012 | (01:00)

Joseph Bates, former editor of the Cambridge Tab and founder of Filthy Lucre, and Siana Bangura of CamFM debate this week's Cambridge Union Society motion.

Joe writes:

Companies exist to earn their shareholders money. Everything else is just fluff.

Because of our romantic attachment to the intangible idea of...

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This House Believes Capitalism Has Failed

(1) Comments | Posted 4 October 2012 | (12:41)

This week, the Cambridge Union will be welcoming members veteran and new for the first debate of full term. Chris Page, CUSU Welfare and Rights Officer, and James Mottram, CUCA Committee member, argue for and against the motion respectively.

Chris writes:

When we say that capitalism has failed, I...

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This House Believes Too Many Companies Are Only Paying Lip-Service to the Green Agenda

(0) Comments | Posted 27 September 2012 | (10:28)

On Thursday 27 September, the Cambridge Union, in conjunction with Deloitte, are hosting a debate on the green agenda and corporate social responsibility. Here, two of our members write on the subject.

Natasha Kudryashova, Co-Chair of Ethical Affairs at the Cambridge University Students Union, writes in favour of the...

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Why Politics Works

(2) Comments | Posted 19 September 2012 | (01:00)

Richard Chew, a recent graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, gives an insight into why British politics isn't as broken as one might think:

In May this year Nick Clegg described the British Establishment as "broken". He linked phone hacking and police corruption to banking and MPs' expenses. At the height...

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