This is what we’re all about

TableTalks is a national collection of conversations… born out a bunch of friends’ desire to talk and share opinion about stuff that matters and occasionally stuff that doesn’t much.

Our friends
Peter Boughton – his words
Kate Bamber – her pictures
Richard Brett – his beard
Richard Upton – immaculate Tweed
Philippa King – her panache
Sam Gregory at Wise Buddah for his nifty dance moves
The Bell Inn - for being our inspiration

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The Bell In Ticehurst
February 21st "This house believes you are kidding Mrs Merkel"
March 21st "This house believes in passing the parenting test"
April 18th "This house believes charity is a convenient crutch"

The Sir Richard Steele Belsize Park London
February 14th "This house believes we should come together"
March 14th "This house believes the kids are alright"
April 11th "This house believes in the event of the end of the World we should save no-one"

The Warrington Maida Vale London
February 13th This house believes that perfect love is rare indeed
March 13th This house believes the kids are alright
April 10th This house believes beauty is the beast


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Need To Know

None of our guests get paid
(they get £20 expenses and some dinner)
No-one pays to come and watch
None of the guests are elected party officials
There are no microphones
Nothing is recorded or broadcast
There is a host and 6 guest speakers who get 2 minutes un interrupted to respond to the motion
The floor is invited to get stuck in
The debates are an hour long with a vote at the end
The next debate is announced at the end

This house believes students are a God awful waste of space

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This house believes students are a God awful waste of space

  • Westminster University Student Union, Harrow Campus 26th September 2012

    “This house believes students are a God awful waste of space”

    Sara Cox / Dave Vitty / Ahir Shah / Miriam Hannah

    Motion denied
  • So are students a god awful waste of space? Last November, it was clear that that’s exactly what thousands of students thought the government thought of them. Riots in London – and not a single branch of JD Sports was looted. This was about education – and it’s true – it’s never been harder to be a student.

    Harder financially – there aren’t many people who would make a £40,000 investment with no guarantee of a return (except some city bankers perhaps) – but’s that exactly what your average student has to accept in terms of debt these days.

    Harder academically – time was that an E grade in General Studies would give you a fighting chance of getting into a top flight university – now you can expect to be asked for four A’s for the privilege of studying Frisbee dynamics in a bedsit in Dalston.

    Yet the stereotypes still persist- is further education a white, middle-class ghetto? Are there too many twenty-somethings wasting 3 years doing mickey-mouse courses, when they might as well be earning money?

    What was the abiding image from last November’s protests? It wasn’t one of reasonable young serious types that had been pushed, through desperation, to the doors of Millbank. No. It wasn’t that one of tomorrow’s great and good demanding fairer fees and better prospects. No, the picture I’m thinking of features Charlie Gilmour, a privileged trustafarian, off his box on acid and swinging like the coco-pops monkey around the cenotaph. Perhaps he thought the coco-pops were at the top, or in Camilla’s handbag?
  • So, to quote Monty Python, what have the Students actually done for us? That’s what we’re here to sort out tonight – but remember:

    Without students – thousands of kebab-shop owners would be left wandering the streets, desperately touting doner meat down shady back-alleys.

    Without students – sales of Lava lamps, Bob Marley posters, Doc Martens and Bongs would plummet – sending the economy into a tail-spin from which we could never recover. Without students – the whole finance sector would implode – no student loans, overdrafts, payday loans, pawnbrokers, oh and debt counsellors too. Imagine that – debt counsellors, wandering the streets looking for kebab-shop owners to counsel.

    Without students – let’s face it, who are charities going to employ to step in front of you in a day-glo tabard and cheerily request that you ‘give them a smile’ and sign away a 10th of all your dosh? Likewise bars, call centres and if you believe what you read in the newspapers – brothels – the very structure of a healthy society – all of this could possibly disappear without students.
    Peter Boughton

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