The Bicentenary Debate: This House Isn't What it Used to Be
As the Union welcomes back 250 former Presidents and Officers to celebrate its Bicentenary, we welcome some of the finest former Presidents in the Union’s existence to debate the highs and lows of our long and controversial history.
The audio for this event was unfortunately compromised by accidental radio interference from a nearby organisation. We are working on cleaning it, and will replace this video when we are successful.
In the Chair: Amy Gregg, President of the Union (Lent 2015)
Teller for the Ayes: Stephen Parkinson, Vice-Chairman of the 2015 Steering Committee
Teller for the Noes: Alessandro Forzani, Chairman of the 2015 Steering Committee
Kenneth Clarke has been a Member of Parliament since 1970 and is a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary. He read Law at Caius and was President in Easter 1963.
Lord Michael Howard is the former Leader of the Conservative Party and former Leader of the Opposition. He read Economics and Law at Peterhouse and was President in Easter 1962.
Baroness Ann Mallalieu is a Labour life peer, former Barister and President of the Countryside Alliance. She read law at Newnham and was the first ever female President in 1967.
Michael Dunn Goekjian is a 3rd year student Trinity, reading mathmatics. He was named the 2nd best debater in the world at the 2015 World Univisity Debating Championship and was President in Easter 2014.
Gareth Weetman has the highest grade of qualification for prosecution work and appears on cases for both the Crown and Defence. He read Law at Christ's and was President in Michaelmas 1997.
Lord Turner is a businessman, academic, and a member of the UK's Financial Policy Committee. He read History and Economics at Caius and was President in Michaelmas 1977.
Baroness Hayman is the former Lord Speaker of the House of Lords and has been a Labour life peer since 1996. She read Law at Newnham and was President in Easter 1969.
Sir Peter Bazalgette is the Chair of Arts Council England and arguably 'the most influential man in British television'. He read Law at Fitz and was President in Michaelmas 1975.
Stephen Sondheim's Interactive Q and A at the Cambridge Union
Stephen Sondheim is one of the world's most celebrate composers and lyricists. He wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, and has since composed Sweeney Todd, Company, A Little Night Music and Into the Woods, among many other musicals. He has won an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize, an Olivier Award, eight Grammies and eight Tony Awards; more than any other composer.
Stephen joining us by videolink for an interactive Q&A with audience members.
Stephen Sondheim Interactive Q & A at the Cambridge Union Society
Stephen Sondheim is one of the world's most celebrate composers and lyricists. He wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, and has since composed Sweeney Todd, Company, A Little Night Music and Into the Woods, among many other musicals. He has won an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize, an Olivier Award, eight Grammies and eight Tony Awards; more than any other composer. He will be joining us by videolink for an interactive Q&A with audience members.
Germaine Greer at the Cambridge Union Society
Germaine Greer is an Australian theorist, academic and journalist. She is regarded as having been one of the major feminist voices of the mid-20th century, and her ideas and views on women's liberation have created controversy ever since her book ‘The Female Eunuch’ became an international best-seller in 1970. She received her PhD from Newnham College, Cambridge, later becoming a special lecturer and fellow of Newnham from 1989 to 1996. She identifies as a Marxist and anarchist
Buzz Aldrin at the Cambridge Union Society
Buzz Aldrin is an American engineer and former astronaut, and the second person to walk on the Moon. He was the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history. He is also a former U.S. Air Force officer and a Command Pilot. Aldrin, a Presbyterian, was the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon. After leaving NASA in July 1971, Aldrin was assigned as the Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
In March 1972, Aldrin retired from active duty after 21 years of service. To further promote space exploration, and to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Aldrin teamed up with Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Talib Kweli, and Soulja Boy to create the rap single and video, "Rocket Experience", with proceeds from video and song sales to benefit Aldrin's non-profit foundation, ShareSpace. Aldrin has voiced parody versions of himself in The Simpsons and Futurama. In 2011 Aldrin appeared as himself in the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In 2012, he made a cameo appearance in Japanese drama film Space Brothers.
Theo Paphitis at the Cambridge Union
Theo Paphitis is a British retail magnate of Greek Cypriot origin. He is best known for his appearances on the BBC business programme Dragons' Den and as former chairman of Millwall Football Club. He began his entrepreneurial activities by running the school tuckshop, at the age of 15, and attributes his success to his natural common sense. The majority of his fortune has been made in the retail sector. In 2006, he sold his equity stake in the lingerie brand ‘La Senza’ for a reported £100 million. He is the owner of stationery chain ‘Ryman’, the homeware specialist ‘Robert Dyas’ and lingerie retailer ‘Boux Avenue'
Russell Kane at the Cambridge Union Society
Russell Kane is an English writer, comedian, and actor. He was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, winning the main prize in August 2010. He has presented a number of TV shows, including Big Brother's Big Mouth, Freak Like Me and I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! He was the host of BBC Radio 2's Out to Lunch from series 4 onwards and also presents a Sunday afternoon show on Q Radio.