Trump v Marx in Priestley Balloon Debate

Former Bridgwater High School pupil Sophie Johnson and ex-Culcheth High pupil James Edwards who argued for Donald Trump and Karl Marx respectively in the Balloon Debate.

FOR some the chances of success were arguably more difficult than others.

But that didn’t stop everyone putting in their two pennies’ worth – and more – during a recent Balloon Debate held as part of Priestley College’s Graduate programme.

The challenge was to argue the merits of figures as diverse as President Donald Trump and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx so that their icon was the last man or woman floating in a sinking hot air balloon.

Everyone else would be thrown from that balloon to lighten the load as the students’ arguments ran out of steam.

“The point of the balloon debate is to encourage students to listen to different points of view and to polish up their debating skills,” said Senior Tutor Mark Salmon.

“It is the kind of activity universities look for prospective undergraduates to have taken part in so it helps our students when applying for places.”

The winner of the debate was former St Gregory’s RC High School pupil Vincent Chriscoli who argued the case for physician and scientist Edward Jenner, pioneer of the smallpox vaccine.

Second place went to Kofi Aliu, a former pupil at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, who argued on behalf of the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara.

“Taking part helped improve our debating skills and confidence speaking in front of an audience,” said Vincent. “I definitely think it helps you to articulate your point of view more strongly.”