Past debates and *Winning Balloonists


* Asterisk denotes the winning balloonists.

December 2019


*DR STEPHANIE HARE: “Privacy is worth fighting for.”

MICHAL MATLON: “It’s time to put beauty back into architecture.”

HUGO TAGHOLM:  “We CAN change the plastic system.”

Balloon Debate-Ali Miraj


ANNE BAXENDALE: “For equality, fix work – not women.”

*ALI MIRAJ: “Public life needs more contrarians.”

FREDDIE SAYERS: “Why conservatives could be the new hippies.”


JUNE 2019

KYRO BROOKS: “Online communities can be a force for social good.”

*SHAHROO IZADI: “Kindness is the key to changing our behaviour.”

HERB KIM: “Ted Talks, Trump and the Power of Narrative.”

Balloon Debate-Freddie Sayers


*PAUL EMBERY: “Our politicians are scared of working-class identity.”

DANA QAROUT: “Education has not liberated women in Jordan – yet.”

BEE ROWLATT: “Mary still matters: Rediscovering Wollstonecraft.”




SARA-LOUISE BURKE: “The personal is always political.”  

DAVE RICH: “Labour’s Jewish problem is all of our problem.” 

*BARONESS CAROLINE COX: “International aid is both pain and privilege.”



JUNE 2018

*DOLLY THEIS: “Public health is everything.”

DR GRAHAM GUDGIN: “To restore our trust, experts need to stop getting things wrong.”

NORA MULREADY: “The Left is moving in a dangerous direction.”



MARCH 2018

*STEVE MOORE: “The UK should follow Canada by legalising and regulating cannabis.” 

ALICIA WESTON: “We need to teach people to cook.”

JAVIER PES: “It’s time to reclaim public art.” 




KIT COLLINGWOOD-RICHARDSON: “The joy of nothing.” 

*PHIL MULLAN: “Automation is our friend, not our enemy.” 

RACHAEL BOX: “Gangs are good.”  



JUNE 2017

*OLIVER BULLOUGH: “Transparency will save democracy and capitalism.” 

KASSANDRA GORDON: “Public speaking is a cornerstone of change.”

ANGUS KENNEDY: “What’s wrong with borders?” 


MARCH 2017

AZEEM AZHAR: “Tech can make our futures better and brighter.”

*JULIA HOBSBAWM: “In the age of overload, we need to look after our social health.” 

MARK CHAVEZ: “It’s time to flip who owns the data and disrupt the cloud.” 



*DR DAVID MAGUIRE: “We need to talk about masculinity.”

LARA PENDERGAST: “Technology has taken over the mind.” 

JOSH SPERO:  “How can a Jew love Wagner?” 

Sean OCallaghan 2

SEPTEMBER 2016   Read about it

*SEAN O’CALLAGHAN: “To tackle extremism, we must recognise what unites totalitarians.”

SIGNE JOHANSEN: “What Britain needs now is Hygge.” 

RICHARD MOLLET: “Demagogues are a necessary menace.”


JUNE 2016

JON HOLBROOK: “Democracy needs the nation state.”

ELLA WHELAN: “The referendum is asking us to dismantle the political order. We should answer – yes.”

*IAN DUNT: “Europe without the EU would be at the mercy of the past.”


MARCH 2016   Read about it

Dr JOHN BEW: “The Labour Party of Attlee is dead.”

KATE GODFREY: “Party cultures change, but member values survive.”  

*ROGER HARDING:  “We need to talk about solidarity.”  


DECEMBER 2015  Read about it

TONY FISH:  “There are no jobs in the future. We need to stop educating as if there will be.”

*JOANNA WILLIAMS: “Schools cannot compensate for society.”  

CATRIONA MACLAY: “Every community needs its pirate ship for learning.”  



OCTOBER 2015 Read about it

DOMINIC CUMMINGS: “Britain out of the EU would be fairer, safer and more prosperous.”  

*DARREN HALL: “Democracy is dead (long live democracy)”. 

CLARE HORNSBY: “Beauty will save the world.”  



JULY 2015  Read about it

WILL DAVIES: “The science of happiness is ultimately a tool for social control.” 

SHERINE EL TARABOULSI: “Radicalisation is a manifestation of our moral failure.”

*AUSTEN WILLIAMS: “Sustainability is the most dangerous philosophy of our times.”

ClaireFoxDebate copy

MAY 2015   Read about it

CLAIRE FOX on Free Speech

ED MAGGS on Books