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Brighton debating group's Green "slap down"
A debating society has said they have been given a “slap down” by the Green Party.
The claim comes from Brighton and Hove Debating Society and follows a “rejected” invitation to the Green Party to attend the Society’s next debate – We Have No Faith in the City’s Green Council.
Clive Hamblin, president of the Brighton and Hove Debating Society, said he thought it was about time the Society had a political debate and he was sure the Green Party would attend.
He said: “Our chairman has been chasing them for months. They say we’re picking on them and having a moan. They say they have a by-election coming up and they’re too busy.
“We’ve never quite had a slap down like this from anyone else.”
According to Mr Hamblin, the Green Party declined the Society’s invitation on the grounds that the motion against them was “very biased” and they had conducted research which indicated the Society had members who are “very political”.
Rob Shepherd, member of the executive committee of Brighton and Hove Green Party, said: “We’ve never said they were picking on us.
“When the Society first suggested holding this debate, we agreed that we would take part. However, the East Brighton by-election was then called, which falls two days after the debate.
“We asked them to postpone it for a week or turn it into a by-election event, in which case we’d be happy to attend.”
Mr Shepherd added that it was the first time the Society had proposed a party political motion and this particular motion was a very anti-Green one.
He continued: “They don’t have a reputation for doing anything against any of the other political parties. We have to treat it with care.
“The debate is condemning the Green Party two days before a by-election. We are not refusing to attend, but the timing is not appropriate.”
The Society has been debating for more than 60 years, in topics ranging from moral and political issues to religious, philosophical and sometimes humorous ones.
Recently, they held the motion Screening for Genetic Diseases Is Wrong, in which they invited representatives from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
Mr Hamblin said: “While unfortunate that the local Greens have refused to take part, the debate will take place.”
The debate is on Tuesday, October 16 from 7.45pm at the St John’s Day Centre in Palmiera Square. Entry is £2.