This House Believes Internment was a Necessary Evil

The 17th Ordinary Meeting of the 165th session of the Literific took place on the 6th of March in the Senate Room and was attended by about 60 people. I was totally not late to this debate and definitely did not put my robe on inside out. A vote was taken in Private Members’ Business to decide where to hold our formal. We went through the options but ultimately the Ulster Reform Club won. In President’s Question Time Katy Waller told President Kydd he’d spelt her name wrong and James McAlister also had a question which I didn’t write down…

Our guest chair for the evening, Professor John Brewer, had a few opening remarks. The motion was This House Believes Internment was a Necessary Evil. He commented on the controversial nature of the motion and went through the history behind it. He asked the speakers to determine whether or not internment intensified violence. As per usual, I have a page on this so if you’d like to hear more I can give it to you or you can listen to last week’s recording by Queen’s Radio.

Ryan Jones opened the debate. He argued that internment is a legitimate tool of war and that the only more effective alternative is extermination. He said that it was perhaps poorly executed and that due process is good but that sometimes it is not feasible to follow it. It may have been evil but there was no other way to deal with insurgency.

Katy Waller opened the case for the opposition with her maiden speech. She told the House that internment took away the rights of stability and movement and that it resulted in torture and brutal questioning. Instead of protecting the people, it instead encourages them to see the state as something to be feared. She said that something that takes rights away should never be seen as necessary.

Andrew Carruthers continued for the proposition. He said that interment showed the people the immorality of Britain and that this forced them to make their voices heard. By showing the people the depth of the corruption it encouraged them to do something and ultimately led to the relative peace we have now. It forced the people to demand more.

Harry Adair then closed the debate. He disagreed and said internment was detrimental to community relationships. He asked what evil could be justified to uphold public safety. The alternative to internment, he argued, was to not put innocent people behind bars. He said it killed off any hoped of peace and encouraged people to act out with violence.

The debate then went to the floor. Questions were heard from Conor Conneally, Paul Shannon, Charlie Barnes, Josh Watts, Julia Andrade Rocha, Paddy Mallon, Pawel Romanczuk and Stephen Goss.

Professor Brewer then summarised and commented on the speeches. Closing statements were heard and the House then went to a vote. The motion was defeated with 11 abstentions, 4 ayes and 34 nayes.


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