On 7 November, the Union Debating Society in conjunction with the Foreign Affairs Society took to Lower Parliament Hall for an unusual night of debate. The house toned down its typical heckling to debate the serious motion “This House Does Not Regret The Invasion of Iraq.”

Radim Dragomaca, joint doctoral researcher at the University’s School of International Relations, opened the case for the proposition and Robin Simcox, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, expanded it. Joan McAlpine, MSP for south Scotland, and Alyssa Muzyk, social secretary for the UDS, spoke for the opposition.

The proposition attempted to the frame the debate in order to separate the initial invasion of Iraq from the ensuing occupation. They argued that the invasion of Iraq alone was not regretful given the USA and UK’s intelligence at the time, but conceded that the ensuing occupation went poorly.

The opposition refused to accept that the initial of invasion of Iraq could be neatly separated from the ensuing occupation or that the invasion was in any way legitimate. Opposition speakers stressed that Iraq never had any weapons of mass destruction and that what meagre benefits the invasion may have produced are outweighed by the loss of human lives.

The house was clearly won over by this argument: only 27 voted in favour, 52 voted against it and 14 abstained.

The next UDS event will be held today, 14 November. Rather than the usual public debate, UDS will be hosting a question time and discussion panel on disabilities. Speakers include Annne Begg MP, Avalon Borg, SRC welbeing officer, and Michael McMahon MSP. Held in Lower Parliament Hall, the event will begin at 20:00, following a port reception strating at 19:30. As always, gowns are encouraged but not required.

Speakers will be discussing the impact of disabilities in the workplace, University and modern society. Questions from the audience will be welcomed. If you would like to submit a question/topic, please email debates@st-andrews.ac.uk

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