SOAS IV 2013 – The Return of the Blog

an unhappy nick eats a poor choice of sandwich
Nick annoyed at the others’ disapproval of the sandwich. 

There are certain key dates in the British cultural and sporting calendar- the last week of June and the start of Wimbledon, the second saturday of September and the last night of the proms, the 3rd weekend in October and the start of the English IV calendar- the SOAS IV.

On Friday night, after some ‘unorthodox’ driving by Tito, George, James, Tito, and Ed made their way to Highgate to join Nick for the first crash of the year (kindly provided by former members Elena, Nas and Maria). Here James and Tito were initiated into a great Warwick tradition- Would you rather. James, a noted vegetarian train enthusiast, would not eat a bacon sandwich to secure funding for HS2, and would rather live in Leeds with a winless Leeds Rhinos than move to London to secure the Rhinos a stream of Super League Championships.

After a decent nights sleep, and with Gareth and Steven in-tow, the crew negotiated a rail replacement bus service to make their way to SOAS on time.  In fact, they were early enough to grab breakfast. James, Ed, George and Tito were all sensible enough to get a proper breakfast.

A good breakfast choice
A good breakfast choice

Nick however made a poor choice, a cheese sandwich


Nick’s sandwich was so forgetful that he managed to leave early without paying for it. The first Greek default of the debating year.

With full stomachs the analysis flowed well. Going into the closed rounds Warwick All Aboard The Freedom Train were on +1 and Warwick Labour Friends of Objectivism on straights. Nick was a chair judge for both closed rounds, and both Steven and Gareth were doing typically well.

Happy with their respective days of debating, everybody went off to their crash (Ed was nursing a half pint went everyone else wanted to go home so crashed a bit further out in east london) where merriment was had and the Warwickers slept with the vision of a bright tomorrow.

Then disaster struck. A combination of poor planning and SOAS threatening to run on time (something rarer than a certain Greek male paying for his sandwich) meant that Ed was running late. With panic in his voice he picked up the call from James

“Ed where are you they are about to run tab”
“Somewhere in central London on the Hammersmith and City line, are they really going to run the tab?”
“yes really”
yes, they have done the announcements and the laptop is in the room”


after a mad dash from the station Ed got there …




in plenty of time. SOAS always runs late.

Both Warwick teams performed well in their break rooms, and it came to the announcing of the break.

Breaking 6th, Warwick Labour something. Cue mad screams. Tito and Bainbridge had only gone and done it, a terrific result, smashing the Warwick SOAS curse. Nick broke as a judge, and both Steven (speaking for BPP with Ben Dory) and Gareth (speaking for KCL with Cerys Bradley) broke as speakers.

And so we move onto the quarter final, Steven was drawn in CG, opposite Warwick in CO. It was the old master, the training officer for most of George’s debating career, versus the young apprentice and his new teacher. Who would be victorious.

Both would, two teams go through from each quarter, and the (practically) all Warwick bottom half beat out Nottingham and Sheffield into a place in the Semis. Gareth also made it through his quarter.

Moving onto the semis, Warwick were in CG with Steven in OO, TCD in OG and GUU in CO. Could all the Warwick speakers make it through again? Gareth did his job in the other semi, however for George and Tito this was one step to far, with an opp sweep putting through BPP and GUU. It was a very close call, and Tito and George should be very proud for doing so well.

After some unmarked bottles of clear liquid, which tasted like gin, were handed out by the org team, the Warwickers made their way home. A closed section of the M1, a crash on the M1, a flood in London and a closed A45 all conspired against them. However there was one piece of good news.

The motion for the final was on military ethics, the specialist subject of both Steven and Gareth, surely one of them would bring home the bacon. And as the Warwickers were queuing on the M1 they received the news: The Ramesh Express cannot be stopped, Steve had won the SOAS IV for Warwick (technically BPP).

Congratulations to Steve and Ben for winning, and for everyone involved with SOAS debating for running such a great competition, next up NAMDA novice.