I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a debate at the Oxford Union Society. I spoke to the proposition that “this house believes Edward Snowden is a hero”, along with US journalist Chris Hedges, NSA whistleblower Bill Binney, and former UK government minister Chris Huhne.
The chamber was full and I am happy to report that we won the debate by 212 votes to 171, and that Oxford students do indeed see Edward Snowden as a hero. Here is my speech:
"This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place."
I was honoured to be asked to say a few words at the recent debate about the value of whistleblowers in London on 9th April 2011.
The Frontline Club and the left-wing New Statesman magazine jointly hosted the event, which starred Julian Assange, editor in chief of Wikileaks. Here is the debate in full:
Needless to say, the opposition had an uphill battle arguing not only against logic, the fair application of law, and the meaning of a vibrant and informed democracy, but also against the new realities in the worlds of journalism and technology.
The first more diplomatically-minded oppositionist adopted a policy of appeasement towards the audience, but the last two had to fall back on the stale and puerile tactics of name-calling and ad hominem attacks. So good to see that expensive educations are never a waste….
The proposition was supported enthusiatically by the sell-out crowd, a resounding vote of confidence in the democratic notions of accountability and transparency.
Here's a snippet of my (brief) contribution to a fantastic afternoon: