The Neave Society

The Neave Society is Merton's own politics and current affairs society. They meet fortnightly on Monday evenings for informal debates and discussion of contemporary political issues. They also often host speakers from a range of political backgrounds. All their meetings are accompanied by drinks and nibbles, and all members of Merton College are welcome to attend.
2019/20

It’s been another busy year for the Neave Society, albeit one cut short for obvious reasons. Although it has of course been a shame to put our debates on hold for the time being, the committee are pleased that the society continues to provide a platform for the lively discussion by all Mertonians of diverse topics in an informal environment.

It’s been especially pleasing to maintain a high attendance throughout the year. Michaelmas saw the strongest numbers, notably for the debate on feminism in collaboration with the 1980 Society. The committee are particularly keen to work with other societies in the upcoming year to broaden participation and discussion. It’s been encouraging to see Mertonians of all backgrounds and subjects regularly attending and participating in our discussions throughout the year.

We have been delighted by the incisiveness of discussion over the course of the year. Every topic has seen discussion from the most abstract of theory to the most contemporary of examples, and it has always been a pleasure to listen to the reasoned arguments of fellow Mertonians. Without question every member of the society always has a unique and interesting contribution to make. From space travel to art criticism, to the more bread-and-butter concerns of a general election, the committee have ensured there is something to pique everyone’s interest across the academic year.

Despite being forced into a brief hiatus, the committee look forward to a return to lively and respectful discussion in October, whether in person or otherwise. We are confident that new students will welcome the opportunity for open and insightful discussion provided by the society.

Edmund Kelly (2019)
Neave Society Vice-President 2019-20

Events
2019/20

Hilary term 2020

Date Debate
Wednesday 4 March - 7th week This House would prefer to exist for a single day than never to have existed at all
Wednesday 19 February - 5th week This House would not fund future space exploration
Wednesday 5 February - 3rd week This House believes that capitalism has had its day
Wednesday 22 January - 1st week This House would abolish the monarchy

Michaelmas term 2019

Date Debate
Tuesday 3 December - 8th week This House would not vote in the General Election
Tuesday 5 November - 4th week This House believes that “feminism” is no longer relevant to modern society
Tuesday 22 October - 2nd week This House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government
Tuesday 10 October - 0th week This House believes that art should not be separated from the artist
2018/19

Trinity term 2019

Date Debate
Tuesday 7 May - 2nd week This House believes that colonial states should pay reparations to former colonies

Hilary term 2019

Date Debate
Tuesday 5 March - 8th week This House believes that art should not be separated from the artist
Tuesday 19 February - 6th week This House believes the UK is in dire need of a centrist political party
Tuesday 5 February - 4th week This House believes humanitarian intervention is now necessary in Venezuela
Tuesday 22 January - 2nd week This House believes that vegetarianism is the way forward

Michaelmas term 2018

Date Debate
Tuesday 13 November - 6th week This House regrets the number of UN condemnations of Israel
Tuesday 30 October - 4th week This House supports compulsory vaccines for children
Tuesday 16 October - 2nd week This House has no confidence in the Government
2017/18

Trinity term 2018

Date Debate
Tuesday 1 May - 2nd week This House believes that we should legalise genetic selection of human embryos
Tuesday 22 May - 5th week This House would repeal the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution
Tuesday 29 May - 6th week This House believes referendums are good

Hilary term 2018

Date Debate
Tuesday 6 March - 8th week This House believes cats are better than dogs
Tuesday 20 February - 6th week This House would abolish tuition fees
Tuesday 6 February - 4th week This House believes extremists should be 'No Platformed'
Tuesday 23 January - 2nd week This House believes capitalism is more dangerous than communism

Michaelmas term 2017

Date Debate
Tuesday 17 October - 1st week This House would take down statues of immoral historical figures
Tuesday 31 October - 4th week This House would decriminalise marijuana
Tuesday 14 November - 6th week This House would abolish the monarchy
Tuesday 28 November - 8th week This House believes that Russia is a threat to Western democracy
2016/17

Trinity term 2017

Date Debate
Tuesday 2 May - 2nd week This House would allow a second Scottish independence referendum
Tuesday 23 May - 5th week This House believes hunting animals for sport is wrong
Tuesday 30 May - 6th week Election special

Hilary term 2017

Date Debate
Tuesday 24 January - 2nd week This House would take empty buildings and use them to shelter homeless people
Tuesday 7 February - 4th week This House would not allow Trump to make a state visit to the UK
Tuesday 21 February - 6th week This House believes that faith schools should be abolished
Tuesday 7 March - 8th week This House would reintroduce the death penalty

Michaelmas term 2016

Date Debate
Tuesday 18 October - 1st week This House believes that grammar schools are the best way to promote social mobility
Tuesday 1 November - 4th week This House believes Britain is no longer a compassionate country
Tuesday 15 November - 6th week This House believes Hillary Clinton is the reason Donald Trump won the US Presidential election
Tuesday 29 November - 8th week This House believes that 2016 marks the beginning of the end
2015/16

Trinity term 2016

Date Debate
Tuesday 26 April - 1st week This House believes the monarchy is out of place in 21st-century Britain
Tuesday 3 May - 2nd week This House believes that the Oxbridge elite is damaging to society as a whole
Tuesday 24 May - 5th week This House believes that the UK should vote to leave the EU

Hilary term 2016

Date Debate
Tuesday 26 January - 2nd week This House believes the creation of 'safe spaces' in universities discourages debate
Tuesday 9 February - 4th week This House believes that the Government has a responsibility to prevent homelessness
Tuesday 23 February - 6th week This House believes that politicians should not send their children to private school
Tuesday 8th March - 8th week This House believes that Donald Trump is unstoppable

Michaelmas term 2015

Date Debate
Tuesday 20 October - 2nd week This House believes that Jeremy Corbyn is good for British politics
Tuesday 3 November - 4th week This House believes that we must accept our lack of privacy
Tuesday 17 November - 6th week This House believes it's time for a secular Britain
Wednesday 2 December - 8th week This House believes that military intervention is the most effective way to combat terrorism