Here are some proposals of relevance to Bristol that could be discussed in group debates:
The name of Colston should be removed from all streets
and buildings in Bristol in light of his slaving interests.
Bristol is actually two separate cities, one situated south
of the river, the other to the north.
Bristol's contribution and experience of the Second World War
has been properly recognised.
For most of its history, Bristol has been run by rich people
who only care about themselves and their families.
The Christian religion in Bristol’s history has mostly
been a force for good.
Bristol is a city of immigrants whose prosperity has always depended
on people moving in here to live and work.
Bristol should apologise for its part in the slave trade.
We can’t learn any lessons from the past: Bristol’s
history is just a collection of interesting (or boring) stories.
The real heroes and heroines of Bristol’s history are not
the famous people like Brunel and Cabot, but the ordinary people
who did all the work but whose names are now forgotten.
For an effective debate it is useful to follow these guidelines:
Nominate someone to chair the debate.
Have a preliminary show of hands for those 'for' and 'against'
the motion, and those who are undecided.
Nominate someone from the two opposing camps to make an
opening declaration in support of their point of view. Set time
limit for this and allow no interruptions.
Open up the debate for general discussion. To avoid a free
for all, and the loudest/most assertive speaker dominating the
proceedings, people can only voice their opinion on raising their
hand and being called to contribute by the chair. Personal insults
will be discouraged – as will physical force.
After a set time period, have another show of hands 'for',
'against' and 'undecided' to see if the debate has swayed opinion.