Former Prime Minister David Cameron, Dr Anthony Fauci, Hong Kong activist Nathan Law, and footballer Mo Salah are among the speakers on the Oxford Union’s termcard. 

David Cameron will be appearing in-person. Since overseeing the Brexit referendum, he has published a memoir, For the Record, and held various advising and consulting positions.  

Dr. Anthony Fauci is an advisor for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, providing recommendations on public health for the United States. In his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he has advised the government on HIV/AIDS, the swine flu, Ebola, and now COVID-19.

Several prominent activists have been invited to speak, including Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and Derrick Johson, President of the NAACP. The Union is also holding its first ever Black History Month debate, with the proposition, “This house is not proud to be British”.

Speakers with ties to activism in China are also abundant. Nathan Law is a student activist who organised the 2014 Umbrella Movement before fleeing Hong Kong after the 2020 National Security Law. Chai Ling was a leader at the Tiananmen Square Protest Leader who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Finally, the Hon. Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma is a Senior Hong Kong Judge.

Prominent businesspeople include Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways. 

Mo Salah, considered to be one of the best footballers in the world, accompanies other athletes including  Osi Umenyiora, former American football player for the Giants, and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, a Paralympian for Great Britain. 

There is a formidable list of US politicians, including John Kasich and Carly Fiorina , both former Republican presidential candidates; Julian Castro, a Democratic presidential candidate; and former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, whose reputation was damaged by the “Bridgegate” scandal.

16 speakers will be in-person, as will the LGBTQ+ panel and all debates but one. Events will be held in the debating chamber at reduced capacity and a one-way system will be put in place. Tickets for in-person events will be released on Fixr to avoid crowded queuing, and the recordings will be released on YouTube shortly afterwards. 

Beatrice Barr, President of the Oxford Union, stated to Cherwell: “I’m thrilled with the efforts of our committee to put together such an exciting series of events this term, in keeping with our commitment to engage in forward-thinking and responsible conversations. We’re lucky to be able to bring our members a programme of both in-person and online events, in line with government guidelines – though we are, of course, ready for everything to change at very short notice! I hope that members old and new will take advantage of everything the Union has to offer this term, in whatever way they feel comfortable.” 

Additionally, the Union Bar and Library will be open, both operating at reduced capacity. The library may be booked online in advance for morning and afternoon slots. The bar will abide by government guidelines on hours and social distancing, with measures including table service only and an order-ahead app.

While the membership fee has not changed, it has not increased as it usually does year-on-year. 

DEBATES

This house has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government

This house is not proud to be British (Black History Month debate)

This house believes America is a failed state

This house believes the scientists have let the public down

This house would sell out 

This house believes the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house

This house believes there is no future for the free press

This house believes the Labour Party has turned its back on the working class

LIST OF SPEAKERS

0th Week

Sir Mark Sedwill – Former Head of the Civil Service

Amb. Dame Karen Pierce – British Ambassador to the USA

1st Week

Amb. João Vale de Almeida – EU Ambassador to the UK 

John Simpson CBE – Veteran Broadcaster 

Reeta Chakrabarti – Journalist and BBC Newsreader 

Gloria Allred – Leading Women’s Rights Attorney  

Alastair Campbell – British Journalist and Political Strategist

2nd Week

Chai Ling – Tiananmen Square Protest Leader

Martin Lewis OBE – Founder of MoneySavingExpert.com

John Podesta – Former White House Chief of Staff

Osi Umenyiora – American Football Player 

Ken Burns – Documentary Maker 

3rd Week

Dave Franco – Actor and Director 

Prof. Leslie Thomas QC – Barrister representing family of Mark Duggan

Scott Mills – Radio 1 presenter

Frank Gardner OBE – BBC Security Correspondent 

Andrew McCabe – Former FBI Director

General H. R. McMaster – Former National Security Adviser 

4th Week

Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson – Team GB Paralympian and Presenter 

Robert Icke – Director of 1984 and Oresteia 

Billy Bragg – Singer Songwriter and Activist 

Fiorina Carly – Former Republican Presidential Candidate

Dr Anthony Fauci – White House COVID-19 Advisor 

 Prof. William Easterly – Economist 

5th Week

Daniel J. Jones – Exposed CIA torture

Governor John Kasich – Former Republican Presidential Candidate

Governor Chris Christie – Former Governor of New Jersey 

6th Week

The Hon. Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma – Senior Hong Kong Judge 

Derrick Johnson – President of the NAACP

Cecile Richards – Former President of Planned Parenthood

Alicia Garza –  Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter 

Carlo Cottarelli – Economist 

Susan Wojcicki – CEO of YouTube 

Rachael Denhollander & Maggie Nichols – Former American gymnasts who brought down Larry Nassar 

Prof. Gita Gopinath – Chief Economist at the IMF 

7th Week

Mohamed Salah – Egyptian Footballer 

Lt. Com. Pete Reed OBE – Team GB and OUBC Rower 

Julián Castro – Former Democratic Presidential Candidate

Michael Wolff – American Author and Journalist 

Alex Cruz –  CEO of British Airways 

8th Week

Nathan Law – Hong Kong Democracy Activist 

Robert Peston – Political Journalist  

Rafał Trzaskowski – Mayor of Warsaw

The Hon. Mamata Banerjee – Chief Minister of West Bengal

TBC

The Rt. Hon. David Cameron – Former Prime Minister

Benazir Bhutto Memorial Lecture 

 

Image credits: Number 10; PublicResource.org; Kirill Venediktov, Wikimedia Commons; Michael Vadon; TechCrunch


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