A debate co organised by the Birmingham Commonwealth Assoc, The City Council and the 'Round Table' publication on the Commonwealth entitled:  This House believes that the Commonwealth prevents the UK from moving on from the past and dealing with the future. Certainly controversial and will certainly be hotly refuted.

Chair of the motion will be Jaspreet Singh, President of the Birmingham City University Union.

Proposing the motion will be Nic Cheeseman. Nic is the Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham and the author of Democracy in Africa: Successes, failures and the struggle for political reform. His analysis has appeared in the Economist, Le Monde, Financial Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Wall St Journal, New York Times, Guardian, the Mail & Guardian and the Daily Nation. In total, his columns and articles have been read over a million times.

Nic is seconded by Alana Tomlin, Birmingham University student.

Opposing the motion will be Keith Stokes Smith, a Chartered Secretary and Accountant by qualification, Founding Chairman of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association (Communities, Education and Trade and Business groups), formerly Group Company Secretary of British Home Stores Plc and subsequently Wickes Plc. Keith retired early in 2000 and continues to run his own small property acquisition/development company and has expanded his unpaid work in a number of voluntary capacities. He is the Consul for Lithuania in the West Midlands, President of the Birmingham Consular Association, Patron of Birmingham Town Hall/Symphony Hall, Chairman of Wickes Aid, a Magistrate and Council representative for the Worcestershire bench on the Magistrate Association and founder/President of a number of organisations in South Devon.

Keith is seconded by Darrel Blake, a student from BCU.

Entry to the debate will be FREE of charge but will need to be pre booked via Eventbrite at: