Some readers might not know what happened.
The Institute of Economic Affairs arranged for a debate to take place at the College of Physicians in Dublin. The subject of the debate was: “How to really stop people smoking”.
Generally speaking, debates follow a semi-strict formula. In the first place, the subject matter is either a statement or a question. The subject as described above is a bit peculiar. The words ‘How to’ implies a question, but the phrase is not a question. But the phrase could mean: “This is how to ….”, as in, “How to replace a washer in a leaking tap”. If that is the meaning of the phrase: “How to really stop people smoking”, then it is not open to debate – it is a set of instructions.
But the introduction of the word: “really” is also odd. What does it mean? Why is it there? The subject of the debate ought to have been: “How to stop people smoking”. There are various possibilities for ‘a motion’ which makes more sense.
It therefore is extremely weird that Senator/Professor Dr John Crown agreed to take part in the debate. Senator/Professor Dr John Crown is an out-and-out aristocrat of the Tobacco Control Industry. When I say ‘aristocrat’. I mean a person who has ‘droit de seignior’. In today’s terms, the ‘droit de seignior’ means ‘an expert’.
Also, normally as I recall, debates had three speakers ‘for’ the motion, and three speakers ‘against’ the motion. Generally, the principal speakers for and against had the longest time to make their case. The other two were subsidiary and simply backed-up the principal speaker. Often, they introduced comical aspects of the subject.
Senator/Professor Dr John Crown seems to have claimed to have been mislead by the organisers of the debate. As far as I can see, he does not seem to have explained what led him astray. From what I have read, he seems to have dwelt upon how he was tricked into taking part in the debate, and became irate, The more that he dwelt upon it, the more irate he became. Being unable to extract himself without loss of face, he decided to brazen it out. Rather than debate, he decided to make a statement. After making his statement (condemning the IEA as a Tobacco Company shill) he left the podium and sat down in the front row and played with his ipod or whatever. But to make things worse, a Ms Kathleen O’Meara, head of advocacy (ie. lobbying) at the Irish Cancer Society, marched into the room, arriving late for the debate, grabbed the microphone, made a statement, and then left. I cannot help but feel that Prof/Senator Dr John Crown and Ms Kathleen O’Meara, head of advocacy (ie. lobbying) at the Irish Cancer Society, had arranged their actions beforehand, with the objective of killing the debate stone dead. Whether the succeeded or not, I do not know. But it is a clever trick, isn’t it? Two ‘aristocrats’ scuppered reasonable debate.
If that is true, then it displays the level of aristocratic control over the Government of Ireland. The Irish People fought long and hard to rid themselves of aristocratic control, but look what they have landed themselves with - EU aristocratic control.
It seems that the UK is going in the same direction. It can only lead to ‘droit de seignior’ and serfdom.