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Sunday
Oct272013

Crown paints one-sided picture of IEA debate

Our friend Senator John Crown has gone on the offensive. Again.

Following online reports of last week's IEA debate in Dublin (a panel discussion entitled 'How to really stop people smoking'), the anti-tobacco campaigner has posted a video of his speech on YouTube and tweeted:

My talk at Royal College of Physicians "The big lies told by Big Tobacco"... http://t.co/KNujEgUfZt

How wonderful to hear a man revelling in the sound of his own voice.

Naturally the video doesn't include the three other panellists because that would constitute a discussion and Tobacco Control activists can't handle that.

Nor do they want the world to know that tobacco control policies aren't always successful and, in a liberal democracy, people have a right to question them.

Sadly, activists like Crown are only comfortable when they're preaching to the converted or lecturing us from their pulpit.

The 15 minute video was uploaded by Shane Conneely, Crown's parliamentary assistant, who is also active on Twitter.

Can't blame him for doing his master's bidding, but it's interesting that a man whose Twitter profile claims that he "likes ideas" doesn't like ideas other than those he has been pre-programmed to believe.

Instead of tweeting "the iea whored their name to big tobacco on Wednesday", Conneely should open his eyes and ears to what's really going on.

There's a reason why long established and well-respected think tanks like the IEA and ASI are questioning the current orthodoxy on tobacco control, and it has very little to do with the tiny sums of money they receive from Big Tobacco.

One, there is no evidence that some of the more extreme anti-tobacco measures actually reduce youth smoking rates. Indeed it can be argued they are counter-productive and cause far more misery than they resolve.

Two, there is a strong body of opinion that believes that excessive state interference in people's lives is morally wrong.

You don't have to be a committed smoker or employed by Big Tobacco to take this view. Some of us can think for ourselves.

In our opinion Professor Crown made an idiot of himself and the entire Tobacco Control movement with his antics on Wednesday night. What a pity there weren't more people there to see it.

Fortunately, having posted a video of his master's voice on YouTube, Shane Conneely has given the IEA the green light to post a video of the entire event so we can judge Crown's comments in context.

At the same time it will be nice to hear what his fellow panellists had to say while Crown was busy fiddling with his iPad in the front row having refused to join them on the platform.

Well done, Shane, thanks to you and your boss this story is going to run and run.

Update: Commenting on the debate, one of my favourite bloggers has written this post - God Mark II.

No prizes for guessing who that is.

PS. Prof Crown has blocked Forest from following him on Twitter. And so he joins the likes of Simon Chapman, Australia's leading tobacco control activist whose ego matches his status.

Quite an exclusive club!

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Reader Comments (6)

This behaviour is no surprise at all. I've never known any anti smoker who's been any different, not that there are many of them. There's never been any discussion. Even back in the 80's when my commuting time in the evenings was spent in the buffet car and there were murmurs of banning it on the trains, any attempt at opening a discussion with these zombies was met with "Can't stand it" followed by a quick exit. That's all there's ever been in my knowledge and Crown is no different to the rest of the mould. But it does no harm to illustrate the type.

The difference today is that knowing they get nowhere in open discussion, secretly and quietly, they've slithered and slimed their way into positions of influence in national and local Govt. Hence the barbarous and juvenile nonsense that we have. It's all in character.

But it's still all about SHS. Without that it all falls.

Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 13:39 | Unregistered CommenterFrank J

I am not sure about God but the saintly Professor now appears to think that he is Martin Luther King, Jr.

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/we-must-dream-to-escape-nightmare-29703023.html

Crown would do well to heed the words of that great man

"Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 19:49 | Unregistered CommenterIvan D

I've just watched the video of Crown. There is only one word that I can think of which describes his attitude - fascist. I am 74 and have known since I was a teenager that there was a certain amount of risk attached to smoking. Everybody knows about this risk and has done so for decades. We decide when we are old enough what we want to do. What we most certainly do NOT want is a bully getting politicians to inflict his bullying upon us, either directly by bans or indirectly by bullying tobacco companies. Nor do we want such bullies indoctrinating our children. We can look after our children ourselves.

Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 21:33 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

"Crown paints ...". Very good. :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 21:34 | Unregistered CommenterDick Puddlecote

Another narrow, clockwork intellect stuck on transmit. Not 'on the offensive', merely offensive...

Monday, October 28, 2013 at 1:16 | Unregistered CommenterMac McCubbin

And by "activist", of course you mean "oncologist".

You know his type.

The kind that try to save cancer patients from the effects of smoking.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 15:23 | Unregistered CommenterBock

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