Forest Unfiltered






40 Years of Hurt

Prejudice and Prohibition

Road To Ruin?

Search This Site
The Pleasure of Smoking

Forest Polling Report

Outdoor Smoking Bans

Plain Packaging

Share This Page
Powered by Squarespace
« Happy birthday, Ian Hunter | Main | In conversation »

Journalist gets no platformed? Spare me the outrage and hypocrisy

There are lots of ways you can be no platformed.

In 2014 ‪I had an invitation to speak at a public health seminar in Wales withdrawn after complaints from other speakers. ‬

‪I don’t know if he was one of the people who objected to my presence, but one of the speakers was Mark Drakeford, the new first minister of Wales, who has since proposed that smoking should be banned in every town and city centre in the country.

‪Anyway, ‪having invited her to appear on a panel at their annual conference, the Royal College of GPs has likewise withdrawn its invitation to broadcaster and journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer.

‪As well as presenting the breakfast show on TalkRADIO, Hartley-Brewer appears regularly on Question Time, Any Questions and other political programmes.‬

‪She has forthright opinions, many of which I agree with, but while I think the RCGP’s action is pathetic, I’m struggling to feel sympathy for someone who once wrote an article suggesting that smoking in a car with children is tantamount to child abuse.‬

‪She’s entitled to her views, of course, and far from censoring them I would happily challenge her on this or any other smoking-related issue. ‬

‪Sadly, since TalkRADIO launched in 2016 we have been invited to appear on her daily programme just once, three years ago.‬

‪I can’t say she’s ‘no platformed’ Forest but since then she’s shown zero interest in having us on her programme, despite the fact there have been a number of smoking-related issues in the news in the intervening period. ‬

‪For example:‬

‪Proposed ban on smoking in social housing ‬
‪Ban on smoking in cars with children‬
The EU’s Tobacco Products Directive
‪Hospital smoking bans‬
‪Council smoking bans‬
‪Plain packaging‬

‪So while I’m disappointed the RCGP has given in to the mob (in this case a mob of GPs!) it’s worth noting that when I was barred from addressing the Policy Forum for Wales no journalist was in the least bit interested.

I imagine there are dozens, possibly hundreds, of ‘no platform’ cases that never get reported - thousands if you include all those conferences and conventions that deliberately deny delegates a balanced debate for fear of exposing them to anything that takes them outside their comfort zone.

‪Truth is, journalists, broadcasters and conference organisers are ‘no platforming’ speakers whose opinions they don’t share all the time. The difference is, they’re usually a bit more subtle about it because they don’t invite you in the first place!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

For someone who seems reasonable on nanny state issues, she is completely smokerphobic about tobacco. She literally thinks one cigarette can kill you. She is paranoid and terrified of smoking. When tobacco comes into the conversation, Julia Hartley brewer loses all reason.

She is another one of "I don't like the Nanny State, but I am very happy to have the Bully State beat down on those revolting smokers" types.

Another fake lberatrian who only cares about freedom issues if people are free to enjoy what she likes.

Hypocrite seems to be the word that defines most people in public life today.

Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 10:13 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

The bullying tactics employed by tobacco control pressure groups rely on hectoring the sponsors of events to impose self-censorship and 'no platforming'. The same coercive tactics are used by drug cartels and organized crime--although for the moment the tobacco control grift has avoided actual physical violence.

The only solution is to sponsor alternate events, and support open, free media. The internet and the forms of social media also allow free discourse. To that I would add that it is desirable to engage politicians at all levels of government to demonstrate the presence of smokers as a political factor.

Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 20:11 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>