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Spare a thought November 26, 2012

Posted by Oireachtas Retort in Uncategorized.


1. EWI - November 26, 2012

Why are you surprised at this development? But spare a thought for the plight of ex-FFers too:

Move to ban smoking in all Leinster House fails


A move to ban smoking on the whole grounds of Leinster House and make it the first smoke-free parliament in the world failed yesterday.


Fianna Fáil spokesman on health Billy Kelleher said while efforts should be made to discourage people from smoking, other health factors needed to be considered. “It could be dangerous to some members’ health to go outside the gates and have a cigarette because they’d have people outside there waiting for them at particular times when governments inevitably get unpopular.”

Prof Crown said: “If people are afraid to go out in the street and have a cigarette because they will face the wrath of an inflamed electorate, stop smoking.”



doctorfive - November 26, 2012

Amused not surprised.

Finian McGrath’s concern over the ‘marginalisation’ TDs being asked to not smoke in LH was something to behold


Sigh - November 27, 2012

Asked? Told, more like. They were only ‘asked’ in the sense that the proposal didn’t go through; had it done so then there would be no asking involved. Also, it’s not only TDs in Leinster House. It’s hardly the biggest issue in the world, but it’s not nothing. How is it in anyone’s interest to ban smoking on the grounds of a building? McGrath’s argument was weak, but there is something at stake. Crown’s dismissal of people’s arguments as “addiction speaking” is a disgrace and one needn’t be a smoker do dislike where it could potentially go.


RosencrantzisDead - November 27, 2012

Crown’s dismissal of people’s arguments as “addiction speaking” is a disgrace and one needn’t be a smoker do dislike where it could potentially go.

Yes; I can just see the jack boot bearing down on the neck of TDs and Senators. Oh dear.

I suppose being asked to set an example for others is a step too far for Irish politicians.


Sigh - November 27, 2012

Oh for goodness’ sake! Jackboots aren’t the only bad things can happen. One other might be the medicalisation of people’s opinions, views and behaviours. How are people smoking outdoors harming anyone? As I already said it’s hardly the biggest issue in the world. Your dismissive hyperbole isn’t much of a contribution.


RosencrantzisDead - November 27, 2012

I am not the one concerned about the slippery slope of having a ‘no smoking’ policy. Hyperbole, indeed.

The medicalisation of people’s views and opinion?! Smoking is a public health issue. Being dismissive of bullshit is not a bad trait.


Sigh - November 27, 2012

I can’t decide whether you’re wilfully misreading my point or we simply lack enough of a shared ground to debate. Smoking is a public health issue you say. Fine, but that doesn’t mean anyone gets to force anyone else around. There is already a comprehensive ban on smoking indoors. How does smoking en plein air harm anyone else? It harms the smoker, true, but that’s up to them (unless: drzava je odgovorna za fizicno vzgojo ljudstva)and it’s not a public health issue unless you’re against universal provision. I presume you’re not in favour of treating people according to some measure such as… means to pay?

Regardless, the broad point is not even about smoking. If you can’t see Crown’s logic is pernicious then you are exhibiting a worrying mindset. Since when has it been acceptable to dismiss one’s opponents are in the grip of some sort of irresistible impulse?

Anyway, enough. I’m done.


RosencrantzisDead - November 28, 2012

I am not misreading your views so much as I find them patently absurd along with the ridiculous panic you have about a comment a Senator made in a Joint Oireachtas Committee.

The point is: why the hell do you need to smoke on the grounds of Leinster House? Smoking is a bad for one’s health and people agree that we should do everything to discourage it. Why, then, should we allow people to smoke in the grounds of the parliament? We are not, after all, letting them smoke in the grounds of hospitals.

And if someone absolutely must smoke at their place of work and cannot take the short walk outside the boundaries of LH or wait until they get home, what other description is appropriate for that person except that of ‘addict’?

Finally, dismissing the view of an addict on grounds that it is insincere was not invented by John Crown. Nor is it the first signal of creeping Stalinism. It is rather a rhetorical device. For fuck’s sake, some people these days.


2. CL - November 27, 2012

Smoking is banned in New York city’s public parks and beaches, but enforcement of the ban is not really a priority.


3. gfmurphy101 - November 27, 2012

Reblogged this on gfmurphy101 and commented:
Are they claiming to being a minority??? I wish lol


4. Sigh - November 28, 2012

Well, you’ve not been paying attention then: it’s not a rhetorical device. Crown states it regularly and literally, using his own status as an ex-smoker to ‘prove’ his point. Crown’s argument is, quite simply, smokers cannot be trusted to make a coherent argument because they are in thrall to their ‘addiction’. Assuming you didn’t know this, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with what the man says before jumping to conclusions. On the other hand, if you did know this then we’re back to a lack of a shared ground. One need not invoke ‘Stalinism’ to think this is not on to dismiss people as unable to genuinely speak for themselves, or that it is a kind of political logic that could be used in other ways.

I am not having a ‘ridiculous panic’. I stated right at the outset that it wasn’t the biggest issue in the world. It is only your interventions, including category expansion and misrepresentation of my point that kept me coming back.

As for the rest, what exactly is wrong with people choosing to smoke, outdoors, harming no-one but themselves? What right does anyone have to tell them not to? Including on hospital grounds? Precisely none. You clearly know better than other people, though, so you have the right to boss them around. I suggest you look up the harm principle.


RosencrantzisDead - November 28, 2012

No one is removing anyone’s ‘right’ to smoke, rather they are simply removing the right to smoke in a particular place. The harm principle is rather misconceived in this instance and is a further example of your wild exaggeration.

If a group who control a property decide that they do not want smoking on or around that property, why should they be prevented? Why should the ‘right’ of a smoker trump that right?

And again, comments or series of comments is not a big deal. It is you who invoked the slippery slope in the first place and yet deny that this is a ridiculous panic.

As pointed out, the argument that someone’s arguments or opinions should not be trusted because they are insincere or self-serving is as old as argument itself. In fact, it is generally accepted as being logically sound to distrust the testimony of those who make arguments for self-serving reasons. Your complaint that it represents some kind of danger is ridiculous.


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