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Tuesday, April 12, 2011


    Previously I have discussed here and here the undisputed fact that formal debates (usually teams of 1,2 or 3 members getting about 5 minutes to put or rebut the motion for about 5 minutes each) is historically far more effective at examing indeas; along with the equally undisputed fact that the broadcast media flatly refuse to broadcast such and instead use the word "debate" to cover several people, most of whom, along with the broadcaster's "moderator" share the same view, interrupting anybody they disagree with.

       Nobody among official broadcasters is even willing to attempt to defend this. They simply refuse to speak, leaving the inevitable conclusion that they put public interest and even commericial interests far behind censoring democratic debate.

      However there are other media. Newspapers carry letter columns and sometimes paired viewpoint articles where 2 people put opposing views. However lettercolumns are not only selected by the papaer but, more importantly, feel themselves under no obligation whatsoever not to censor factual replies. Indeed the Press Complaints Council, recently reversed their own precedent that, when they publish a letter asking another contributor to defend their view they had an obligation not to censor such a defence. The PCC now maintain that there is absolutely no duty to allow such a right of reply even when the paper has publicly demanded it. By doing so they give the impression that any preferred lie they wish to promote has not been and therefore cannot be answered. This is obviously not real debate since nobody knows when one side will be banned. There are also many many things letter editors and indeed online moderators simply will not allow to be said. The Guardian notoriously censors warming sceptics and absolutely everybody censors our government's role in illegal wars and genocide.

       On the other hand newspapers are under considerable financial pressure at the moment, largely because the internet doesn't censor overall and because comments are largely uncensored. Clearly publishing a real debate would be likely to be commercially advantageous. If  any newspaper wishes such advantage here is my suggestion> I will forward this to our national and some international Press and if any thank me *
      Select a subject from among the most popular in letters received in the previous week. Advertise the motion to be discussed on Saturday and invite a team of 3, drawn from experts, the "great and good" and/or if they were beinng cheap, letter writers who have shown knowledge. Doing this using mainly the latter would be almost as cheap as running a normal letter column, certainly the cheapest and one of the most popular parts of most papers, Then publish 350/500 words from the first proposer on Monday, 1st opponent on Tuesday and so on till Saturday. Thus everybody gets a chance to put their case and more importantly, from the paper's point of view, they get a captive audience for that week and a strong link towards the next week's. More importantly from society's point of view we get real public discussion of issues which are genuinely important to the people.

      Because these go one after the other such debates would put both sides under presure to actually answer previous points, rather than going off in ad hominum tirades. Warming alarmists, with no known exceptions worldwide worldwide simply refuse to do this but in a real debate this would be obvious.
 said during the recent Spectator debate

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