There is a strange phenomenon in modern day politics.
Those of us who have been following the Tobacco Control Industry will be familiar with it. I refer of course to the practice of excluding any dissenting voices from any meeting.
We have seen Tobacco Control openly asserting that gubmints and other organisations should never ever allow a representative of Big Tobacco into any discussion which involves Big Tobacco. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Tobacco Control know damn well that all their assertions, "facts" and figures will be challenged and cracks will rapidly appear in all their arguments. With the use of this tactic they are guaranteed 100% support in all their actions and demands. It works for Robert Mugabe so why not for them?
Now we have a new tactic where not only is Big Tobacco excluded from everything but anyone who has had anything to do with them is persona non grata. Fatso Reilly, our Minister for Cheeeeeldren is now seeking to exclude any company that has had dealings with Big Tobacco form applying for gubmint contracts. How this is supposed to reduce smoking rates and "protect cheeeeldren" is way beyond me. It smacks more of a little boy stamping his foot in anger and telling Johnny he cant come to the party because he once went to Billy's party. The move is childish, hysterical and doubtless illegal but when you're dealing with the insane then I suppose rationality goes out the window?
I see the phenomenon is creeping beyond Tobacco. There is a move here in Ireland to provide free doctor's visits to all kids under six. Naturally there has to be some discussion about this and talks are continuing. However the group that represents the doctors has been excluded from the talks.
The Department remains willing to engage with the NAGP but given (the NAGP’s) stated position that government’s policy on extending GP care without fees is immoral, and their call for a boycott. It is hard to see any real basis for partnership at this time.
In other words, the doctors say the scheme is unworkable so they are simply excluded from the discussions even though they are the group most directly affected by the outcome. They are the ones who wil have to implement this scheme yet they are excluded from the talks?
I can't help but wonder what's next coming down the line.
Will we have unanimous support in the Dáil in every vote as the opposition will be excluded from the chambers?
General Election ballot papers will only be issued to those who will vote for the current gubmint?
All dissenters will be shot?
This puts me in mind of something, if only I could remember the word……