Thursday, 3 May 2012

GM crops and evasion

Depressing item on Today regarding GM
They brought together an anti and a pro and didn't give them enough time
The pro found the anti tiresome and kept changing the question or point he was answering before giving his answer. He called the anti a naysayer and seemed in some ways to think that was a complete argument instead of an hominem attack, albeit mild.
Now in some ways not accepting a question can be excellent and admirable. Arthur Scargill used to be a master of not accepting the terms of the tyrannical question; but that is not the same as not accepting the terms of the question that you do not like because you cannot answer it without embarrassment.
At this point, the role of the chair becomes crucial.
Much as I am in favour of the BBC, it is a role they nearly always duck.
As here.
I was thinking deeply about something else entirely when this item was broadcast; and, as so often, have not retained the essential points verbatim. I usually can, or used to be able to; but as Customer Care evasion becomes more sophisticated -- and other factors occur to me -- I find it hard to retain dialogue designed to camouflage guilt and intention.
It was I remember to do with how beneficial GM could be; but the question concerned the likelihood that we do not know all the effects of genetic modification and so do not know fully how beneficial or detrimental the modifications are. This was not responded to and the chair timed them out. Thanks, not for nothing, but for something; but we don't know what.

The same thing had already happened with regard to the privatisation of hospitals. The CEO of one that's fallen into the sticky hands of an organisation fronting hedge funds came on and said that before he answered he'd just like to say --- and then answered a completely different question, an assertion actually, a straw person, he had authored himself.
This was challenged by the chair; but then the worm restated his own version of what their topic was -- in *his words, how to improve the hospital -- and that was not jumped on. He went on to say they were improving the hospital (without stating criteria of course) and so evaded the point on which he had been challenged.

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