Sunday 18 September 2016

ECHO, Echo, echo ...

Some of you may remember this tweet by bone-headed prohibitionist Simple Simon Chapman last year.

He also described the event as "a small meeting of vaping activists in Poland" in an article for the 'public health' industry's favourite shitsheet, The Conversation.

Presumably, by cherry-picking images he had collected from Twitter feeds of the many people who attended the event, he was attempting to dismiss the gathering as somehow irrelevant or something, because - as I made an effort to find out at the time - there was quite an impressive turnout.
"Attendance comprised in excess of 250 delegates representing 43 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia. Our records show that 42 vaping consumers registered to attend."
So, if Chappers would describe over 250 delegates from 43 countries "a small meeting" and therefore a target for ridicule, I wonder what he would make of this?

Just ten? So what on Earth was happening at this - by Chapman's logic, quite pathetic and miniscule - event to cause so many people to stay away in their droves?

Well, it was a panel debate at the Royal Society of Medicine where the keynote speaker was none other than - you guessed it - Simon Chapman.
10.15 am
“A sneeze in one country causes international pneumonia tomorrow”: explaining the plain packaging pandemic 
Professor Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor in the School Public Health, University of Sydney 
3.15 pm
Years well spent. A reflection on a professional lifetime spent in public health advocacy 
Professor Simon Chapman
Of course, unlike the many images posted on social media confirming big attendances at GFN last year, we have no way of verifying Munafo's estimate because no-one tweeted any pics. So we have to use caution and go by 'public health's' margins of error - that is, the 'crowd' could have been as high as 11 or as low as 9!

By way of comparison, an event at the very same venue in July this year to discuss the question "has regulation of pleasure gone too far?" attracted an audience of around 40, the vast majority of whom were interested medics.

As some wag quite astutely pointed out on Twitter, if environmentalist and advocate for action on climate change Chappers wanted to have a cozy little chat with a few friends and acquaintances in London, perhaps he could have done so on Skype instead of flying halfway around the world to talk to the vanishing few who want to listen to his narcissistic burbling.

I wonder if the dozy tumbleweed-magnet did any scintillating vaper-spotting while he was here?

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