Welcome a debate on dredging
12:20pm Thursday 7th June 2012 in Letters
I write with reference to last week's letter from Christopher Smith challenging me to an “honest” and “proper debate” about plans for dredging the approaches to Falmouth Docks.
I would be more than happy to have such a debate, but I'’m not so sure that that’s what he genuinely wants. Judging from his recent letters in local papers, his debating style amounts to little more than empty rhetoric and unsubstantiated assertion.
For instance, Mr Smith claims that my recent talk at the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society was an “own goal” because supporters of the dredging were able to “knock down” my arguments “like nine pins”. Rather weakly, however, he omitted to mention any specifics to back up this claim. What kind of “proper” debate is it where one party simply asserts that the other is wrong without explaining how and in what regard?
And as for honesty, yes, I’m all for it, but is Mr Smith? Unlike me, he hasn't said anything about who he is and how he came to be involved in this debate - we know nothing about him from his letter.
Is he by any chance Christopher Smith of local architects CSA Associates who had the brief for designing a cruise ship terminal for Falmouth docks? And what of the others who have written to the Packet recently to criticise me and act as cheerleaders for the dredging?
I refer to Graham Hall and June Ingleby-Oddy. From their letters, readers would probably assume that they were just disinterested Falmouth residents, but is that really all there is to them?
Is Graham Hall, perchance, the nautical artist of the same name who has received commissions from A&P and whose partner is apparently assistant to the executive at A&P?
And is June Ingleby Oddy the lady of the same name who is a director of real estate agents Port Pendennis Village Management Ltd, address “The Docks”? I think we should be told.
By far the most laughable claim made by Mr Smith was that my opposition to the dredging betrays an insidious “anti-capitalistic” agenda.
After the environmental issue, my second major concern about A&P's dredging plan is the proposal by Cornwall Council to pay the £23 million bill for this investment in private infrastructure using local taxpayers, money.
The notion that the state should subsidise and promote the interests of dominant or established corporations originated with Karl Marx.
As an ardent capitalist, Mr Smith, I assume then that you would oppose this sort of thing? My view is that private businesses should stand on its own two feet - if the profit is private, the risk of investment should be private too. That’s how I’ve run my business for the last ten years. That hardly marks me out as anti-capitalist. Come on Mr Smith, lift your game!
Dr Miles Hoskin Raleigh Place Falmouth