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Video Presentations

Please find below a few samples of my video presentations.

Equal Citizens, Unequal Knowledge

PANDA Open Society Sessions, 10th April 2023

The purpose of this presentation is to to review some of the main threats posed to equal citizenship by reliance on those conventionally considered to be qualified experts; and to explore some ways these threats might be mitigated both at the individual and institutional levels.

What is the Proper Role of Expert Knowledge in the Management of a Public Crisis?

PANDA Open Society Sessions, 17th June 2022

In this presentation, David offers a preliminary explanation and assessment of the role of expert knowledge in national and international responses to Covid-19.

Is Free Speech Welcome in Europe?

Dublin, 20th April 2024

"The day we have the power to shut down groups because we don't agree with them, is the day that constitutional democracy dies." - My reflections on the significance of a mayor's attempt to shut down a conservative conference in Brussels.

Ireland May Be Ripe for a Political Shakeup

Pamplona, 27th March 2024

Up to now, Ireland has remained broadly unscathed by the populist right sweeping across Europe. But recent events point to a massive political vacuum. A properly organised new party could pick up quite a few votes on the right.

Europe Has Lost Its Way

European Parliament (Strasbourg), 19th July 2023

I believe in the European project, as a project of international cooperation based on principles of free trade and national sovereignty. But, as I explain in this video, the EU Parliament and Commission have converted Europe into an authoritarian juggernaut, turning EU institutions against basic principles of a free society, such as freedom of expression, informed consent, and democratic accountability.

Taking Stock: Why I Am Hopeful About the Future of Freedom in the West

Strasbourg, 14th January 2024

Four reasons I'm not disheartened by the ongoing assault on freedom in the West: 1/ Authoritarian governments are are losing ground politically. 2/ We see growing popular resistance to authoritarianism. 3/ We can push back through the courts. 4/ It's a true honour to be part of this epic battle.

European Digital ID is Part of a Slide Toward Technocratic, Authoritarian Rule

Strasbourg, 13th November 2023

If we consent to a centralised digital ID system, we are essentially saying that we trust politicians and technocrats with our information and our money. A centralised digital ID system has the advantage of convenience, but it is highly susceptible to abuse by central governments.

It is Time to Decentralise our Political Institutions

Strasbourg, 16th November 2023

The centralised State is structuraly incapable of catering to the complex needs of a diverse society. Decentralisation is urgently needed, now more than ever.

The True Story Behind the Dublin Riots

Strasbourg, 26th November 2023

Ireland's political establishment want to pin the blame for the Dublin Riots of November 23rd on "Far Right" troublemakers, in a desperate effort to distract us from the elephant in the room: the government's own failure to uphold law and order.

What is Toleration?

Strasbourg, 11th October 2023

I'd like to clear up a common confusion about what the virtue of toleration actually entails. It does not entail uncritically celebrating other citizens' moral choices. That would be moral relativism.

Debunking the False Narrative of the Sovereign People

Presentation on 13th Aug 2023 in Brazier Park, Oxfordshire

The narrative of the "sovereign people" - the idea that "the people" somehow confer their collective power and authority on a central government to rule on their behalf - is a harmful ideological construct that serves to legitimate fundamentally oligarchic structures of power and to disempower communities, whose governmental authority is subordinated to the prerogatives of a national government.

I'm Tired of Climate Hysteria and Climate Junk Science: Here's Why

Madrid, 22nd July 2023

I'm tired of the relentless fear-mongering employed by radical climate activists and some climate scientists, to intimidate us into accepting a specific set of radical climate policies. It's time for a more balanced debate, not only about the role of human behaviour in climate change, but also about the cost-benefit ratio of different sorts of climate policies.

We Cannot Allow Ourselves to Be Consumed by Fear

Bay of Biscay, 22nd July 2023

Franklin D Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror..." In recent years, we have been programmed to fear life, whether the next pandemic, or global warming, or terrorism. But we must learn to manage risk without being consumed by paralysing fear. Otherwise, life becomes unbearable.

What Does the Digital Services Act Mean for Free Speech? 

Pamplona, 7th June 2023

Europe's Digital Services Act is a mixed bag. On the positive side, it includes measures against child pornography. But it also permits the EU Commission to spread its tentacles inside the social media companies, pressuring them to censor political and scientific content not to its liking. In short, DSA represents a serious threat to free speech in Europe.

Here's Why Engineeering City Life from the Top Down is a Terrible Idea

Dublin, 15th April 2023

15 minute cities, hidden cameras, punitive carbon taxes that hit the poor hardest. These are the watchwords of a technocratic philosophy of city planning and governance that is, sadly, taking hold in many Western cities. Citizens must wake up to what is going on, and take action in defense of their freedom and the needs of their local areas.

Western Democracies Are In Need of Far-Reaching Reform

Strasbourg, 17th December 2023

Western democracies are in a moment of crisis: a crisis of trust and legitimacy, a crisis of freedom, and a crisis of the welfare state. Without far-reaching reform, democracy may be on a path of steady decline.

Why We Should Be Worried About the Lack of Diversity in Ireland's National Media

Dublin, 1st December 2018

In this speech, delivered at a MOOT event on 1st December 2018 in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin, I explain how Ireland's media suffers from a diversity deficit, and how this deficit prevents the media from exercising three of its basic public functions: to hold public actors accountable; to model a responsible approach to rational inquiry; and to give citizens a voice in the public square.

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