The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
37 Points
The Contender
Puck
Con (against)
Winning
38 Points

Wide Loads Should Proceed in Single File.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,842 times Debate No: 4536
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (20)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

Clearly, a slow-moving convoy of trucks hauling abnormally wide loads should travel in single file, because if they drove side-by-side they would effectively block the entire carriageway. That is why they are prohibited from doing so by law.

The same principle should be applied to the narrow, crowded pavements (sidewalks) of central London.

The obese are the human equivalent of vehicular wide loads and yet they are allowed to impede the progress of ordinary Londoners who are in a hurry to get to work by plodding along the pavement at a snail's pace side-by-side, thus forcing decent, hard working commuters to risk their lives by dodging onto the road in an effort to get past them.

The Mayor of London should pass a by-law that would empower the police and Community Support Officers to force abnormally fat people to keep out of normal people's way by walking in single file, with the use of batons and Tasers being sanctioned to enforce the law.
Puck

Con

I understand this debate is meant to be 'light hearted'. I would hope so anyway. Still, it is Pro's position that he advocates a form of discrimination.

"The obese are the human equivalent of vehicular wide loads"

We have separate laws for humans and vehicles because...well simply they are not analogous legally.

"The same principle should be applied to the narrow, crowded pavements (sidewalks) of central London."

So people who run on pavements should be legally stopped and fined for exceeding a pedestrian speed limit?

"The Mayor of London should pass a by-law that would empower the police and Community Support Officers to force abnormally fat people to keep out of normal people's way by walking in single file, with the use of batons and Tasers being sanctioned to enforce the law."

To start with in the UK, the Mayor of London cannot simply "pass a by-law". There are no specific stages in creating subordinate legislation; however there are two procedures for it coming into effect:
Negative resolution: the subordinate legislation has immediate effect, but is brought before Parliament and may be annulled if a resolution against it is passed within 40 days
Affirmative Resolution: the subordinate legislation must be affirmed by resolutions in each House of Parliament before it may come into effect.

Secondly, by what right do you claim moral and consequent legal authority over obese individuals? Is it simply because they annoy you? This is hardly a sound legal basis.

Batons would certainly be innefective as a pro social motivator, tasering an individual would essetially create a sidewalk block stopping pedestrians walking both directions which is opposite the benefit you infer.

"thus forcing decent, hard working commuters to risk their lives by dodging onto the road in an effort to get past them"

No, that is an individual choice, one would argue based upon impatience and a societal norm where you don't ask the person in front of you to move aside. In each case it is certainly not due to the obese individual.

"decent" and "hardworking" are merely fallacious ploys that appeal to emotion. Unless wife beating welfare cheats have a secret anti obese pedestrian sidewalk technique we don't know about.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent for his considered reply.

He wrote: "So people who run on pavements should be legally stopped and fined for exceeding a pedestrian speed limit?"

Ha, ha, ha! Or strolling whilst under the influence of alcohol? Or walking without due care and attention? No, naturally, I wasn't suggesting that pedestrians should be subject to road traffic regulations, though it could be argued that people who swerve about the pavement and bump into other pedestrians because they are either drunk or they are texting on their mobile phones are almost as big a nuisance as the obese!

My opponent went on to suggest that the Mayor wouldn't have the authority to introduce a ban. Perhaps he is right, otherwise I'm sure just such a ban would have already been introduced –after all, what a vote winner!

That said, it is still my understanding that the Mayor of London does have some limited powers in matters relating to transport, for example he introduced a ban on drinking alcohol on public transport a couple of weeks ago, so a ban on the obese walking side-by-side might not be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

My opponent continued:

"…by what right do you claim moral and consequent legal authority over obese individuals? Is it simply because they annoy you?"

Only when they get in people's way. It's just like people drinking alcohol. It's fine in a pub, but not on a tube or bus, which is why the Mayor banned it.

My opponent then wrote:

"Batons would certainly be innefective as a pro social motivator, tasering an individual would essetially create a sidewalk block stopping pedestrians walking both directions which is opposite the benefit you infer."

I'm aghast that my opponent thinks that I would advocate the wholesale and indiscriminate targeting of obese people. My idea is that, only after a fair warning, would the police bludgeon uncooperative overweight people to the ground using batons or Taser them - to kick them senseless while they are down would be barbaric. The idea is that the abnormally fat would be left unconscious or otherwise incapable of continuing their journey (and thus causing their prostrate bodies to create further obstacles for hard-pressed commuters) is simply abhorrent.

My opponent's final argument was that Londoners inconvenienced by the walking chicanes that the obese represent should ask them to move aside. This would not be advisable. Asking a bunch of drunken yobs on the tube to chuck away their booze may provoke a violent reaction. Similarly, if someone asked a couple of obese pedestrians to disguise their ignorance of common courtesies and kindly step aside and allow more important people to get past, they are liable to lash out, especially if it is a hot day or they are hungry (which is almost always).

I look forward to my opponent's reply.
Puck

Con

Firstly the obese are like vehicles, now they are like drunkards. My opponents sole case rests on asserting obese individuals are like something they are not.

"My opponent went on to suggest that the Mayor wouldn't have the authority to introduce a ban. Perhaps he is right, otherwise I'm sure just such a ban would have already been introduced - after all, what a vote winner!"

"Health Survey for England (HSE) data revealed that in 2006, 38% of adults in England were overweight and 24% were classified as obese. 67% of men and 56% of women were either overweight or obese in 2006.
29.7% of children aged 2 to 15 were classed as overweight or obese in 2006. Figures for boys and girls among this age group were 30.6% and 28.7% respectively. 17.3% of boys and 14.7% of girls were obese.
Foresight: Tackling Obesities: Future Choices project, 2007, predict that if no action is taken, by 2050, 60% of men and 50% of women and 25% of children will be obese."

http://www.dh.gov.uk...

Clearly it is not a "vote winner" if there is a substantial proportion of people who would be opposed to any 'anti-obese' legislation. There will be far more people against such a bill as for.

"so a ban on the obese walking side-by-side might not be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny."

If you recall (or read :P) "Negative resolution: the subordinate legislation has immediate effect, but is brought before Parliament and may be annulled if a resolution against it is passed within 40 days"
If you consider the population percentage of obese individuals, the inherent public outcry and the fact that the odds of a member of parliament able to oppose the bill being obese, any such attempt would be surely foiled.

"Only when they get in people's way. It's just like people drinking alcohol. It's fine in a pub, but not on a tube or bus, which is why the Mayor banned it."

The process of becoming drunk is a swift one, as is its relative state of removal. Obese individuals cannot be obese at home and not in public, unless you are now advocating house arrest for all obese individuals in the possibility they annoy you when you walk down the street. Again as a population majority (on the assumption you yourself are not obese) then their wants outweigh your own (no pun intended).

"I'm aghast that my opponent thinks that I would advocate the wholesale and indiscriminate targeting of obese people. My idea is that, only after a fair warning, would the police bludgeon uncooperative overweight people to the ground using batons or Taser them - to kick them senseless while they are down would be barbaric. The idea is that the abnormally fat would be left unconscious or otherwise incapable of continuing their journey (and thus causing their prostrate bodies to create further obstacles for hard-pressed commuters) is simply abhorrent."

A bill targeting obese individuals is exactly "wholesale and indiscriminate targeting of obese people". While the police are politely bludgeoning said obese individuals in public or tasering them to a fetal weeping mess on the sidewalk, you create a perfect footpath block. What happens after is less relevant. The fact remains, you stop public flow for as long as it takes to subdue and remove the targeted individual. If the population of obese is high, then such occurrences would be common.

"Asking a bunch of drunken yobs on the tube to chuck away their booze may provoke a violent reaction. Similarly, if someone asked a couple of obese pedestrians to disguise their ignorance of common courtesies and kindly step aside and allow more important people to get past, they are liable to lash out, especially if it is a hot day or they are hungry (which is almost always)."

Again with the drunken analogy *shakes head* you really need to come up with reasons on their own merit. Common courtesy would be to politely ask. Is that such an abhorrent notion you would advocate legislative enforced police bludgeoning instead? Assuming all obese will react similarly is to say BMI is a personality motivator. Clearly that is not correct either. It is the other person (or should I say you?) you gets annoyed and lashes out (this debate :P).
Debate Round No. 2
brian_eggleston

Pro

With thanks to my opponent for such a prompt reply, I should like to respond as follows:

At the beginning of his argument my opponent wrote:

"Firstly the obese are like vehicles, now they are like drunkards. My opponents sole case rests on asserting obese individuals are like something they are not."

And at near the end…

"Assuming all obese will react similarly is to say BMI is a personality motivator. Clearly that is not correct either."

Of course, one should not generalise in debates, but on the basis of absolutely no research, I had no choice!

My opponent, on the other hand, did do some research:

"Foresight: Tackling Obesities: Future Choices project, 2007, predict that if no action is taken, by 2050, 60% of men and 50% of women and 25% of children will be obese.

Department of Health, UK Government."

Interesting that the British Government agrees that the obese need to be tackled, perhaps they were inspired by watching rugby or American football matches, who knows?

Certainly, the figures quoted in this document just go to show how bad pavement congestion caused by slow-moving obese people will get unless the problem is addressed as a matter of urgency.

Ideally, this would be done by explaining the health risks associated with being overweight, in the same way as has been done previously through public information campaigns which outlined the dangers associated with smoking, taking drugs and drinking to excess. In this way, the obese will be able to make an informed choice about their weight, and those that choose to slim down rather than to continue to stuff their faces full of junk food in an continuous orgy of gluttony and greed, will find they will be able to walk quicker and not take up so much space on the pavement and, therefore, not be subject to summary punitive action at the hands of anti-fat-related-pavement-congestion police snatch squads.

I don't quite agree with my opponent's analysis of the legislative system so I have supplied a link to the Parliament website for those who may be interested.

http://www.parliament.uk...

However, Acts of Parliament usually apply across the entire country, rather than just one city, which is why I proposed a by law instead. Furthermore, I do not agree that this law would be unpopular with the obese. After all, my favourite pastimes are driving and drinking, yet I agree that drinking and driving should be illegal, so even though I believe I am perfectly capable of motoring quite safely after a few pints, I nevertheless obey the law.

Anyway, thanks Puck, for the debate and thanks in advance to the voters for your generous support!
Puck

Con

"Interesting that the British Government agrees that the obese need to be tackled, perhaps they were inspired by watching rugby or American football matches, who knows?
Certainly, the figures quoted in this document just go to show how bad pavement congestion caused by slow-moving obese people will get unless the problem is addressed as a matter of urgency."

Indeed, who knows, but the "tackling" as so eloquently put is the more acceptable (and long term) option of actually reducing people's weight. The figures show nothing at all about "pavement congestion" this is merely an inferential ploy by my opponent. Again we get back to the actual percentage of obese individuals, there are more people walking the streets that actually like walking slow than those that can be possibly annoyed. Your fix is merely a crass short term one. At least the government is thinking ahead. ;)

Which brings us to "Ideally, this would be done by explaining the health risks associated with being overweight, in the same way as has been done previously through public information campaigns which outlined the dangers associated with smoking, taking drugs and drinking to excess. In this way, the obese will be able to make an informed choice about their weight, and those that choose to slim down rather than to continue to stuff their faces full of junk food in an continuous orgy of gluttony and greed, will find they will be able to walk quicker and not take up so much space on the pavement and, therefore, not be subject to summary punitive action at the hands of anti-fat-related-pavement-congestion police snatch squads."

You have simply failed again to explain why your preference is more important than anyone other individuals in this matter. If it is a given choice then the action should not be punishable. You are advocating either obesity as being illegal or obese in public as illegal. The former reverts back to what moral superiority do you claim as right and the latter to a totalitarian house arrest for the obese for in public you will be beaten/tasered. What about 'borderline' individuals? Will the police carry scales for testing? By what right does the government have to know a person's weight? What about those 'thin' people who walk slow? Will the police enforce their speeds as well? People who walk in small groups side by side? Tourists standing on footpaths creating flow problems? What about those people who walk with several bags in each hand? As you can see the lines are fuzzy, it is an ill thought out plan.

"I don't quite agree with my opponent's analysis of the legislative system so I have supplied a link to the Parliament website for those who may be interested."

I am certainly interested because you supply no information about by-laws, merely the 'front page' as it were of the website.

"Procedure for passing secondary legislation in the UK
Subordinate legislation is a collective term for statutory rules, regulations, ordinances, by-laws and rules created by persons or bodies to whom Parliament has delegated some of its law-making powers.
Stages to go through

Authority for making the subordinate legislation comes from an enabling or 'delegating' Act that will set down the requirements for making the subordinate legislation. Certain persons or bodies, such as the Scottish Executive, are given law-making powers allowing them to enact such legislation.
Generally, subordinate legislation is created when signed by the person authorised to do so by the enabling Act.
There are no specific stages in creating subordinate legislation, however there are two procedures for it coming into effect:
'Negative resolution' - the subordinate legislation has immediate effect, but is brought before Parliament and may be annulled if a resolution against it is passed within 40 days
'Affirmative Resolution' - the subordinate legislation must be affirmed by resolutions in each House of Parliament before it may come into effect."

http://www.out-law.com... Despite its unfortunate address, the link in question is an international law firm.

"I do not agree that this law would be unpopular with the obese. After all, my favourite pastimes are driving and drinking, yet I agree that drinking and driving should be illegal, so even though I believe I am perfectly capable of motoring quite safely after a few pints, I nevertheless obey the law."

"My favourite pastimes are eating and walking yet I agree that eating and walking in public ...."

Nope that doesn't work does it?

"My favourite pastimes are eating and walking yet I agree that obesity and walking in public should be illegal"

Maybe that will work then (still not fully analogous to your example). Ok the law as it relates to DUI is due to the fact that drinking impairs judgement, and is a risk factor in one's own and possible others death and or injury. Walking should be encouraged one would think. There is no health risk to other pedestrians. Claims of frustrated men dashing madly, risking oncoming traffic etc are not the blame of any other individual other than those that do the mad dashing. So no, I don't agree that the population in question will agree to house/car confinement. It is detrimental to their health and well being.

Regards, Puck
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 9 years ago
Sweatingjojo
"perhaps they were inspired by watching rugby or American football matches, who knows?"

That line made me laugh, and so I must vote for Pro.
Posted by brian_eggleston 9 years ago
brian_eggleston
I take it you are referring the obese going Radio Rental with the heat and attacking innocent commuters...true, I wouldn't have mentioned it but it is one of those rare summer days today and I was inspired!
Posted by Puck 9 years ago
Puck
Anyway the UK has what, 3 days of summer a year? I don't know what you are scared of. ;)
Posted by Puck 9 years ago
Puck
Haha and I was here bored.
Posted by brian_eggleston 9 years ago
brian_eggleston
Blimey, Puck, that was quick! I'm impressed!
Posted by brian_eggleston 9 years ago
brian_eggleston
Hello Puck.

In the comments section you wrote: "Guess you really don't like obese individuals ;)"

No, I don't. I was bitten by an obese when I was a child...I think it was trying to eat me!

Okay, you realise, I'm sure, that my debate is intended to be somewhat light-hearted. That said, however, there is many a true word said in jest and I will post my response at the earliest possible opportunity.
Posted by Puck 9 years ago
Puck
edit: "an individual would essetially" 'essentially'
Gah I hate typos.
Posted by Puck 9 years ago
Puck
3 rounds? :P
Guess you really don't like obese individuals ;)
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not make a serious case. Fun, but not winning.
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