Saturday 5 July 2008

The Adam Smith Experience

As reported by Mr Eugenides the first event was an excellent debate held on Thursday evening.

From Mr E:

Your scribe was honoured to participate in a debate last night alongside the ASI President Madsen Pirie, former Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth, and assorted well-intentioned but hopelessly muddled lefties. A good time was had by all, although Mr E partook perhaps too liberally of the free bar.
Around a couple of hundred folk attended and most did indeed enjoy the free bar that was available both before and after the rather boisterous debate. Needless-to-say, the House supported the cause of the "invisible hand".

On Friday morning Mrs F&W and I went along to the High Street and were rather surprised to see the great economist wearing a burqa! Not only the hand was invisible at this point. A "local" asked me what was going on.

"They're unveiling a statue of Adam Smith," I replied.

"Never heard of him."

"The greatest Scotsman who ever lived," I informed him. "And a drinking partner of David Hume whom you can see up the street."

That sort of relationship seemed to command a degree of respect.

The Edinburgh "market" community turned out in force. The ceremony started on the dot, as one would expect for a privately funded statue. The string was pulled, the "burqa" fell away as planned, people applauded and a group in See You Jimmy Hats had their photos taken in front of the man who gave the world prosperity. The invited guests were piped across the High Street into the City Chambers where we enjoyed a free lunch (free at the point of consumption anyway) and heard an excellent and libertarian talk by the sculptor Alexander Stoddart.

On Friday evening a sumptuous dinner was held in the Playfair Library at which we were addressed by R Emmett Tyrrell, editor of the American Spectator, and Professor David Purdie who used to live a few doors away from me in Prestwick when we were teenagers.

I was placed at Table 13. At each table someone won a bottle of Gaelic Whisky provided by Sir Iain Noble, founder of the distillery. For me it was a case of "lucky 13", perhaps helped by Sir Iain being at this table himself. I won the bottle and Table 13 consumed about half of it before I headed off home.

As the saying goes: Freedom and Whisky gang thegither.

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