Perhaps I shouldn't pile in on Eoin Clarke's little rant against choice but it's just so tempting that I'm afraid I cannot help myself. Sam's covered it well here but there is a tad more we can add.
I do slightly sympathise (the emphasis there is on slightly) with the Rube from Belfast being astounded that they did things different in foreign. Even when past my rube years I've been to enough foreigns to be astounded at the way some things are done. I have, for example, faced down Soviet bureaucracy in my time which is an experience to astound anyone.
But past that (and I again emphasise the slightly) I end up in gasping slack jawed amazement. For here is a man quite seriously proposing that, because he got confused about coffee three minutes after arriving in a new country then choice is a bad thing. Note that he didn't dislike choice enough not to try a new country, nor move on to a third afterwards.
But think what this no choice mantra actually leads to. Logically, at least, there should only be one book. One film, one TV station at least if not only one TV programme. Even thought these are consumables we should certainly only be allowed to have only one of each at any one time. Umm, actually, why should we have a choice between a movie or a show? And isn't that decision about the musical, the comedy or the tragedy all too complicated?
And if you're to dim, confused or Rube enough to not be able to work out what sort of coffee you want then how can you be trusted with the vote? After all, one government that just gets on and provides everything would be just fine wouldn't it? Like one NHS that just does stuff. Who needs any input from the populace into what that government should do?
It is true that what the NHS does is complicated: so is what government does.
We have actually had a number of experiments around the world at doing just that and they've not really worked out all that well have they? That the NHS is such a Wonder of the World that no one has tried to copy its no choice agenda might also be a revealing piece of evidence.
But here's my real mindboggle. Dr. Clarke is a historian of feminism in Irish Republicanism. He studies those women who fought for choice within their own society, that women actually be allowed to make choices. Inside a movement whose entire existence was predicated on the desire to have a choice in forms and source of governance. This is his professional career. His conclusion is that choice is undesirable.