Chomsky, who wooed crowds at a similar event in London earlier this month, delivered a speech on revolutionary industrial unionism to rapturous acclaim before flicking the switch to herald the start of the city’s festive celebrations.
Meanwhile in Edinburgh an estimated 2000 people flocked to an event in the city’s Princes Street Gardens to watch Alain de Botton turn on the Christmas tree lights and deliver a short lecture on the pitfalls of pseudo-vernacular architecture in modern British housing.
However, there was anger among spectators in Nottingham after Oxford Professor of Mathematics and television presenter Marcus du Sautoy was unable to attend the city’s Christmas lights ceremony due to ill health. When it was announced that One Direction singer Harry Styles had been drafted in as a last minute replacement the atmosphere among the crowd became tense, with fears spreading that he was about to sing a line or two from ‘That’s what makes you beautiful’.
Sensing that the mood was turning ugly Mr Styles threw away his page of music, unplugged his autotune earpiece and delivered a dialectic on how the microcosm of autocratic influence in the entertainment industry indicated an aspiration towards unchecked plutocratic, hegemonic dominance over those compliant enough not to question it.
The crowd went wild.