Oops

I had a long post on the MMR thing prepared with lots of links to the true evidence as to its safety as I promised.
And as I turned round to talk to someone my finger caught the toughpad and I lost it.

If you came by hoping to see that, sorry. I’ll redo it tomorrow

Machiavelli Unchained

Woo, that post on MMR and Autism really stirred things up – and it didn’t say much really except to ask why the questions keep coming back.

I will be bringing out the big guns next week.

FORGET the madmen and the warlords,
it is the truth tellers who are the real danger.

title-2639488

Matt,
The aim of my original post was to stir up a little controversy to boost the visibility of a follow up post (or posts) in which I will make my evidence known by providing links to the sources.

What I find significant is the number of people attacking me have used certain phrases that are rarely used in daily life but are favourites of the columnist I named. So I am deliberately being heavy handed in some of my responses.

Now, I am advised on this subject by an American woman, mother of an autistic child and a British Senior Nurse with experience in autism nursing. I am just the Information Technology specialist who is pushing the right websites to the top of the Search Engine listings, and also the one with time to push the issue and nothing to lose.
I can’t contact either of my friends today so to the best of my knowledge the single jabs in Britain and the US were safe because of a difference in the manufacturing method. The risk factor relates to a preservative substance used in the triple vaccine but not in the single versions except, it is claimed, in Japan.

There are many causes of Autism and nobody can say a single action will guarantee safety. But there has been no problem with any other vaccine for childhood diseases as far as I know.

I will bring here, in the next few days, a link to a U.S. Government funded website that will present you with the whole case. When you have read the information presented in a calm and level headed way by experts (rather than in a deliberately provocative way by a rabble rouser)you can decide for yourself if you feel safe to go ahead with MMR or need to seek further medical advice.

Soory I can’t be more helpful right now.

Best,
Ian Thorpe

The Scandal That Will Not Go Away

Do your remember the controversy over the MMR vaccine, how the sceptics who pointed to the number of cases in which children seemed to have developed symptoms of autism or autism related problems shortly after receiving the combined measles, mumps, rubella vaccination? And do you remember how the Government and Big Pharma dissed the doubters, ruining a few careers and producing a lot of very dodgy statistics to convince us that nice Mr. Blair was right when he told parents there was nothing to worry about and the reason he and Cherie were not up for having baby Leo treated with the jab were nothing to do with doubts over its safety.
The MMR scandal resurfaced this week as newly revealed figures showed that since the introduction of MMR the proportion of children affected by autism has risen to one in sixty.
Well the case that MMR vaccine did not contribute to autism was never convincingly made, we were fobbed off with “well you can’t actually PROVE beyond doubt that it is harmful” rather than the more ethical but less cost effective “we can’t prove beyond doubts it isn’t harmful so we will stop using it until we are certain.” Imagine the furore from the anti – smoking lobby if that kind of logic had been used to block the smoking ban. The fact is nobody can prove for certain smoking does cause lung cancer because many people particularly in France and the Mediterranean countries smoke all their lives and live beyond average age. There are very serious grounds to think smoking is harmful though and there are equal grounds for suspecting the MMR vaccine is not as safe as something being used on young children who cannot make their own choices ought to be.
Even those subversive lefties at The Guardian were taken in by the pro MMR spin, their correspondent Ben (Bung-boy) Goldacre using a weekly column to browbeat poor Gillian McKieth for her whacky but harmless theories. Ben must have become very rich on the backhanders he received from Big Pharma for using Bad Science of his own to discredit the Bad Science of the alternative health industry but his strongest venom has been reseved for those who question the efficacy of the MMR vaccine.
Now I cannot say the MMR vaccine causes autism, though its promoters will claim that is exactly what I am suggesting, but there is enough evidence to warrant an independent judicial enquiry. The statistics can be manipulated to support the government and Big Pharma case, but as long as children keep developing symptoms soon after the treatment we must keep asking the difficult questions.

A Tribute to George Melly

I guess George Melly was part of my life, the first gig I attended an end of term thing (it wasn’t a dance we were an all boys school) featured him, then the singer with Mick Mulligan’s Jazz Band. I saw him many other times, in venues as varied as Ronnie Scott’s and Colne Municipal Hall. He was always good value but more influential was his writing. Jazz went into something of a decline in the early nineteen sixties and George made most of his living as a critic and commentator. Many people of my generation learned through him to appreciate surrealist art and he was a great exponent of the Bohemian lifestyle. Everything George did, he did because he wanted to and thus he made it fun.
Not all of us will be in a position to do only what we enjoy doing of course but the lesson we can take from his attitude is that a life spent thinking of money, status and material posessions is a life not well spent.
It was lung cancer that took him in the end but he refused treatment, carried on smoking heavily and continued performing until a few months ago, refusing treatment that could have postponed his death. To George the important thing was not how long his life lasted but what he did with it.
And George Melly seemed to have paxcked two and a half lifetimes living into one spent on this mortal coil.
He will be missed, but will be celebrated rather than mourned.
So long Good Time George, thanks for all the enjoyment you gave me.

George Melly’s last performance, June 10th 2007

George Melly – music videos info

Banning Islamic Extremist Organisations.

Tory leaders David Cameron yesterday displayed once again the shaky grip on reality that typifies Old Etonians. The Boy David enquired of our esteemed (so far) Prime Minister about plans to ban Islamic Extremist Organisations.
The Government it seems has no such plans. But why would they, there is about as much point as in banning prostitution, recreational drugs and binge drinking. After all such Islamic extremist organisations as may exist do not register with the charity commissioners and claim tax exempt status, they are not listed in Yellow Pages, do not advertise their meetings in the local paper and do not meet in low rents premises that have on the door little brass plaques reading:

Dorkton Islamic Extremists Sports and Social Club
(CIU Afilliated)
Members Only

It just shows how much Conservative leaders know about life on earth.

Harriet and The Daly Mail

Predictably The Daily Mail has led the assault on Harriet Harman by referring to her as “that hectoring, whining, finger – wagging nanny. Well The Daily Mail and their readers would know all about hectoring, whining, finger – wagging nannies, after all they have been worshipping one for the past thirty years.
I am not Harriet Harman’s biggest fan, the has always seemed too ready to champion the excesses of the Political Correctness Police to me but as The Daily Mail is one of the biggest complainers about the lack of personal respect in society they and the Rabid Right ideology if you can describe name calling as ideological, must be challenged.
They may by all means call Ms. Harman a hypocrite, a deceitful exponent of spin, a virago, but in doing so must back up their case by citing some evidence. This pointless hurling of personal abuse has killed political debate but is the favourite tool of the Thatcherite right and has inflicted the deepest wounds of on British society.
The most vitriolic of Rabid-Right ranting, for it cannot really be called invective it is too irrational, is reserved for women on the political left who are from truly middle class backgrounds. The left as a whole are treated as “barbarians” but as everyone ought to know by now a barbarian does not truly mean someone who is uncouth and lacks civilised values but simply someone who is “not like us.” The “us” being that section of society who worship The Grocer’s Daughter. The majority of these are proponents of suburban faux – gentility. They are not particularly well educated though they think they are, they are obsessed with what other think of them. A good education generally instils liberal values and sufficient class to not measure people simply by material wealth but an adequate education leads only to inferiority complexes and a deep envy of those more at ease with themselves.
This Thatcherite tendency to hate and despise that which is different is the sole reason the Conservatives cannot get their collective arse in gear and provide a coherent opposition in Parliament. The attacks on Harriet Harman are prompted by envy because she is so at ease with herself and comfortable with her status. And why not, as she and her colleagues watch another Tory leader start to implode under the burden of that irrational yearning for the “strong leadership” (aka bullying) of The Iron Hearted Lady.
There has always been talk of social mobility but what the Conservatives of the 1979 to 1990 era never understood was that money alone is not enough to hoist one up the social ladder. Like the sad acts who parade themselves on X – Factor saying “but Simon, I want it SOOOOO much, the subscribers to Thatcher’s cod philosophy make a bit of money, buy a house in an upmarket area and make fools of themselves by trying to buy class because they “want it sooooo much”. Wanting it is not enough, nobody can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
The people the Rabid Right hate most of course are not vicious snipers like me, nor the middle class lefties of Labour and the Lib Dems. They hate all those of course but most of all they hate those in their own political faction who are “not like them.” They hate and envy Cameron because he is a true toff, they hate Hague because he is an intellectual (he IS an intellectual no matter what our personal opinion of him) they hate and envy the seriously rich, they hate Bohemians who ought to be “people like us” but drink real ale, smoke “herbal” cigarettes and have indiscreet love affairs, but of course they envy the Bohemian “couldn’t give a toss what you think of me” attitude, they hate the Working Class who get drunk, have sex and default on their debts without compunction. They loved Iain Duncan Smith even though had he remained leader their party would no longer exist. That’s how irrational the Rabid Right are.
The Rabid Right would foam at the mouth if they knew how those elected to represent their prejudices in Parliament carry on.
Once, on the train home from London I met Ken Hargreaves, Conservative MP for our area at the time. Ken’s family had always been friendly with my wife’s so naturally we knew each other socially as well as through political activity. Until work made me a weekly commuter I had been a radical Liberal Activist.
On encountering Ken I joined him and we had a pleasant journey, chatting about this and that. Not surprising really, we had always got on.
The Rabid Right tendency could not understand this. One of my underlings at the time raved “Ken Hargreaves is a junior minister, he would talk to a leftie like you.” And that really sums up the mentality of the Rabid Right: “You have different opinions ergo you are different ergo I must hate and fear you.”
Last time I had a one to one chat with Ken he told me, having just quit a role with Conservative Central Office that involved working with constituency parties, that he despaired for the future. The grassroots were out of touch with reality and would not accept a leader who was not in accord with their desire to turn back the clock to a golden age that never was.
There is reason in my recent attacks on the Toryism of Margaret Thatcher. I am no more a fan of David Cameron than of Harriet Harman but if his leadership does collapse the Conservatives will split. And with the Lib Dems still groggy from the Kennedy and Oaten scandals that would leave us with effectively a one party state. Its the result Margaret Thatcher always wanted of course and I must confess to a wry satisfaction that if it does come about, the one party will not be hers. But all in all it would be a bad thing for the country.