Dr. Andrew Wakefield on The Poisoning of Young Minds
What Do Those Vaccine Studies Actually Say?

Compulsory Vaccination or Low Grade Authoritarianism

Wrong answer By Martin J. Walker

I'm deep in the middle of preparing the Parents Voice book Vol. II and getting ready to travel to London for the next dollop of the GMC hearing. However, I couldn't let the new information about the Joint Council on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) go without making some comment on it. Especially when I saw what people where saying on the new autism initiative steering group (nai), for example 'it's the next step towards compulsory vaccination'. Not that this is completely wrong, it's just that the matter is more complex than this and fits into an intellectual position with regard to the State and pediatricians, in an apparently Liberal society, in a more complicated way. Unless we get our analysis right we don't know what our campaigning objectives are.

Lets look for a moment at Horton voicing the views of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the matter of Pediatricians and the GMC, this morning Friday 24th May on the Radio 4 Today programme. Horton who appeared for the prosecution in the GMC fitness to practice hearing against Wakefield, Murch and Walker - Smith, is the Editor of The Lancet and his immediate on line boss at Elsevier, Lancet's publisher, is a non-executive Chair of the GKS board. There is, of course absolutely no excuse or rational reason, for one of the major medical journal publishers to be controlled by pharmaceutical company interests. While giving evidence against Wakefield accusing him of conflict of interest, Horton, however, thinks his connection to GSK is OK. Only recently Elsevier's credibility was shot down in flames during an ongoing Vioxx civil claim for damages trial in Melbourne, Australia where it was said that they published at least four fake journals in order to progress drugs marketing.

On the Today programme Horton argued in relation to the Southall case - struck off by the GMC and then not allowed back by the high court on Appeal - that society is giving pediatricians mixed messages. Horton suggests that children need protecting from their parents and the people best placed to do this are pediatricians. We have given them the responsibility of keeping a watch on children, so we must give them a free reign of responsibility and they should be immune from prosecution or regulatory procedures before the GMC

Of course, this vapid argument is utterly wrong, millions of parents have agreed that a whole series of people take responsibility for children in our complex society, from; child-minders, teachers, doctors of all kinds (I notice that Horton didn't include gastroenterologists with pediatricians), psychiatrists, psychologists, bus drivers, taxi drivers, football coaches, community music teachers, etc. etc. However, the difference between all these professionals and pediatricians is that only pediatricians (psychiatrists and psychologists too in some circumstances) have an almost complete right to take a child out of the family and give up the child into the authority of the family court.

Why is this important? I would argue that it is important in contemporary society principally because of the role that pediatricians play in the vaccine industry. Let's look now at the new inclusion in the JCVI 'vaccine' constitution: 'All children have a right to vaccination'. This is a contemporary classic of the authoritarian professional. It's actually much better than stating categorically that all parents must present their children for compulsory vaccination.

Why is it better? Because it does not depend upon any deep, legal or intellectual argument about whether the parents have rights over their children. This matter has been pre-decided, the State and State professionals have the legal and moral rights over children; parents are excluded from any discussion of rights. In fact the designation of 'the right of the child to vaccination' hands over the parental responsibility for the unspeaking child directly to the drug company, because many pediatricians and professionals are in the pay of, or loyal to, Big Pharma.

Contrary to what someone wrote this morning on the nai-group, that parents should now get their statements and advice ready to argue the toss about their child's vaccination, no parent is going to be given the legal space to do this. A child has a right to vaccination, full stop.

If we use another absurd example, perhaps it would show up the motives behind this sudden bestowing of rights on inarticulate children. What if a group of nutritionists framed a law or a regulation based on their scientific work which stated clearly, backed up by evidence from research carried out in Hackney North East London (some research from Hackney has concluded that one third of school children go to school without any breakfast - or only a slice of bread). If they were given a choice by 'law makers', to either make good nutrition compulsory, that is, all children in Hackney had to have a balanced nutritional breakfast. Who would enforce this? How could the courts remedy it - would children who didn't  get a breakfast be provided it by the local authority? Clearly the answer to both questions is 'No'.

The State and its agencies be in a much better position if they said, 'Every Child in London has the right to a breakfast?' How would the local authority police this, it's easy, isn't it, any child who was arrested or caught in class making trouble (or getting measles) would be asked if they had had a proper breakfast. And the sanctions applied against them would put all other parents in Hackney and the rest of the country in fear and dread.

Of course this scenario missed out one thing and that is the protection of food industry interests. Lets suppose that the original research on nutrition was financed by an industrial egg company. This, of course would make the whole scheme even more suspect. Another absurd example would be if Manchester United football team pressed for a law or regulation that every child in England had 'a right' to play football professionally and built into this regulation that Manchester United would hold and finance the trials and have the first opportunity to offer apprenticeships to any talented youngsters. It is clearly the creation of monopoly markets by legislation. In either case, the law is made to favour vested interests and not in fact to favour the child or it's specious 'rights'.

If we combine the above two pronouncements, protection for pediatricians and 'rights for children' with the government order last April that the JCVI (read pharmaceutical vested interests) from then on, would be solely in control of all vaccine issues, we can see clearly how the government has helped the vaccine industry enact a tripartite assault on British children. However, the objective is not simply to introduce compulsory vaccination, but to hand all legal responsibility for vaccination to, pediatricians, the family courts and the pharmaceutical companies. The most fascinating political aspect of this for British people is that New Labour is getting away with privatising an aspect of the legal system; the ultimate rule of vested interests.

I personally can only see one way out of this situation now - apart from being saved by a new government and this is in no way definite. In Britain the whole of the vaccination law and practice will come to depend on a number of cases occurring over the next few years, not where parents object to vaccination, but where children of parents who object are then seriously damaged by vaccination. Criminal law cases for assault will have to be taken against doctors and pediatricians who damage children's lives. 
Sympathetic doctors will have to keep watch over any cases that seem to be vulnerable from the first instance of the child's vaccination so that a credible medical history can be given in court. At the same time rational, intelligent and humane scientists will have to step up their quest for the factors that make children vulnerable to vaccination. 

At the same time we all have to keep our eyes open for any infraction, however slight, involving vested interests of any pediatrician, drug company, or vaccine industry participant, that shows they do not have a higher right than parents. And, of course, the Parents Voice in this matter becomes even more important to our battle. It is my feeling that parents in Britain need a legally enforced charter to guard against the encroachments of the State and State agencies, in the life of the family. While it has to be admitted that numerous crimes are committed by adults against children within the family, these cannot be righted by crimes committed against the family by the State.

Perhaps above all we must start seeing the situation in its many complex forms and stop thinking that there will be one hammer blow labelled 'compulsory vaccination'. Our campaigning strategy depends upon a proper analysis. The British State is Machiavellian and it is not about to bring in an unenforceable 'compulsory' vaccination programme.

Martin J Walker is an investigative writer who has written four books about aspects of the medical industrial complex. He started focusing on conflict of interest, intervention by pharmaceutical companies in government and patient groups in 1993. Over the last three years he has been a campaign writer for the parents of MMR vaccine damaged children covering every day of the now two year hearing of the General Medical Council that is trying Dr Wakefield and two other doctors. His GMC accounts can be found at www.cryshame.com, and his own website is, www.slingshotpublications.com.


John Stone

The bad news today is that Brown has put British universities in the charge of Lord Mandelsohn's Business Department - not that medical science could be much more commercialised anyway. But another bizarre aspect of Brown's collapse in authority is that we now have major government departments being led politicaly from the House of Lords - with the exception of the justice department I cannot remember when this was last the case. Possibly, Lord Carrington who served as Foreign Secretary from 1979-82. Lord Adonis (who is not at all pretty and who spent the early Blair years frustrating any centralised policy on educational provision for autism) now heads the Department of Transport.


From "across the pond":- Twenty years ago very few people in the UK had heard of autism. Fifteen years ago, when I told friends and acquaintances that my daughter was autistic the usual reaction was a puzzled "you mean artistic?" In 2002 an informal study carried out by the National Autistic Society found that about 1 child in 80 was perceived by teachers to be somewhere on the autism spectrum with higher numbers in primary than secondary schools. Now who knows what the true ratio is? Recently, the National Autistic Society has announced that the Labour Government is going to count up the number of autistic children in the UK - IIRC something they were first asked to do when they came to power in the late 1990s.

We have an "elephant in the room" situation in the UK where everyone now knows of a family with a child with autism. An unknown percentage of these children have inexplicably descended into regressive autism following normal development. We have an awful lot of "coincidences" turning up in families with no history of autism spectrum disorders.

Me, I'm waiting to hear of a medical research team in the UK that's been able to get funding to clinically examine these "regressive autism" children and publish their findings. If anyone knows of this happening will they please post a pointer here?

John Stone

Just to update, two days ago a British Government health minister was reported in the Guardian newspaper:

"In a statement to the [Welsh] assembly, Edwina Hart, minister for health and social services, said this week that the principle of compulsion was already accepted in the UK in certain circumstances. She cited hepatitis B vaccination for health workers.

""In considering a compulsory vaccination policy for Wales, we would need to consider the legal issues and look at the potential benefit of delivering a higher coverage level against the controversy that is likely to ensue," she said. She was aware of the potential problems, she said, which could involve clashes with parents on ethical, political and religious grounds, as well as potential accusations of infringing children's rights to education.

""However, I do think that we should explore further the options for making completed vaccinations or checking and recording vaccination status an entry requirement for nurseries and schools.""


So, prototypically New Labour are looking at ways to affect a great change in public health policy without even putting it up for democratic debate. As against this I am beginning to think there are one or two reasons for optimism - first of all the government are in a state of collapse and may be swept from office at any time, while the Conservatives are committed to freedom of choice on this issue. But it also seems to have been widely recognised even by many people who think that the vaccines are perfectly safe that this relates to an unpleasant authoritarian streak in New Labour which by now most people want to see the back of - apart from the usual trolls this seems to be the widely held opinion on the blogs. Once again the media have largely performed poorly but it may be for once that something old-fashioned like the good sense of the British people will prevail.

Benedetta Stilwell

Samaxtics, it sounds like Canada is nicer than here in the USA. I had to go into the school to sign a statement that I was (religously) opposed to vaccines to keep my autistic son from receiving the HIB and then again to keep him from receiving the tetanus shot. They were nice enought about it in Michigan, but the nurse was just plain mean about it in Kentucky - like I was some type really dumb weirdo, and I was making her go out of her way. The doctor though was fantasic, he told me to not get that tetanus shot. He said there would be plenty of time to get it if my son received some type of deep puncture wound. How about you guys from New Jersey --- were they not trying to put you parents in Jail?


Tim Price, your public libraries are funded the same way "socialized" medicine is: Does your government tell you what books to read?
And yet under your private health care scheme in the US, children are required to have vaccines to enter school unless that particular state offers an exemption that a family qualifies to have or the only other option to not vaccinate is to home-school. In terms of rights and freedoms, how is that any different than what the UK with its socialized medicine is trying to push through?

Sorry to harp on this, but it is truly gobsmacking to see how misinformed people are about socialized medicine. When the health clinic phoned me to tell me that my children were due for their boosters, I told them that my eldest has autism which we believe was a result of his vaccines and we are never going to vaccinate our children again. And they said they would write that in their files so they wouldn't call us again. End of story. When they gave the Hep B vaccine to the children in grade 5 at school, we signed a form saying we did not give consent. End of story. We have never had a doctor in private practice or at the ER ask about our children's vaccination status. Under our constitution, vaccines cannot be made mandatory because they are a medical procedure and one cannot be forced to have a medical procedure.

Obviously it has nothing to do with whatever healthcare system is in place and more to do with the rights and freedoms of citizens. Your suggestion (whether serious or sarcastic) to spread fears about the vaccine schedule by tying it to socialized medicine would not be built on facts. How is that any different than what pharma or the government does to promote vaccines?


Has anyone in the UK tried to take this issue to the EU Human rights court? I can't help but think this is a human rights issue.

My son rented the McLibel this weekend and I was surprised that this issue (legal aide) was eventually brought before EU courts and the petitioner won the case against the UK government. The laws regarding Libel had to change in the UK.

I know the court is backlogged but it provides another platform to take this battle.

Tim Price

Reading this article, I had a strange thought. Here in the US, the conservatives are strongly against "Socialized Medicine". This argument gets quite hot and heavy every couple of years in conjunction with other topics: Medicare, national healthcare, etc.

Maybe an approach to discredit the CDC's vaccination schedule would be to start associating it with "Socialized Medicine"? It's a pretty accurate way to describe the situation: the state is dictating the people's medical treatment. If that correlation started to spread through the media, how would that affect the vaccine schedule discussion?

I can't decide if I'm being sarcastic or completely serious, either.


I'm distressed by the developments in the UK..however, I feel compelled to point out the hole in your nutrition analogy: it doesn't address the main point the lawmakers will use to 'justify' compulsory vaccination. If your child does not eat breakfast, that hurts only your child, no one else is put in danger. However, the 'others' will claim that vaccination is different because if you don't vaccinate your child - he can be a danger to others. Of course, I don't believe this,- but there are many who cling to this argument in favor of mass vaccination.

Allison Edwards UK

Excellent piece Martin. It's a very worrying state of affairs and hard for parents to be heard, but we ALL must try.

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