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BMJ's Godlee “It Did Not Occur to Us.” Now, Where did I Hear that Before?

Dr%20Who%20Header(3) By John Stone

Fiona Godlee, British Medical Journal editor’s defence of their failure to disclose financial interests “it did not occur to us”(HERE) , brought to mind the very similar reaction of MMR litigation judge Sir Nigel Davis when he was asked about his brother’s directorship of MMR defendants GlaxoSmithKline. Sir Nigel seems to have issued two press statements (HERE):

"In 2003, Mr Justice Davis's brother was appointed as a non-executive director of Glaxo SmithKline, a company which was formed as a result of a merger with SmithKline Beecham. At the date of the hearing before Davis J (February 2004), the possibility of any conflict of interest arising from his brother's position did not occur to him. If he was wrong, any possible remedy must be sought in the court of appeal."


"In 2003, Mr Justice Davis's brother was appointed as a non-executive director of GSK. At the date of the hearing before Mr Justice Davis (February 2004), the possibility of any conflict of interest arising from his brother's position was not raised with him and did not occur to him. If he was wrong, any possible remedy must be sought in the court of appeal."

Later on when there was an investigation by the Office for Judicial Complaints Sir Nigel seems to have remembered after all that he didn’t know. Meanwhile, it also does not seem to have occurred to his brother Sir Crispin, when three days after Sir Nigel’s adjudication in the MMR litigation he gave evidence on the Wakefield affair to a House of Commons Select Committee as boss of the Lancet, either that he was a director of GSK or that his brother was the officiating judge in the case.

Brian Deer, however, was hugely annoyed with me for pointing it out, writing in his usual dispassionate and factually balanced style:

"Take, for example, their latest campaign: the denigration of a High Court judge. Mr John Stone of JABS, who I've previously characterised as being, in my view, "the doyen of petty complainers", notes that Sir Crispin Davis, chief executive of publishing and information giant Reed Elsevier (which owns the Lancet), and, since July 2003 a non-executive director of drug company GSK, was the brother of Sir Nigel Davis, the presiding judge in a High Court judicial review, in February 2004, related to MMR.

“The ruling elite remains surprisingly small. But for Mr  Stone this discovery is orgasmic: he's been insinuating conspiracy for years. Promptly, Jackie and Co issued a JABS press release, impressively dated "London, England, 13 May 2007". It was evidently hold-the-front-page stuff...

"JABS, again, seeks to suggest a connection between the lawsuit failure and Crispin Davis. How that works, god only knows. The mind of Mr Stone is mysterious. But, if Crispin Davis had any interest or influence - which I'm sure he didn't - it would have been to encourage the funding to continue, and to allow the MMR cases to go to trial. Although JABS has persistently suggested that somehow only they were distressed by the scheduled hearing's abandonment, the truth is that the drug companies were anxious to see the cases heard in London: preferring the usual wisdom of an English judge to the frequent insanity of American juries."

By now there seems to have been an awful lot of “not occurring” going on.

It did not seem to have occurred to Prof Denis McDevitt that as member of the Committee on Safety in Medicines at the time of the introduction of MMR and the controversial Pluserix brand he ought not to sit as chair of the panel in the Wakefield case, until he was cornered by the press (HERE ). And it did not seem to occur his successor, Surendra Kumar, that as a GSK shareowner as well as member of  two licensing authority committees that he should not sit as chair of the hearing, or that after the hearing it would be unwise to demonstrate his bias by calling for MMR to be made compulsory. Nor did it apparently occur to Harvey Marcovitch, chair of GMC panels that he should discipline Kumar, or to not sign an editorial making claims of fraud against Wakefield in his role as BMJ associate editor (HERE ).

More recently the collective amnesia seems have infected Deer himself. It evidently did not occur to him when disclosing his conflicts of interest to BMJ that he had recently enjoyed the hospitality of the American College of Toxicology at a conference in Baltimore (HERE) heavily sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, and notably MMR manufacturer GSK (HERE ).

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.






John Stone


Many thanks, but we must give Martin Walker due acknowledgement for spottting this in the first place:



"It did not occur" to these people that John Stone would dig up the dirt on them and expose their obvious conflict of interests relating to thier lies fraud and corruption.


Thank you "whoisbriandeer" (posting at 9:17am today) for linking to the video I created "Who is Brian Deer?" and for letting me and others know that Brian Deer is appearing on Canada’s George Stroumboulopoulos show tonight. People may have missed the link since you embedded it in your id and they may think I made the comment, which I did not. For some reason, I just needed to clarify that. Feel free to contact me directly via my website (see Info tab at

Bill X

Should this not have said "I did not think you would have found out".

John Stone


Many thanks for the clarification.




Though medically trained, Godlee will not be registered with the GMC because she doesn't consult with or treat patients. Richard Smith, her predecessor was not GMC registered, and neither is Richard Horton, current editor of The Lancet.

John Stone

Thanks Isabella

It will be remembered that in March 2010 BMJ removed a series of letters (including letters by you and myself) from its website querying how Deer came by confidential medical and legal documents. These were removed after "a legal complaint". It may be that some of the letters made specific claims, but others merely raised issues or asked questions. It is not clear how letters of the latter sort could have infringed anyone's legal rights, so we must assume that it was at that point that the journal came to the view that it could not allow any discussion of that kind in its columns for reasons of its own expedience. Indeed, if it had permitted continued discussion it would have been difficult to defend publishing the latest barrage of insinuations from Mr Deer in breach of all normal medical and journal ethics.

It is not hard to see why Dr Godlee might wish to remove herself from the medical register, as seems to be the case.


IT DID NOT OCCUR TO US to be honest and open , it did not occur to Brian Deer to tell the parent of a child with Autism his real name no it did,nt to gain entry he told her his name was Brian Lawrence know why would he do that , and why would Mr Deer think that Crispin Davis had no influence , which i would guess he did . There is a clear conflict of interest , in every statement Mcdevitt, Kumar ,Brian Deer refering to conference in Baltimore , drug companies have great influence which is a complete travesty , if you are unwell take a drug if you react to that drug they will prescribe another drug to counteract the first drug , you then suffer a reaction from the second drug and so it go,s on , know you can see how drug companies make millions , and all because they give us drugs that can cause astounding side effects although saying this , some people will not experience any side effects well they are the lucky one,s all vaccines have side effects which are clearly stated on the insert of every vaccine , so i think it is time to compensate the many thousands of children with Autism and any other problem that is clearly stated on vaccine inserts

isabella Thomas

Sir Michael Rutter looked at some of the medical notes on my two son's for the GMC without asking to talk to us parents or look at the children. He was not interested in how the boys are now. The GMC did not have the complete set of medical records as some went missing.
Mr. Deer did not interview most of the parents of the Lancet twelve but starting attacking them personally.
Fiona Godlee has not answered my e-mails to her asking why she did not contact me or other parents before publishing the wrong information on behalf of Brian Deer.
I was told (by two doctors) that Professor Tom MacDonald gave Brian Deer our children's medical files and have now asked him for an explanation.


To think that one like she can mar
Names that of the noblest are,
That one like her can touch the strings
That move who knows what men and things,
That on her words their fates are hung,
The woman with the serpent's tongue.

Jenny Allan

Psychiatrist, Sir Michael Rutter, published at least 5 papers in peer reviewed journals, between 2005 and 2008, all of which claimed to refute any connection with MMR and autism. One of these papers “No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study 2005", was a joint study with two Japanese psychiatrists, Hideo Honda and Yasuo Shimizu, on the incidence of autism in Japan, following the withdrawal of the MMR vaccine in favour of single vaccines by the Japanese Government.

Rutter’s testimony at the GMC trial was crucial in Dr Wakefield being found guilty of failing to declare a conflict of interest. However, Sir Rutter saw no reason to disclose his OWN multiple ‘conflicts of interest’ to the GMC, including his paid expert testimony for the defenders in a US vaccine MMR litigation case. He was also a paid expert for the defenders in the UK MMR litigation.

As this article in ChildHealthSafety explains (06/09):-

‘Professor Rutter has many close associations with the drug industry and particularly with GlaxoSmithKline, having been a paid expert witness on their behalf in the UK MMR vaccine damage litigation. That was not declared in the Honda/Rutter paper nor were any other potential conflicts of interest or statements of funding . Professor Rutter is also one of the main prosecution witnesses in the witchhunt in the British General Medical Council against medical doctors Andrew Wakefield, Simon Murch and Professor Walker-Smith.'


Brian Deer is appearing on Canada’s George Stroumboulopoulos show tonight
I wonder if George is aware of Deer’s unknown source of funds for the past 7 years or
The curious state at the BMJ imploding over declaring conflicts of interest,,, an allegation that Wakefield was sanctioned over but apparently is no big deal !

why don't you drop George @strombo a message over twitter or his FB page and press him to ask...
who is brian deer ?

Jenny Allan

Brian Deer's comments on JABS:-
'Promptly, Jackie and Co issued a JABS press release, impressively dated "London, England, 13 May 2007". It was evidently hold-the-front-page stuff...'

Aha...Is this the same Mr Deer who took great pains on the US telly to describe himself 'impressively' as being employed by 'The Times....of London',(which happens to be in England)!! Those of us who reside in the UK know perfectly well that The Times and Sunday Times Newspapers are sold and promoted in.....England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all part of the UK as it happens!! Any Newspaper which fails to produce 'regional' editions would sink like a stone (not YOU John!!)

As it is The Times loses an absolute fortune in the UK and I assume the only reason Rupert Murdoch persists with it is to give 'credence' to those articles, like those of Brian Deer's, which 'push' an agenda, beneficial to Murdoch's interests. (Remember James Murdoch, son of Rupert, is a DIRECTOR of GlaxoSmithKline, very big pharma and vaccine manufacturer.) Before Murdoch bought it, The Times WAS a very well respected 'broadsheet'.

In the UK Murdoch is trying to take over the 61% of BskyB he doesn't already own. This would put him completely in charge of more than 50% of UK media outlets!! The Government seem to be 'helping' him by allowing this huge takeover to avoid all the usual 'safeguards' like referral to the Competion Commission which would almost certainly have refused to allow this.

Ofcom, the 'tame' press watchdog in the UK withdrew their vociferous objections after Government threats to do away with Ofcom altogether!! Our Prime Minister recently had a cosy lunch with James Murdoch. God help us!!

It's not that funny, but I laughed when I read the disclaimer issued by a Times lawyer, after that Deer TV appearance:-

'It is quite clear that you do not understand English. Brian Deer is not a member of the Sunday Times staff. He is a freelance journalist who runs his own website and blog and is not under the control or direction of the Sunday Times. Mr. Deer should not represent himself as a Sunday Times journalist. He is not a member of staff, does NOT have a regular salary from us, is not on our pension scheme and pays his own tax as a freelance. If he says that he writes for the Sunday Times that would be correct. He is a contributor to The Sunday Times on an occasional basis but again we have no control over him ..."
- Alaistair Brett, Legal Manager, Sunday Times'

It seems that Mr Deer, in addition to his 'selective' reporting also suffers from the 'did not occur' virus. Maybe they could develop a vaccine for it!!

Jeff C.

The defense seems to be they are so pure of intention, so noble of heart, that the thought they might benefit from their actions never even crossed their minds. Conflict of interest declarations are to keep those of lesser character honest and to assuage the rogue, guilty conscience. If you are altruistically acting in the public's best interest, why waste the ink? Rules are for little people.

The arrogance of these people knows no bounds.

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