The Charade of Hacked Off
Last week the Daily Mail went to town exposing the web of interests surrounding the UK’s Leveson Inquiry into media abuse: a network of interests so tangled that it took seven articles to describe . In particular it highlighted the role of senior advisor to the inquiry Sir David Bell who was also founder of Media Standards Trust, which spawned Hacked Off, the self-appointed public watch-dog to the inquiry. The Mail offensive was ridiculed by the Guardian, on the basis that there was no reason why all these people should not know each other and that for the most part the associations were not hidden. Plainly the Mail is very bothered by the shadow of a government body regulating media, but they ought to have looked harder at the function of Hacked Off.
Age of Autism’s experiences with approaching Hacked Off illustrates the dangers of all these incestuous relationships. Supposedly Hacked Off is there to hold the Leveson Inquiry to account, but what happens – as in our case – if the lobby organisation and the inquiry work together to bury our complaint about Brian Deer and the Sunday Times MMR investigation, which did so much to alter public perceptions of the vaccine. As we showed in our extensive reports both Lord Leveson and the inquiry’s lead attorney, Robert Jay, had previously been involved in denying MMR litigants’ claims. Meanwhile, a prominent adviser to Hacked Off was Evan Harris who had collaborated with Brian Deer on his original allegations against Andrew Wakefield. Harris, under pressure from AoA tried to distance himself from Deer, but the documentary record tells a completely different story.
And then it turned out that the boss of Media Standards Trust and Hacked Off, Martin Moore, sat on Department of Business committee to plot the future of science journalism with the Sunday Times editor who hired Brian Deer to investigate Andrew Wakefield, Paul Nuki who now runs the UK National Health Service’s main website and who was the son of a member Committee on Safety in Medicines when MMR was licensed (including GSK’s Pluserix, which was known at the time to be unsafe, and later was withdrawn in great haste by the manufacturer). Moreover, the chair of the committee was Fiona Fox whose Science Media Centre is funded by vaccine manufacturers, and who gave evidence against early press handling of the MMR affair at the hearing.
One thing that is exceedingly likely to happen is that inquiry will make recommendations about the reporting of vaccine safety concerns which had absolutely nothing to do with its original terms of reference. On the other hand it also looks all too likely that the great British government bureaucracy was on their guard about the MMR cover-up before the inquiry was ever announced, and was working flat out on what to do about it.
It was sickening to read today that Hacked Off was organising a meeting in preparation for the publication of Lord Leveson’s report before the end of the month between prominent victims of media abuse and party leaders, not of course because they are all undeserving cases but because they are being manipulated by people who most likely have quite different hidden agendas, and possibly do not care about anything much but the next free lunch. Apparently, when it comes to the vaccine programme it is alright to lie and distort, and to block anyone ever reporting the truth. It is a very interesting question what kind of public policy it is which needs that kind of protection.
Media Standards Trust Director Martin Moore Stonewalls Over Evan Harris and Brian Deer
Evan Harris Distances Himself From Brian
Deer But His Position Remains Untenable
Hacked Off Boss, Martin Moore, Sat on UK Government Panel with Editor who Hired Brian Deer
Sir Crispin Davis and James Murdoch No Longer on GSK Board
Melanie Phillips, ‘A Deer in the Headlights’ Spectator
In Memoriam Paul Foot: Private Eye in an Ethical Tangle Over MMR
Open Letter to Sunday Times Editor John Witherow: ‘We wouldn’t do fishing
Brian Deer Hired to "Find Something Big" on MMR
Brian Deer Lords it at a Pharmaceutical Conference in France
Autism: the 64 billion dollar a year question for Simon Baron-Cohen, Ben Goldacre, Fiona Fox and Autism Speaks UK
An Elaborate Fraud, Part 1: In Which a Murdoch Reporter Deceives the Mother of a Severely Autistic ChildAn Elaborate Fraud, Part 2: In Which a Murdoch Newspaper’s Deceptive Tactics Infect the British Medical Journal
It should be explained that Alan Partridge is the creation of the comedian Steve Coogan, who was a successful complainant: supported by Hacked Off and listened to by Leveson. The sketch seems a little short on material. It also seems to be advertising for the book.
Posted by: John Stone | November 25, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Alan Partridge Is Hacked Off: Norfolk DJ Wades Into The Leveson Debate
Posted by: Angus Files | November 25, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Thank you for excellent information. I have lent the book to a friend but he definitely mentioned it, as I understand it, the trial was halted because I think 2 babies died but no other information given.
Posted by: M N | November 24, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Hi M N
Thanks for your appreciative comments. I believe that the CHS homepage goes back almost 4 nearly years now (with many emmendations), and you know I am not sure what information was disclosed back in early 2009: you may like to put a query on the page for CHS (it may not have been all that exciting in the end). What is certain is that all the other information on the page is in the public domain, well documented and deeply scandalous. That I can vouch for.
Is there a mention of a 3 months trial for MMR on infants in Callous Disregard (do you have a page reference)? I don't know about the details. In the UK now we have 19 separate vaccines recommended by 4 months, but they are talking about adding in multiple doses of rotavirus vaccine, Hep B and and Meningitis B. And, of course, it is all completely safe (singly and in combination), nor will it adversely effect general resistance!
Posted by: John Stone | November 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Thank you John very much for that information. This surely is totally unacceptable to export a vaccine we knew was causing problems here and in Canada, Japan to what must be considered a 3rd world country it is criminal behaviour and no one is answerable.
Posted by: M N | November 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM
MN Were you asking for the files on the Urabe Mumps containing MMR vaccine?
As far as I am aware there were very few UK newspaper reports when the files were released, early summer 2010. In Scotland, there was a Herald write up, which included the story of a Glasgow baby who died shortly after receiving the MMR vaccine. The 'official' verdict was this death was not due to this dangerous vaccine. There was a tiny column in the Scottish Daily Mail which I have kept for reference. The following reports might interest you:-
"Outbreak of Aseptic Meningitis associated with Mass Vaccination with a Urabe-containing Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine:Implications for Immunization Programs"
"STATEMENT FROM THE MEDICINES CONTROL AGENCY
The Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) has advised that Urabe mumps vaccine is associated with an unacceptable risk of aseptic meningitis and that the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) should object to importation of unlicensed mumps vaccine containing the Urabe strain of mumps virus. On the basis of that advice, the MCA has today contacted importers notifying them that the vaccine should not be imported.
This is not a new safety issue but has been considered at this point due to notifications received by MCA to import these vaccines. The risk of Urabe mumps vaccine meningitis has been recognised for over 10 years. Indeed, MMR vaccines containing the Urabe mumps strain has not been used in the UK since 1992 due to this risk."
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Thank you John for that information and web-site address. Have the MMR files been released that were mentioned on the web-site. Also Dr Wakefield in his book" Callous Disregard "a trial of MMR given to 3 month old babies. Do you have any information on this?
Posted by: M N | November 24, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Hi M N
At least three UK newspapers reported the story (Telegraph, Mail, Dependent), however, this may be something to do with the emergence of an exciting new vaccine:
Posted by: John Stone | November 23, 2012 at 08:34 AM
This week proves that if you play nicely in the playground with Dave and his friends lecture tours in more places Thomas Cook ever dreamed about come your way. Hopefully at a nice time of the year when the weather is better than the UK. Playing really nicely you could become Director of the BBC and ban all media coverage of vaccines than are ineffective. Flu vaccine being useless and costing the tax payers £120 million a year was reported in only 2 UK newspapers. Good old BBC not a mention lest the peasants start questioning health matters. I can only
conclude Dr Wakefield never learnt to play nicely.
Posted by: M N | November 23, 2012 at 07:52 AM
Peter Wright urges Tory MPs to scrutinise Leveson inquiry assessor
Associated Newspapers exec asks Conservatives to read Daily Mail probe into Sir David Bell's alleged 'incestuous network'
Posted by: Angus Files | November 23, 2012 at 07:52 AM
Quite right: we live in a oligarchy with deceptive democratic features. But wasn't this the same group that wrote to everyone to lobby their Members of Parliament supporting the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry even before they've been announced (a panic measure after the Daily Mail story)?
I have to admit that I also passed over their campaign for transparency over the BBC appointment since any transparency/accountability that did emerge from it would be superficial. At least with an oligarchic appointment you get what you see (or don't see perhaps).
Posted by: John Stone | November 23, 2012 at 03:51 AM
John -Re the new BBC Director General:-
I signed a petition a week ago; the following is from their feedback. (Needless to say the Beeb ignored the petition, which attracted thousands of signatures):-
"You may have heard, the BBC Trust has just announced a new Director General, Tony Hall. Within a week of OurBeeb launching our petition they phoned one man who said "Yes".
Our petition's call is that any candidate had to give us a short statement of their vision and principles beforehand.
We want the BBC to flourish, and be strong enough to defend itself from its obvious enemies. To do so, it must be open and accountable, and headed by someone can speak out in a digital age and will answer to the public."
I think that says it all. We can only hope the new DC has the skills, vision and assertiveness required for this mammoth appointment. (I have no personal rancour concerning the new DC, just the manner of his appointment)
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 23, 2012 at 02:40 AM
It looks like he was a newsman turned BBC administrator turned Royal Opera House CEO. I am a bit out of touch with the world of opera house management but to run the several companies without major controversy for a dozen years argues that he may have the skills - it all seems quite rational. But as you say the manner of his appointment leaves something to be desired.
Posted by: John Stone | November 22, 2012 at 06:09 PM
The gravy train of lectures now starts..must be a job well done ..carried out by a "safe pair of hands" as Cameron described Leveson as...AH!!SHAME ON THEM BIG TIME!!!
Leveson to head on expenses-paid trip to Australia for speech on media freedom within days of press standards report being published next week
Posted by: Angus Files | November 22, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Well!! The BBC has just appointed a new Director-General within a week of the resignation of George Entwhistle, after the Lord MacAlpine scandal. Entwhistle got a pay off (at the licence payers expense) of nearly half a £million. Lord MacAlpine agreed to accept damages of more than £150,000 in an out of court settlement against the BBC.
The new Director was the only person approached (by the BBC)to do the job and was described as an 'outsider who was once an insider' on the BBC news. Other than that 'cosy' information, we have no idea what qualifications, if any, the new director has to do the job.
This autocratic appointment was made in 'indecent haste' without even consulting or informing the public beforehand and demostrates the complete arrogance of those 'in charge' of the BBC.
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 22, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Also worth noting that even after Hutton the New Labour government felt its power to control public inquiries was insufficient and an inquiries act was nodded through parliament before the 2005 election was called, with the agreement of the Conservatives, and without ever being reported in the media:
Actually, I suspect Cameron's ability to implement any/many of Leveson's recommendations will be quite limited, given the contempt of much of his party (notably Education secretary, Michael Gove) but I am not sanguine about any of it.
Posted by: John Stone | November 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM
John Stone and all the other commenters. You are doing EXACTLY the right thing in publicising all these toxic networks and their political and corporate linkages. Whatever Leveson decides, he will first and foremost protect HIMSELF against any future allegations of collaboration with any powerful corporate or political vested interests.
Lord Hutton's place in history is already decided after what is now acknowledged to have been a UK Government controlled 'whitewash' over events leading up to the Gulf War. Hutton even managed to 'bury' important evidence for 70 years, instead of the usual 20. (The Urabe Mumps MMR vaccine component scandal was buried for 20 years, only to emerge at the conclusion of the Wakefield, Murch and Walker-Smith GMC trial).
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 22, 2012 at 09:30 AM
Yes, but for quite some time it has got well beyond chattering. Hacked off boss Martin Moore wrote an interesting and slightly sinister book called the 'The Origins of Spin', probably a PhD, in which he traced the manipulation of the press by government in its modern form to the period 1945-51 and - one might say - to the very class that George Orwell was satirising in '1984'.
Naturally Moore was careful not to say that "anything goes" but it was evidently his purpose to legitimise the government's use of the media in exacting compliance with policy, and it would be patently naieve at this stage to pretend that he was some kind of outside observer. They not only chatter, they inhabit the institutions of government, very often with funding from industry. And one of the problems is that mostly the public have an only an indistinct idea of who is inside and who is outside. Who pays for Mr Moore, and what is his real game? They may very well want you to think that this is just a modern version Sheridan's 'School for Scandal' but the stakes are much larger.
Posted by: John Stone | November 22, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Thanks John for the insightful article.
There always has been a London "chattering class" that in the main was a relatively harmless bunch consisting of popinjays and egotists. This current lot have wriggled their way into higher echelons of British society through "networking". Problem is they have entered a serious issue and have only added mischief to it and as a result have done considerable harm to the fierce truth that the MMR vaccine is an abomination and has harmed and continues to harm our children.
The role of the Sunday Times in this scandal has not been exposed as it should have been through Levison.
Posted by: Bill Welsh | November 22, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Thank you everybody for your comments.
I will, of course, be very pleased if Leveson has nothing to say about science reporting or the MMR issue, but I note (1) Fiona Fox got invited in her Science Media Centre role (and we didn't as complainants about media abuse and invasion of privacy - which is what I thought it was all about), while (2) Robert Jay (who represented the Legal Services Commission before Lord Justice Davis) gave Ian Hislop of Private Eye a renewed opportunity to grovel over its MMR reporting, which was all too gratefully accepted.
And as you have pointed out there is everything wrong with the BBC reporting that Leveson has praised i.e. not only has the BBC now placed itself under an obligation to support mainstream opinion at all costs it is also perfectly alright it seems if it engages in wholesale defamation along the way. Perhaps, Leveson will even propose that the Steve Jones model be adopted everywhere. This is nothing less than a state of scientific fascism, and when he praises the BBC I can only comment that there we have already arrived at hell on earth. I am not saying of course that all these things will come to pass but we should be on our guard.
Posted by: John Stone | November 22, 2012 at 07:48 AM
From article above:-
"One thing that is exceedingly likely to happen is that inquiry will make recommendations about the reporting of vaccine safety concerns which had absolutely nothing to do with its original terms of reference."
Second guessing Lord Leveson's conclusions might be a little premature. I agree with John Stone about the corporate and political hidden agendas in 'Hacked Off', the Media Standards Trust and the Science Media Centre, all of which made representations to Leveson. In the case of the MST this took the form of a lengthy dossier.
I would be very surprised if Leveson singles out vaccine reporting, although he might well have recommendations about the ways in which science and medical issues are portrayed in the media. I was pleasantly surprised about Leveson's curt and dismissive treatment of Fiona Fox, when she attempted to criticise the BBC's science programming and reporting. Leveson's response was to say that there was 'nothing wrong' with the BBC's science reporting.
This suggested to me that Leveson is well aware of the SMC's lengthy recently commissioned report on BBC Science broadcasting by Steve Jones, Emeritis Professor of genetics, University College London, which more or less 'dictated' a system of science programming biased in favour of what is decreed to be 'mainstream' science opinion, a VERY dangerous notion, which can be unscrupulously used to conceal opinions which corporate and political factions want to 'cover up'.
Post Prof Jones, the BBC has fallen on its scientific face several times, the most notable being the final episode of 'Frozen Planet', the latest David Attenborough nature series, which makes frightening predictions about global warming, with little actual scientific evidence to back it up. Another notable Beeb 'stinker' is a Horizon programme on genetic modifications, presented by none other than 'Professional Geek', Dr Adam Rutherford, also notable as presenter of THAT BBC Radio 4 programme 'Science Betrayed' which was all about Godlee and Deer's BMJ fabricated Wakefield fraud allegations.
Incidently, the latest public opinion poll is very much against any UK Government attempt to legislate against freedom of the press. I expect 'Hacked Off' are very hacked off about that!!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 22, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Such a tragedy Jennifer, and such a loss Harry is especially around this time of year..thinking of him everyday..
Harrys Art Book
Posted by: Angus File | November 22, 2012 at 07:04 AM
All this corrupt internecine powerplay...as the result of which we lost our most beautiful, gifted boy, Harry Horne-Roberts RIP.
Not much has changed since 'they' the corrupt power-players sent a generation to die in the trenches of the First World War.
Thanks for keeping fighting, friends.
Jennie and Keith Horne-Roberts
see our Books 'Harry's Story' and 'Harry's Inquest' online under Googled 'Horne-Roberts'.
See also Jennifer's novel 'The Gates' on Amazon Kindle; and most of all 'Harry's Art Book' on Amazon Kindle to see what a shining light 'they' snuffed out.
Posted by: Jennifer Horne-Roberts | November 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Bayareamom .. never ever was a safe vaccine...my granny had on her birth certificate born 1884 "vaccinated at birth Smallpox" she died aged 82 and had rhumatism ...her mother died at 101 and had never ever been vaccinated..my mother died aged 72...funny these days if you walk through the graveyards the ammount of younger kids/adults who never last as long as the parents did .....
Posted by: angus files | November 21, 2012 at 06:16 PM
There is no such thing as 'safe' vaccination.
Posted by: Bayareamom | November 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Sorry ,I just find this lot lower than human life form and know nicer,Anguis fragilis (slow worms)..and know much more humane humans who offer nothing but caring for the fellow man...and nothing in return.
Why do these arguments for abortion constantly end up in places of power???
If you cant name them shame them..
SHAME ON THEM!!
Posted by: Angus Files | November 21, 2012 at 04:49 PM
"Charade" is such a polite way to describe this pile of ....
Shame! Shame indeed!
Posted by: Ed Yazbak | November 21, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Conflicts of interest are a huge issue here the lies are tremendous , our children need help and safe vaccination
Posted by: Debra | November 21, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Unfortunately, powerful cartels .. be they mafia, military, medical, pharmaceutical or others .. don't have to use a gun to destroy their enemies .. instead .. they use the media, courts, regulatory agencies and other influential sources to launch a public campaign attacking the personal reputation and character of their enemy .. thereby destroying their professional careers and private lives .. such as .. a truly heroic man of vision and guts .. Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
In France .. the corrupt cartel proved to be the army .. who in 1985 summarily convicted and sentenced Capt Alfred Dreyfus for treason. In 1986, a new chief of French military intelligence reported to his superiors that he had found evidence to the effect that the traitor was Major Esterhazy. Instead of rewarding this new intelligence chief for exposing the real traitor .. the French army punished him by transferring him to a remote outpost in Tunisia. A second trial for Dreyfus was held in 1900 and again he was found guilty of treason. Finally, in 1906, Dreyfus was fully exonerated but the stain upon the reputation of the French army for his unjust mistreatment remains to this day.
Someday the truth will provide justice for Dr. Wakefield .. my only hope that his justice arrives sooner rather than later
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | November 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The Hacked of board... make me sick to even think of them as possibly human... as Mark Twain Quoted Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is
obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
Never a truer saying..this lot should have it on the gravestones when they die..
Posted by: Angus Files | November 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM
This same faction has seen to it that the US Supreme Court erroneously proclaim the 'divine right' of the the US Food and Drug Administration, thus making the same politically appointed idiots that suppressed data concerning the lethality of Vioxx, which killed more Americans that combat service in Vietnam did, a infallible autocracy.
This high court (possibly from smoking something newly legalized)parroted the long-held misconception that "if it's FDA-approved, you can't sue".
Subditivo iustitia sub Deo comedet semper deficiet
Posted by: Kerboblog | November 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM
No, it is the British Establishment novel as, for example, represented by the reminiscences of Richard Horton:
"In truth, they (the GMC) had not a clue where to begin. At a dinner I attended on 23 February (2004), one medical regulator and I discussed the Wakefield case. He seemed unsure of how the Council could play a useful part in resolving the confusion. As we talked over coffee while the other dinner guests were departing, he scribbled down some possible lines of investigation, and passed me his card, suggesting that I contact him directly if anything sprang to mind. He seemed keen to pursue Wakefield, especially given ministerial interest. Here was professionally led regulation of doctors in action - notes exchanged over liqueurs in a beautifully panelled room of one of medicine's most venerable institutions."
Only, of course, it isn't fiction.
Posted by: John Stone | November 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Evil triumphs when good men (and women) do nothing! There are many good folks especially parents of damaged children and others fighting for truth which is denied them by these powerful and corrupt people, yes call themselves human? what on earth gives them that idea? how the mighty will fall when its realised they know too much! deer must looking over his shoulder all the time!!
Posted by: Mike Boult | November 21, 2012 at 09:58 AM
All I can say is I am more than hacked off.
Posted by: Joan Campbell | November 21, 2012 at 09:47 AM
I'm the one who is "hacked off" . Fed up with the BBC and the state run censorship model continually skewing the news information to protect everything vaccine .
Even today the Telegraph and Independent have vaguely followed the great report from the Vancouver Sun about how useless the Flu vaccine (and what a load of poisonous nonsense it is)...... but not a word about it on the dear old insidious , devious , lying , thieving BBC .
Looks like "Hacked off" need a name change to "cover-up" .
and lets just disband the BBC , they are a lost cause .
Posted by: Very Angry Very Hairy Man | November 21, 2012 at 08:53 AM
Reminds me of reading some of the Italian Mafia novels I used to like reading before Autism came along… now I don’t need to read them anymore Im involved and fighting the UK Cartel ..The only bit I couldn`t get to grips with in the Mafia books were all the different names involved in the cartels just like above names and all interlaced with poison. I think the UK operation is slicker than the Italians as I haven’t heard of them knowingly use guns…yet…omerˈta ..SHAME ON THEM!!!
Posted by: Angus Files | November 21, 2012 at 06:17 AM