The United Kingdom House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee have now published John Stone's submission on behalf of Age of Autism to its inquiry on the topic of "Fake News". It can be read here.
So, yesterday it finally happened. A bottom grade journalist from a UK national newspaper, Russell Myers of the Daily Mirror, alleged – briefed by two government officials – that criticisms of the vaccine program on the web are inspired by Vladimir Putin trying to undermine the British government: 'Russian cyber-units 'spreading false information about flu and measles jabs in the UK''. Well, in my case British government officials know that I have been in touch with them since the beginning of the millennium, so it is an odd time to start bringing it up. If I am a Russian agent they have been watching me a long time without cottoning on.
In those early days things were somewhat more gentlemanly than they are now, but I could not escape the problem - in British civil service jargon – that they were being “economical with the truth”. “The problem” as Jim Carrey stated a few years ago in a rather Shakespearian way “is the problem”: it is that their story is internally inconsistent, it does not add up. In my very earliest encounters with the British civil service I did not even mention vaccines, I was expressing concern about the rising tide of autism: it was they who were apparently backed into a corner about MMR and Andrew Wakefield. If they had not given the game away, I suppose I might have found some more rewarding trade. As it was I was appalled that these people were locked into something they did not know how to escape.
Seventeen years later, of course, it is all so much worse. In retrospect Wakefield had interfered with policy in two crucial ways: he and his colleagues had broken the already established taboo in British medicine of considering vaccine events as a possible contributory history towards sickness and disability. The other was that he had placed a question over the safety of a multivalent vaccine, MMR, when the development of an industry depended on their acceptance. While Wakefield had to be witch-hunted and made an example of, the British and American governments particularly were caught up into a set of policies: an expanding program, forceful denial of harms, ever closer connections between government and industry. Like Macbeth they had to go on compounding the original sin, and like Macbeth the fall out gets ever greater. To sustain the great project all harms have to be dismissed.
But Mr Myers, who is styled the Mirror’s “investigative journalist”, not to mention the British government, really have to swallow that at least in the case of Flu vaccine it is not only fifth column Russian backed parents like you and me who are calling foul but mainstream sources like the Cochrane Collaboration, even intermittently the British Medical Journal – not to mention the fact that most medical professionals back away as well from having it.
By now, of course, the case is hopeless. Everyone in the mainstream media has become as stupid as Mr Myers. No one dare report the truth. Also, yesterday the BBC carried a report that children should be given nasal flu vaccine to protect their elders “Give child 'super-spreaders' flu vaccine, say experts” failing to mention that even the EMC warn that those who have received the vaccine remain a hazard to immune compromised for two weeks.
Vaccine recipients should be informed that Fluenz Tetra is an attenuated live virus vaccine and has the potential for transmission to immunocompromised contacts. Vaccine recipients should attempt to avoid, whenever possible, close association with severely immunocompromised individuals (e.g. bone marrow transplant recipients requiring isolation) for 1-2 weeks following vaccination.
According to a fact sheet for the US version of the product (which has been withdrawn by the CDC):
In clinical studies with trivalent FluMist, transmission of vaccine viruses to close contacts has occurred only rarely. The current estimated risk of getting infected with vaccine virus after close contact with a person vaccinated with FluMist Quadrivalent is low (1%-2%).
So, if you are giving it to millions of children it seems likely you are actually spreading the virus in tens of thousands of cases. It is clear that the BBC and their adviser, Dr Cosford, have given very uncertain information. The only consistency is not the protection of populations but the handing over of huge quantities of the public’s money to the pharmaceutical industry. What I am saying is only what a competent journalist with integrity who had actually investigated it would report.
The situation spins ever further out of control, almost by the day. Suddenly, we have a new state agency for fast tracking the licensing of pharmaceutical products, superintended by Sir Andrew Witty, who just a few months ago was still CEO of GlaxoSmithKline. No one has mentioned conflict, while the difference between government and industry has effectively been finally abolished without debate. It even looks as if the new body can be set up without special legislation. Almost no one reports apart from a far away blog, almost no one questions.
The problem is not Putin, but an out of control bureaucracy which cannot tolerate any kind of examination for what it does. And we get the risible, fake, scare-mongering journalism of Russell Myers. I wish these people were funny.
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism