By John Stone
Largely unreported in the mainstream media the European Parliament this week, under the guidance of the European Commission, are effectively moving to shut down the web using an extension of copyright law. While it is disguised as a protection of intellectual property if it eventuates clauses 11 and 13 will be a devastating blow to intellectual freedom, preventing the use of web links on sites, and shutting them down if they are used. The web as a tool of freedom from oligarchies and corporate behemoths will be completely crippled. European readers should complain urgently to their representatives at the Parliament before it is too late through this website:
PLEASE ALSO HELP TO CIRCULATE
I wrote individually to British members:
I am writing ahead of the plenary session on 4 July to protest articles 11 and 13 of the EU's Copyright Reform Proposal. I am all in favour of artists receiving fair remuneration but these clauses are clearly intended to restrict sharing public interest data, making many sites that have always operated with due respect and caution for other people's rights virtually inoperable.
I fear MEPs are asleep or they are working on behalf of dark forces. They should remember that they were not elected by behemoth corporations, but ordinary citizens.
Celebrations were inevitably short lived over the exoneration of Prof Henri Joyeux, the popular medic who had dared to criticize France's sacred vaccination program on a principled and informed basis. The judicial decision was immediately appealed by France's 'Order of Physicians'. Now we find that six bodies "the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Agriculture of France, the National Academy of Dental Surgery, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Pharmacy and the Veterinary Academy of France" have chimed in to censure Prof Joyeux:
"The six Academies in their duty to protect the health of populations, solemnly declare that" freedom of expression "has limits and that it does not excuse the irresponsible allegations of certain health professionals. They rebel against the words of Henri Joyeux who, availing himself of the lifting of his removal from the National Council of the Order of Doctors, claims "he is right" regarding his positions on vaccination. These positions are all the more scandalous as vaccine coverage remains insufficient in France, epidemic risks remain. The news reminds us that measles can still kill.
Of course, it is not about "freedom of expression", it is about freedom of speech - even at times of grave national peril, which a few cases of measles are not, people used to be allowed to speak.
Surrounding Prof Joyeux is a familiar tactic. The founder of the UK yellow card reporting system, Bill Inman, in his book 'Don't Tell the Patient' (1999) recorded how the Department of Health blocked out Prof Gordon Stewart over his protests about the DPT with " a plethora of committees" and even then they were forced to pay out in 600 profoundly damaged cases in the first three years of the Vaccine Damage Payment Act. The strategy was played out again in 2007 when the Director of Science Media Centre, Fiona Fox, and media bully, Ben Goldacre, took on the Observer newspaper and its editor over reports of rising incidence of autism. Fox wrote in her blog:
“With this in mind, the SMC reacted to the article primarily by coordinating a joint media statement by 14 institutions involved with child health and vaccination to back the safety of the jab which we issued to coincide with the GMC hearing [against Wakefield and colleagues]. However I did also send a note to Denis Campbell, the journalist who wrote the article and a friendly contact of ours, to make sure he knew that the SMC was unable to defend the piece to the angry scientists who were contacting us. The result was an invitation to meet with him, the readers' editor and a variety of other Observer news editors at their offices. So, with two leading MMR experts at my side, I went to highlight the concerns.”
This basically tells you how the media is ruled by an industry-government public relations body in the UK even now. And, of course, the Observer editor lost his job. The great success of Fox, SMC and Goldacre, of course, is that because they managed to shut everyone up - dancing around the vaccine issue -the level of autism in children has continued to rise at terrifying rate, with consequences that are already catastrophic and still only beginning to be reaped.
Post Script 9.30 July 2.2018 It should be noted that both the British Conservative and Labour parties voted for this at committee stage - so this really is not going to go away in the with Brexit. So far I have had three replies members of the Parliament. Two from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) deeply disapproved, but a Labour member who simply stated what the position was admitted she had a lot of letters (despite the fact that the issue had barely been reported in the the mainstream media). This shows how deeply out of touch the political class are. She said the Labour group were to meet with Tom Watson, opposition spokesman for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to discuss it.
John Stone is British and European editor of Age of Autism