Monday 9 March 2015

The Search Continues For Dame Sally's 'People'

A clown, pictured yesterday
Back in February, Chief Medical Officer Sally "Backbone" Davies made an astonishing claim on the BBC.
“We don't yet know about vaping. I mean clearly they put in flavourings, we don’t know the impact of those. Butterscotch has had to be withdrawn because people got chronic lung disease.”
I've been extremely busy of late so must admit to having missed the extensive media coverage of this health threat. However, it seems Mark Pawsey MP did too, so on Friday he asked for more details from the Secretary of State for Health.
Mark Pawsey, Conservative, Rugby 
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many cases of chronic lung disease are recorded as being linked to (a) butterscotch flavoured e-liquid and (b) electronic cigarettes in general. 
Jane Ellison, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 
The Department does not hold the requested information.
Yes. There have been so many people going down with chronic lung disease as a direct result of using e-cigs that ... the Department of Health has no record of them! This strikes me as woeful incompetence on the part of the DoH, what are we paying our taxes for if it isn't to have these things monitored?

I mean, Backbone was very certain of her facts, and she is our calm, knowledgeable and evidence-based Chief Medical Officer, after all. She must have received solid proof of this assertion from somewhere, and if it's not the DoH, she must have some peer-reviewed studies stuffed down the back of her sofa that no-one in Westminster or Whitehall knows about. Perhaps an FOI request is in order, anyone up for it?

But then I remembered what I wrote about her in May.
Now, isn't the CMO meant to be rational and form opinions rooted in - you know, as the job title implies - dispassionate evaluation of data and science, as opposed to a media which is supposed to enjoy whipping up a frenzy based on scaremongery and junk science? The roles seem to have been reversed in this case. 
Sally's silliness has been mentioned here before, but it's now becoming increasingly clear that she is either too easily manipulated by vested interests or just plain incompetent. Either way, it strongly indicates that she is unfit for purpose, vastly over-promoted to the position of CMO, and should be fired before she does any real damage.
So I suppose it's more than possible that she was deliberately lying on the BBC.

It's a crushing indictment of the public sector in general - and the Department of Health in particular - that such a dangerously ignorant clown is paid around a quarter of a million pounds of our taxes per year.

UPDATE: It seems there is already an FOI in progress to try to find out about all those chronic lung disease cases. Dame Sally must be rooting behind the cushions as we speak.


nisakiman said...

“We don't yet know about vaping. I mean clearly they put in flavourings,
we don’t know the impact of those. Butterscotch has had to be withdrawn
because people got chronic lung disease.”

I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I read that! It immediately put me in mind of this:

Bones said...

Indeed, correlation vs causation and even then likely to be more imaginary than real bearing in mind that chronic conditions are of long duration and slow progression and vaping was until recently few in numbers.

Lollylulubes said...

On Dr. Christian's Drugs Live show last week, it was mentioned that Dame Sal had admitted to indulging in the weed herself. Her comments and that god awful coat could suggest she may perhaps have had a little toot or two quite recently.

Vinny Gracchus said...

Incompetence combined with ideological bias yield intolerance. This is sheer zealotry. Fabricating claims of disease to force an agenda. She should be removed from public service.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Legendary :)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

It's just so very desperate. Implying that e-cigs are all dangerous because of one insignificant piece of information about one of thousands of flavours. And she even messed up conveying the scaremongery over that!


Lollylulubes said...

I don't believe they are clueless, just that they're being deliberately obtuse.

I came across this a couple of hours ago A good deal of it makes so much sense but, in particular, with regard to your blog and the Dame - the part about pharma wanting to get rid of the tobacco market (and now ecigs, too) in order to control the whole market for nicotine with very expensive products. I think this is what's also behind the indoor and outdoor bans - to force people to use NRT in the interim. They can't patent a natural product like nicotine - only their products containing it - so the alternative is to get rid of all competition via regulation. As they're so immensely 'generous', those that hate any form of tobacco use, legislators, Chief Scientific Officers and certain other bought and paid for stooges are only to willing to help out.

woodsy42 said...

I doubt it's either stupidity or ignorance. It's that the powers that be, and their corporate paymasters, don't like e-gigs. These sorts of lies and disinformation are part of the process to get them marginalised and then ultimately banned.
It's the same process that has allowed the countryside to be covered in bloody windmills (and hence nice payoffs for landowners) after villifying CO2 and pretending we will all get baked. It's the same process being used to sell statins as a must -have drug. The disinformation process is all around us tied up with almost all high-profit and social control movements.

Lollylulubes said...

Of course, if the article is correct, then the consequences to health will indeed ensure pharma's bottom line goes from strength to strength. Healthcare costs will rocket, but people dying early = a big bonus for population control and for the government re pensions. On the same note; with regard to illicit tobacco - it makes TC's numbers for smoking prevalence look better, however, I wonder if there could be a hidden bonus, too? If some of it contains extra nasties, like the scrapings off the floor and goodness knows what else, as has been reported sometimes and causes people to die prematurely, could it be seen as a bonus rather than a problem? I'd love to know the likely figures re loss of cigarette taxes and costs to healthcare vs. unpaid pensions.

Dragonmum said...

How much?????????????????? £250,000 for telling porkies - we're all in the wrong jobs!!!!!!!

James Pickett said...

"Butterscotch has had to be withdrawn"

Has anyone told these guys..?

Ian B said...

This, presumably. So, not actual cases but a chemical that can cause lung disease. Looks like the usual chinese-whispers hyping common among puritan campaigners.

gray said...

Why re-elect politicians who use tax funded anti-smoking quangos against normal smokers?

truckerlyn said...

Personally I think Dame Sal is far more dangerous than e-cigs or smoking!

Perhaps there should be a ban on her?

truckerlyn said...

You sound about as cynical as me! Not surprising though given what we have to put up with, especially from overpaid morons sitting in an historic building and filling it with hot air that will only ever benefit their rich pals!

truckerlyn said...

I agree. There are all these scare stories about pharmaceutical drugs that are commonplace nowadays, but apparently the risks involved with these are ok! Yet, they ban smoking in enclosed public places when there is far less chance of harm to others than there is from someone using these 'licensed' drugs! I believe it these drugs are potentially more harmful even than smoking itself!

truckerlyn said...

Only really leaves one choice at the ballot box then, doesn't it?

Lollylulubes said...

Oh I'm definitely cynical! With the corruption I've seen over ecigs, the result is that I no longer trust any of them. I think the health charities has been the biggest shock and disappointment. What they're doing, imo, is a form of genocide! Nothing has changed in hundreds of years - the world is run by the rich for the benefit of each other - even the tobacco companies. We are seen as there to serve and get in the bl**dy way. We definitely need to get in the way more!