|A clown, pictured yesterday|
“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 Butterscotch has had to be withdrawn because people got chronic lung disease.”I've been extremely busy of late so must admit to having missed the extensive media coverage of this health threat.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.