Saturday 16 January 2010

Staunch Belief In Abject Failure

Simon Jenkins, writing in the Guardian, takes an almighty swipe at Liam Donaldson, the WHO and the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies.

It's a comprehensive rundown of the hysteria, junk stats and scaremongery surrounding BSE/CJD (1995), Sars (2003), avian flu (2004), foot and mouth (2007), and swine flu last year, simultaneously accompanied, as it was, with the playing down of MRSA and C-difficile. Well worth a read in full.

All Donaldson's wild exaggerations consisted of the same apocalyptic projections of wholesale death and misery. None of which, naturally, ever came to pass.

Jenkins's denouement is as devastating as it is accurate.

This is why people are ever more sceptical of scientists. Why should they believe what "experts" say when they can be so wrong and with such impunity? Weapons of mass destruction, lethal viruses, nuclear radiation, global warming … why should we believe a word of it? And it is a short step from don't believe to don't care.

Yet still large sections of society believe the same doom-laden scares and the same ridiculous estimates of thousands of deaths - foretold by people with an overwhelming failure rate, never forget - with regard to passive smoking, drinking more than three bottles of wine a week, bacon, fast food, salt etc.

With so much available evidence that their 'science' is flawed, over and over again, there can only be one reason for the Daily Mail-esque judgemental attitude from certain sections of the public towards those who enjoy 'unhealthy' lifestyles or habits.


Isn't it time some people woke up and smelled the bullshit?


thespecialone said...

I never ever believe in any scare that comes from any government we may have in the UK. They are always wrong. Trouble is, with things like AIDS in the 80s, that was supported by the left and became so overbearing that even the Tories of the time fell for it. How many were going to die from AIDS in the UK? I cannot remember the figures but we were all doomed if we had sex; not just the high-risk groups.

Cate Munro said...

Sorry to sound so simplistic, but it all boils down to this Labour's Orwellian running of this country. Donaldson et al are merely puppets.

Pogo said...

Interestingly, the "most recommended" comments are those taking the contrary view. I suppose that the mass of Grauniad readers can't bring themselves to criticise something done by government / government stooges.

banned said...

Simon Jenkins! He's the reason I stopped reading the Guardian.

Great post, linked to it ta, but heres Channel 4 blaming the swine flu scam on Big Pharma while ignoring Donaldsons key role.

Junican said...

There is a thread which runs through all these scares, and that is that the people creating the scares are NOT REAL SCIENTISTS. The real scientists are not allowed to speak because, if they do, they will become 'persona non grata' and be denied promotion - if not sacked.
The protestations of Sir Liam D et al are not the statements of scientists - they are the statements of statisticians. Their projections are based on a 'what if?' formulation rather than a 'what is' formulation.
From their point of view, the worst possible scenario is 'the truth' - is this not why we have the Smoking Ban? The passive smoking arguement relies totally on 'the worst possible scenario' rather than the facts.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Tory Totty Online said...

Sorry to sound so simplistic, but it all boils down to this Labour's Orwellian running of this country. Donaldson et al are merely puppets.

Much as I hate labour, and in NO way intending to infer your argument is not as valid as any other, basically you are talking big hairy fucking gorilla with elephantitis, BOLLOCKS.

If that is the case, why has nearly every "Government" in the world fallen for it as well?