What do corrupt politicians tell us about autism policies in the UK?

26 May

One strand of thinking in those who promote the autism-MMR vaccine hoax in the UK is that the political system is corrupt. At the worst level this leads to conspiratorial thinking, as in this statement from an Independent leader from February 24th 2004:

Are we wrong to detect the distant whirr of the same spin spin machine that so recently set about destroying the reputations of David Kelly, Andrew Gilligan and others?

John Stone, an active JABS (the UK’s leading anti-vaccine site) activist who now writes for Age of Autism, recently posted a call to arms by Alison Edwards on the MPs’ expenses controversy. Her post reminds us that much of the controversy about MMR vaccine is possibly displacement activity after struggles to obtain help and support. After a go at MPs’ expenses, she draws her inspiration from her son.

My son is my inspiration, he has no idea of the anger I harbour at what I have been forced to endure since the day his MMR left him unable to control his bowels. Not to mention the other battles for services and therapies, the list of refusals is a familiar one to anyone caring for an autistic or disabled child. All we can do it watch as our young morph into adults before our eyes. Yet our claims to assist the most vulnerable with their most basic needs, go unheard.


Being angry about MPs expenses is a reasonable position, but there are many other issues others have been fighting for, and they should feel equally aggrieved. Think of any lobby group, and you can probably come up with a reasonable view that more attention should have been paid to it, than were paid to the acquisition of LCD TVs, the cleaning of moats, and other such pathetic squandering of taxpayers’ money.

The corruption is spread throughout the parties, and throughout MPs of all views within them. For example, Julie Kirkbride is a UK MP who has expressed views on MMR vaccine, to the detriment of an autism campaign launch; a microcosm of the general effect the MMR-vaccine-autism hoax has had on autism awareness in the UK:

she had chosen the same day to hold her own conference at Westminster to highlight alleged links between autism and the controversial MMR vaccine.

“I am furious that a conference that could have been held yesterday or could have been held tomorrow is being held on the day that we are actually trying to focus, for once, on the needs of autistic people instead of this debate over MMR,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“This is the first major conference of autism awareness year. It has been organised for months. To detract attention from it today of all days is, I think, pretty silly.”

Julie Kirkbride is now under intense pressure over expenses. Does this have any bearing on her position on MMR vaccine? Not all all.

The expenses saga may remind us of the sense of entitlement of UK MPs and their failure to police their own behaviour, but it tells us nothing about public policy on autism or vaccines.

3 Responses to “What do corrupt politicians tell us about autism policies in the UK?”

  1. Sullivan May 27, 2009 at 05:45 #

    So, this “dissolve parliament” thing is just a weak attempt to ride the news buzz? Tie, however weakly, autism to the news of the day and get in the papers?

  2. Kev May 27, 2009 at 16:37 #

    Exactly. And also to vent a little too.

  3. Sullivan May 27, 2009 at 18:49 #

    Manipulating situations for publicity may work in the world of public opinion.

    BUT–I have to think that these sorts of actions leave a bad taste in the mouths of the politicians. Basically, burn some bridges with people in power in order to make points with the public.

    I am reminded of the big broo-ha-ha in Maryland last year. People protested that they were being forced at gunpoint to vaccinate their kids.

    In the end, all they had to do was sign the waiver. The waiver was on the back side of the same form they were given to list their child’s vaccination status.

    Politicians were pissed off in order to win points in the world of public opinion.

    To put it more cynically, future jurors are more important to some people than the government officials I depend on to help my kid.

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