Thursday, June 11, 2009

Simon Singh is innocent!

I am tracking this story with interest lately, the respected science writer Simon Singh is being prosecuted for libel by the BAC (British Chiropractic Association) because he had the temerity to say in a Guardian article that chiropractic treatment for ear infection was "bogus". Simon has already been found guilty of libel and is now appealing against this ridiculous accusation, the ranks of the scientific good and great are only just waking up to what this case means in the wider context of freedom of speech, the forces of the rational are assembling to support him (here).

In 2008, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) announced that its members could help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying. The case for chiropractic practitioners treating anything other than sore backs is BOGUS, there is no evidence, what Singh is saying is not libel it is FACT, if that upsets the hucksters represented by this shabby organisation then tough shit!

Libel laws have no place in science; science works by looking at evidence and criticising ideas, if it is not free to do that then we will all lose something very important, our right to reality!

It is high time that our libel laws were overhauled, Britain is a laughing stock of the civilised world, our antiquated policies regarding libel mean that any bloated Arab oil sheik, dodgy Russian oligarch or friend of Saddam can take a "libel holiday" chez nous simply by stuffing fistfuls of pound notes into the hands of libel lawyers in order to silence their critics. Even in the Commons, MPs have railed against the absurdity of a legal system which forced a Danish newspaper to pay £100,000 for criticising the shady financial practices of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which duly collapsed six months later along with the rest of the Icelandic economy.

I would urge anyone who feels as strongly as I do on this to boycott their Chiropractor, let them know about this, and write to the BCA as I have done making the position clear. In an interesting turn of events the McTimoney Association (a British chiropractic group) has sent out an email to its members urging them to immediately shut down all of their websites, why?, because of the Simon Singh fracas people are becoming aware that chiropractors are making claims for treatment that CANNOT be substantiated with research.

So these people are trying to cover their tracks, desperately trying to make the quackery "go away" as fast as they can, sounds like an admission of guilt to me.


Elizabeth said...

That's fascinating, Steve. I hadn't heard any of that. I agree the libel laws need changing too. thanks for all the research.

Steve Borthwick said...

I know, it's amazing what is going on under our very noses sometimes. This particular story is incredible, the legal system is saying that reputation is more important that truth. The BCA is not arguing that their claims are true and under our law don't seem to have to, the whole thing is bogus!

The US system is much better.