If Andy Wakefield were a bond trader……
Yeah, I like all these pregnant pauses, too! One mulls and lets others rant for a while. Hell, this is an intense subject. Everyone who contributes has information to share and their own preconceptions as to the nature of the problems. My approach is of the informed, scientific but also humanist sceptic. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories although I can see group behaviour channelled by history and the reality that is everyday life.
The builders incorporating blue asbestos did it feeling good about the positive contribution they were making, Japanese whalers are proud to land their catches, Thalidomide was prescribed to expectant mothers to help them and not to damage their unborn children, soldiers do appalling deeds proudly, for their countries and Tony Bliar sent our troops to Iraq, apparently with no doubts. I could go on for a long time, but you get my gist, I hope. It’s OK to be wise after the event but, at the time, countless dumb mistakes have been made because practices were not yet questioned. If it seems to be working then why fix it? Why even look at it?
For the past couple of years we’ve been living through the results of another such set of mistaken beliefs unravelling. As Greeks, Portuguese, Spanish, Icelandic, Irish etc etc can testify it ain’t over yet. But two years back, for all the bizarre unreality of it all, there seemed to be a never ending money pot. The more we spent, the more there was in the vault. Building, bonuses, bonhomie were all spread out with reckless abandon, unquestioned. But deep in the infrastructure of it all there was hidden but mounting desperation as ever junkier bonds were packaged and, as we’ve recently learned, the packers had the audacity both to sell them as a good product and to bet that they would soon plummet in value. They knew it was all a great big lie but could not possibly let it be known to the public.
Ok, not all mortgages were invalid – in fact most were reasonably conventional with the big proviso that house price inflation had created preposterous figures for the apparent values of dwellings. And so, of course, we put more and more stuff into them to increase their values more.
Dr Wakefield, bless him, was like a corporate broker who’s job was maybe to sell these bonds on. “They’ll grow and grow” he’d enthuse to investors, “at rates far above inflation.” Only when he looked into their composition did any doubt appear and then what? He could leave his job but, after all those years of training, what else could he do? So he arranged to publish an article saying how certain bonds contained products that would damage some investors financial well being. At which point his bosses sacked him and carried on selling the bonds.
This was not, of course, a conspiracy, this was sound business common sense. To most users it was all just part of the cut and thrust of modern life. Money moved faster and faster but, as it moved, it made more money and kept the system in balance. So buildings went up, roads came to link them and few questioned this progression – everyone was just busy using them.
Of course Wakefield was trained in medical science and, more specifically, in digestive tract disorders and their causes but not in sudden onset mental disorders such as childhood autism.
However, as an associated intestinal problem was demonstrated to him he researched further. Together with a group of colleagues he published initial findings together with a tentative suggestion as to future avoidance of the problem. In doing this he brought down upon himself the full weight of the medical establishment. He was seen to be undermining the fundamental tenets of medicine, although only by suggesting that there existed an unresearched side effect on an unlucky group of children which could be eliminated by better management.
It would have been enough, though, to cripple the industry.
There are so many ASD, autistic spectrum disorder, patients in the UK that , were it accepted that their conditions had arisen by neglectful use of a proprietary medicine, the drugs companies and the medical establishment would be inundated with compensation claims. Lifelong care is expensive and each individual case would run into millions. This, though, would be just the start, for autism is by no means alone in being an illness developed post vaccination and only having arisen in modern medicine. Allergies, asthma, excema, obesity up to childhood leukaemia, sub-acute schlerotising para encephalitis (SSPE) and, of course, cot-death are all examples of such outcomes. Imagine paying for all those if they too were accepted as resultant from vaccination. Suffice to say that a very strong case can be and is made.
Conspiracy? No, of course not. It couldn’t be managed and in fact the behaviour is fundamental to and evolved with the system. Otherwise it would not exist today. Wakefield’s papers were not countered by controlled investigations into the outcomes from vaccinating one group of children and not vaccinating a second group. Instead past records were examined and the outcome in children who had received the MMR jab as well as other childhood vaccinations was compared with those who had had other childhood jabs but not the MMR.
Professor Paul Shattock, a pharmacist, head of the Autism Research Unit in Sunderland University, emphasised to me the need to isolate cause and effect. Thus they had to look just at the one jab (ie the MMR) and any effects it might have. However, if vaccination provokes a systemic response in the recipient, regardless of the particular antigens involved, then this does not hold. If you’re hit by a rock it knocks you out whether it’s sandstone or granite. Another facet of this is the phenomenon of “potentiation”. This is being made ready for a greater response or rendered susceptible. Earlier jabs can do this and the MMR, one of the later shots used, can then set off an extreme response.
Autism, anyway, is known as a progressive condition. After it’s first noticed it gets worse in stages, frequently coinciding with further jabs. (Ask Charlotte Moore of the Guardian, though she’ll deny cause and effect, poor woman. Fancy making a career out of denying the cause of your children’s disabilities and so not being in any position to try to correct the situation.)
So fundamental research is not considered. Instead all those involved in the pharmaceutical medicine practiced today assume the fundamental effectiveness and harmlessness of existing medicines and procedures. So they looked at millions of health records and could clearly demonstrate that there were no more ASD patients in the group who had received the MMR + other childhood jabs as opposed to the group which had just received the other childhood jabs.
Autism is a modern condition, first written about to describe a few cases found in the late 40s. Slightly more appeared in the 50s and 60s but the explosion in numbers came from the mid 70s onwards and increased in the 80s and 90s to the present very high occurrence. The rates closely parallel the increase in childhood vaccinations given, the total vaccine load, TVL.
So despite the fact that examination of both sets of health records show a significantly higher level of ASD than, for example, a group of 1940s records, the MMR is exonerated as a cause of ASD by the chosen method of comparison. A statistical trick. But see me using the phrasing of conspiracy – I shouldn’t, as I don’t think there is one. More it’s committed thinking. “How can we demonstrate this clearly?” Accentuate your positives.
“Look, there’s loads of money. Look we’ve packaged the risks up so’s you cant even see them and the bonds will go up up up in value.”