Gurli Bagnall schreef, naar aanleiding van de rechtszaak tegen de NICE-richtlijnen,
een essay over onafhankelijkheid, marktdenken, politiek en onrechtvaardigheid.
PUPPETS, PUPPETEERS, POLITICIANS AND RACKETEERS
Review decision has been published and once again ME victims have
been left on the sharp end of the stick. The anger expressed says it
is not over, but before regrouping there are the tears of
frustration and disappointment to be dealt with. It has been said
many times and in many ways that justice is there for those who can
afford it. I for one, need no convincing.
I recently watched whistleblower, Michael Moore's,
documentary Sicko concerning the US health system.
Reactions on the internet range from the convinced and outraged,
to those who laughed at the pain and horror
of it as if it were the funniest comedy to have hit the screens in
the past decade or so.
criticism I have is that, in comparing the US health system with
those of other western democracies, Moore tended to see only the
good in the latter. However, in general terms, and overlooking
preventable medical error and iatrogenic consequences, one could
not argue if the discussion had revolved around well-known, routine
illnesses only; but it didn’t. It also covered the plight of those
suffering the aftermath of fire fighting at the World Trade Centre
in New York, so one might logically have expected comments to have
been made about how similar conditions such as GWS and ME are dealt
Aside from that,
the documentary encapsulated many of today’s problems and in
particular, those within the two most powerful nations on earth the
United States of America and the United Kingdom.
The 15 March,
2009, issue of the New York Times, published a very good example of
what is and has been happening in our major western democracies, and
while this particular incident may have been bigger and grander in
the States, the same thing happens in one form or another elsewhere.
I refer to: A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout.
The American International Group which has received more than $170
billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal
Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to
executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the
brink of collapse last year.
We might well
wonder how those responsible for the certain collapse were entitled
to bonuses in the first place. And where were the rules and provisos
that must surely have gone with a handout of this magnitude? Why was
an independent administrator not appointed to allocate this public
funding? The questions are endless and the outrage is blistering but
it is met with a So what? shrug of the shoulders.
As they count out
neat wads for themselves, the firms lawyers say there is nothing
they can do; they are apparently contractually obligated to pay the
bonuses. Greed or criminal theft describe the actions in any words
you like, they are as water off a ducks back.
Be it in the US,
the UK or New Zealand, big business has not been slow to trample on
those who are already struggling to get up. What sort of human
beings lobby for policies that create mass unemployment and then
demand that benefits be cut down at best and stopped at worst? Do
that, and those layabouts will soon get back to work! they proclaim
while ignoring the fact that the climate they created means there IS
no work. He’s disabled? some ask with a sneer. Rubbish! He doesn’t
HAVE to be a gym instructor! He only needs one leg to be a street sweeper!
And now, without
so much as a blush of shame, big business has become the biggest
bludger of all time! It stood in line with hands outstretched to
become the recipient of what must surely be the largest welfare
payout ever. Even so, it continues to wield the big stick that says,
Well do as we damn well please and you WILL foot the bill.
Since bonuses are
generally meant as a reward for excellence over and above the usual
salaries, we might consider that in today’s typical family, both
parents work to keep food on the table and a roof over the heads of
their children. Some of these bonuses to which they are compelled to
contribute through taxes, represent amounts which exceed the
family’s combined annual income.
The very people
who would prosecute this family and strip them of all possessions
if they did not pay their taxes, feel free to help themselves to the
fruits of their labour - to wallow in it like pigs in muck. This is
a protection racket like none other. The ideals of democracy have
been trampled into the mire.
Tony Benn, retired British politician,
commented on choices in an interview during the making of Sicko:
Choice depends on freedom but if you are shackled by debt,
you don’t have the freedom to choose
I think there are
two ways to keep people controlled. First, frighten the people and
second, demoralize them. An educated, healthy and confident nation
is harder to control.
further that 1% of the world’s population owns 80% of the worlds
wealth; people put up with it because of the fear engendered by the
helplessness of personal circumstances.
The question is,
does that 1% also contribute 80% or more of taxes gathered? It is
doubtful. If anyone knows how to evade and avoid paying taxes, it is they.
Just as the young
family previously mentioned, needs no explanations about the fear of
which Benn speaks, so ME victims need no explanations about lack of
choices, eroding of confidence and the over-riding fear of how they
are going to cope with the coming day.
Will I be strong
enough to take a shower? Am I going to be able to prepare a meal?
How will I get the laundry done? Have I enough money to pay the
electricity bill or should I pay the rent this week instead?
re these the
benefits of being sick to which chief puppet, Simon Wessely, refers
as he jerks about on the end of his strings?
Is this what previous generations fought for?
Is this what we pay our elected representatives in parliament and congress for?
Who laid the foundations?
Who gave the stamp of approval for the rich to rob
those who do not have the means with which to protect themselves?
certainly had its share of problems before George W. Bush took over
the Oval Office, but the day he triumphantly moved into the White
House under very dubious circumstances, was the day the writing on
the wall sent an unmistakable message to the rest of the world
which, in one way or another, has been sorely affected.
interest to anyone with health issues, is that there are four times
as many health care lobbyists as there are members of Congress
That goes a long way to explaining why the costs of medicines are
outside the reach of many US citizens.
office, George W. Bush must have felt proud to have played his part
in reducing the WHO rating of the US health system to number 37
after France (1st), Italy (2nd), Singapore (6th), Japan (10th),
United Kingdom (18th). He must also feel proud that (for example):
(From the documentary, Sicko):
A baby born in El Salvador has a better chance of surviving than a baby born in Detroit.
According to the
United Nations Statistics Division, Population and Vital Statistics
Report, the rate of infant deaths per thousand in El Salvador is 10.5.
"Table 3, Live births, deaths, and infant deaths, latest
available year, June 15, 2007."
According to the
Michigan Department of Community Health, the rate of infant deaths
for Detroit is 15.9 per thousand. "Number of Infant Deaths, Live
Births and Infant Death Rates for Selected Cities of Residence, 2005
and 2001 2005 Average," Michigan Department of Community Health Web Site,
More telling facts and figures can be found on:
The last decades
represent an era of corruption in the major western democracies such
as the world has never seen before.
We are now
hearing what many have long suspected Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld
approved a policy of torture and humiliation in dealing with
prisoners of war. The Geneva Convention, it seemed, was for other
nations to obey while the United States did exactly as its president
and his supporters pleased. They pursued their policy with an
educated refinement that put Idi Amin and Sadam Hussein in the
This is not about
despots and dictatorships in third world nations. Nor is it about
the mafia with its associated murder and mayhem. This is about the
two most powerful and wealthy nations on earth. It is about the sick
person who the authorities threw from a hospital bed into the
streets; it is about innocent people incarcerated in jails and
mental institutions because that was convenient for someone with the
power to do it. It is about children who are denied proper care and
nutrition because drugs are a far more lucrative way of disciplining
and controlling the symptoms of malnutrition.
The move to
impeach both George W. Bush and Tony Blair for crimes against their
countries and humanity says it all.
Even as tortured
prisoners screamed, certain members of Congress made private
fortunes from the sales of arms and pharmaceuticals. In Britain,
Tony Blair gave his support and approval for these and more crimes.
The BBC News on
the 27 August, 2004, ran the headline: Blair impeachment campaign
starts. At that stage he was being charged with:
- Misleading Parliament and the country over Iraq.
- Negligence and incompetence over weapons of mass destruction.
- Undermining the constitution.
- Entering into a secret agreement with US president.
Ten Reasons Congress Must Investigate Bush Administration Crimes.
Bush may have
gone, his term completed, but the US and the world are left to deal
with his achievements. Blair was finally forced to resign or face
impeachment, but instead of having to fend for himself in the big,
wide world, it was a case of the old boys’ network finding him a
cushy number as Middle East envoy. Roy Bremner, British
impressionist, comedian and playwright compares the posting to that
of a mosquito engaged to find a cure for malaria. Thank God for the
British sense of humour!
But where does
all this leave those who suffer ME, GWS and other poorly understood
conditions? We live in an environment of secrecy; of a public being
misled; of blatant lies and criminal behaviour covered up with the
approval of governments. Where does the buck stop? Who are the
people who are making fortunes out of contrived diseases?
It is not hard to
understand why Claire Wilson was chosen to interview Simon Wessely
for the New Scientist recently it certainly cannot have been for her
journalistic abilities. At least 99.9% of us were brought up to
respect the medical profession. The letters after the name were
enough to ensure the figurative bowing and scraping that was
demanded no matter how incompetent or how lacking some were as
doctors and human beings.
afforded and affords sadists the opportunity to abuse their powers
and no matter how gross their behaviour, the support has rarely been
for the victim the patient. However illogical and unintelligent the
doctor; however flawed his diagnosis and treatment, he was never
questioned. He did as he pleased and was accountable to no one. If a
doctor said it, then it must be so and his word was law.
Then along came Simon Wessely.
Where in history has a western doctor engendered such public anger and dislike
as has he and by extension, his followers?
There has to be a
reason yet journalist, Claire Wilson, who interviewed Wessely on
behalf of the New Scientist, did not challenge his contention that
the hate mail he CLAIMS to receive, goes with the territory. Such
public abhorrence does not go with the territory and never has. It
seems the editor of the New Scientist has his own place in the ranks
of the puppet brigade.
The ME community
in the UK was particularly hard hit when the Countess of Mar, long
time champion of the cause in the House of Lords, switched sides.
The organizers of the recent conference in the US talked of exciting
progress with a diagnostic test just around the next corner. All
were encouraged to make a donation to the planned research.
When it became
apparent that CBT was included in these exciting developments with
what appeared to be an endorsement from Nancy Klimas, I put my
papers away. Too many puppets, too many puppeteers.
But the worst
news of all, was the Judicial Review decision. In their article NICE
Guidelines - What’s Next?, Invest in ME stated the following:
Though NICE, with
their well-paid lawyers and establishment machine behind them, have
won the Judicial Review brought against them by ME patients this is
a pyrrhic victory.
The fact that yet
another group of patients have forced NICE to have to defend its
policies and guidelines - guidelines meant to make the lives of
those same patients better - shows how flawed the NICE organisation
is and how little trust patients have in its approach and its
True to an extent, but also naive.
This decision represents something far more serious than even NICE.
understand. We understand there is political motivation to ignore
the suffering of desperately sick people. We have become used to its
lack of ethics in pushing the psychiatric barrow and in refusing to
acknowledge the masses of physiological and scientific research
currently available. By engaging in this behaviour, it joins fellow
puppets in shouting to the world that theirs is an agenda that has
nothing to do with truth.
In making the
following comments, I speak for myself and no one else. I do not
accuse. I simply state fact.
If we cannot trust the judiciary to be fair, open and honest, who can we trust?
If presidents and
prime ministers can be corrupt, and if they can allow and even
encourage corruption to spread throughout the class of society to
which they belong, then judges, too, can be corrupt or at the very
least, negligent. It has happened in the past and it will certainly
happen again in the future.
I know the
standard of work the plaintiffs presented as evidence. I know it was
factual and meticulously researched, and referenced. I know it was
written in clear, concise language with consideration for the
readers ease and convenience. I know this because I am familiar with
the work of the person who did a great deal of it.
What I don’t know
is how any impartial person, judge or otherwise, could dismiss such
evidence out of hand. I do not understand how such a person can
consider that current psychological opinions and treatments are
adequate when many of the victims of this cruel disease have already
died and others are dying. Did the judge cover his wig with a black
cloth before handing down the death sentence?
comprehend how an impartial person can disregard the WHOs
categorization of ME as a neurological disease. We expect that from
the psychiatric fraternity who have their own agenda, but the
judiciary as well? I fail to see how an impartial person would not
find in favour of appropriate tests to be carried out on patients,
and recommend that research funding be awarded to disciplines other
Did the judge
even flick through the evidence presented by the plaintiffs? Did he
even at any time, intend to read it? Did he think that if the
plaintiffs wasted their money on a fruitless review, they would
think twice about making another challenge in the future? Was he got
at by the puppets and/or the puppeteers? Is he himself a puppet? Is
he privy to the cover up surrounding these diseases and was he
playing his part in that deception? Did he allow personal prejudices
to dictate his decision? Does he have a conflict of interest?
In regard to ME,
decisions made in the UK and the US generally affect us in New
Zealand in some way and at some time. I do not accuse, but as an ME
victim who has been declared terminally ill due to heart
complications, I would like an explanation.
Experience has taught me not to hold my breath.
Patients Rights Campaigner
19 March, 2009