Cant hear you, see you, and wont speak to you and I dont care how you voted.

June 22, 2008

Last week in Ireland the public voted NO to the Lisbon treaty. The Irish are not anti european and we have benefitted greatly from the EU, the Irish voted NO because they are concerned that unelected autocrats have too much say in their lives . The NO view was expressed in the poster below which was posted all over Dublin. Peter Dixon could have used this poster in the GCC Elections scraped on to the council and has secured his place for "life" with no oposition. DSCF3180 When I saw the poster I was reminded of my 6 months on the GCC and the plans for reforming this circus which is slowly killing the chiropractic profession. Instead of monkeys we could have Peter Dixon and Margaret Coats head on the poster not sure who to give the third spot to there are a number of possibilities. Two years ago 77% of the chiropractic profession said NO, If they dared to do a survey today I have no doubt the figure would be in the 80s. I told Peter Dixon many times De nial is not a river in Egypt.

In 2003 he ballsed up the ECU and now him and Margaret are about to put the final touches to their GCC project which puts regulation into the hands of an unelected political elite. Ernst and Singh 2008 have noted that chiropractors are twice as likely to be subjected to disciplinary actions as doctors and the rate for fraud was nine times higher. Sexual boundary transgressions were three times higher than for medical doctors. Is that because chiropractors are inherently bad people, who have twice as many practitioners before the PCC than osteopaths, or is it because the General Osteopathis Council got sensible legal advice on how to interpret their legislation. Not the advice the GCC wanted, the GCC got a different opinion which meant people like Bridget GIlmore had to appear before the PCC because her cat dropped a few hairs on the carpet and Wayne Whittingham had to appear because he told his patient to chew gum challenging the advice of a dentist. While the Government’s programme for reforming the regulatory bodies would seem like a godsend, The chiropractic profession should be very concerned about what is about to happen. Currently there should be 13 chiropractic members on the GCC council and seven lay people. coats-on-sun

Reform means there will be six less chiropractors on the GCC and the seven that will be there will be appointed rather than elected. Peter and Margaret Coats will ensure that compliant chiropractors are appointed on to the committees and council. Everybody now knows what happens to chiropractors who rock the boat. “New GCC” is to supposed to have “faster, more transparent procedures and develop meaningful accountability to the public and the health service”. The amusing thing about this is that the UK Government is relying on Margaret and Peter to produce “New GCC”. Those two were anything but accountable during my time on the GCC. The writing was on the wall when we were told in the late 90s that we had to have a medical doctor on our regulatory body, and that only medical doctors could access if a chiropractor was physically able to practice That was only the thin end of the wedge, the GCC has charged Chiropractors for advising patients to stop taking painkillers, how long before the "New GCC" decides Ernst is right and the benefits of cervical manipulation do not out weigh the risks. . I say with confidence that time is running out for chiropractic as a separate and distinct profession in the UK. Like the Irish dont let the political elite bully you into giving up control of your profession "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State". Joseph Goebbels

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17 Responses to Cant hear you, see you, and wont speak to you and I dont care how you voted.

  1. Rhea Ezpeleta on May 16, 2010 at 15:42

    Awesome way of thinking. I like it. Many thanks for posting

  2. Jeff Keogh on April 22, 2010 at 21:59


    You seem to know a great deal about how Simon was thinking. Are you Simon Singh’s chiro alter-ego? Hello? Is that you, Simon?

    This discussion of evidence is the one I’ve been having with Richard. There is, in fact, no good scientific evidence that chiropractic can have an effect beyond the musculoskeletal. This is what the ‘plethora’ showed.

    So again I must disagree. Had it gone to full blown trial, it would have been the BCA who was exposed, not Simon Singh. Under Justice Eady’s interpretation, Simon would have had to try to demonstrate that the BCA were knowingly being deceitful (which I think is shown by the ‘plethora), which may have been difficult.

    However, the giving of testimony, and the dredging through the scientific evidence that it entailed, would have dreadfully shown up the BCA.

    Eady’s interpretation did not stand, however, so that defence would have been unnecessary.

    Have you read Jack of Kent’s blog on the subject? He’s been giving a very good informed commentary all the way through.

    Had I been making decisions for the BCA, what would I have done. You must excuse my fatuous remark here, but for a start I would not have touted chiropractic for non-musculoskeletal indications! Alt-med’s free run with making rubbish health claims is coming to an end, I think. Homeopathy is next, and indications are that it’s going to take a hammering orders of magnitude greater than this little setback for the BCA. Of course alt-med will never go away, because there will always be people who believe in it. But it has grown to the point where it’s becoming mainstream, and that is a serious public health issue.

    Sorry about that. That started to become a bit general.

  3. Paul on April 22, 2010 at 13:50

    Hi Jeff

    Yes between different rooms LOL (-:

    The regulator represents the biggest numbers in the UK followed by the BCA, mctimmoney therapists and then the UCA and SCA.

    I am sure he picked the BCA because he knew they would react and he thought he knew how they would react. The Mctimmoney representatives are too sly and the UCA and SCA would have realised it was a no win situation and they hadn’t the finances.

    The regulator however would have been a different matter.

    There is more than a jot of evidence (just look through Richard’s writings alone), the problem lies with the regulators insistence upon all practice being evidence based (read RCT – which believe it or not the BCA insisted they do). The BCA weren’t decitful just not very forward thinking.

    Personally I do believe it would have developed into a pissing contest without a doubt – my dick is bigger than you dick sort of thing and the only winner would have been Simon Singh’s PR.

    I have no doubt this was his plan – I doubt he ever believed the BCA were stupid enough to bring him to court when they couldn’t possibly have won. I do believe however Simon Singh would have been made to look unknowledgeable and an all round prat under cross examination and that both parties would have been sent away with a non judgement bearing each others costs.

    This is probably what the BCA were advised once Simon Singh’s fair comment defence was permitted and hence they pulled out on a costs issue. Pity really since they would have been vindicated and Simon Singh outed for what he was but the BCA were obviously thinking only of cost.

    Incidently if you had been making the decisions for the BCA Jeff how would you have acted?

  4. Jeff Keogh on April 22, 2010 at 12:28

    I don’t know why he didn’t have a crack at the regulator, if it is indeed true what you say, and that they were advertising treatments that had no evidential backing. Perhaps he should have.

    My take was that he questioned the BCA’s choice to promote unsupported treatments because the BCA was the body that represented the greatest number of practitioners in the UK. I’m quite happy to be shown otherwise.

    Why do you think he selected only the BCA?

    Also, isn’t the Mctimmoney organisation only a percentage of all chiropractors, whereas the BCA is a bigger tent?

    No-one was asking for a pissing contest. Simon Singh wrote that there was no evidence that chiropractic can help with colic, bedwetting etc. Pretty easy to combat, really; just stump up with the evidence. No pissing contest – just prove him wrong.

    Instead, they shot themselves in the foot. Twice. Not happy to blow their toes off by initiating legal action, they then went to work on the other foot with the ‘plethora’, which not only confirmed the paucity of evidence for chiropractic’s utility outside musculoskeletal treatment, but demonstrated that the BCA had cherry picked the least-bad studies from much better studies showing no effect.

    They demonstrated that they new there was not a jot of evidence. Simon may even, on the basis of the ‘plethora’, have been able to demonstrate that the BCA was indeed being deceitful. Intentionally pushing treatments that they knew were fraudulent, as Judge Eady would have put it.

  5. Paul on April 22, 2010 at 09:43

    Hi Jeff

    The article was indeed a PR piece for his book and included his ‘fair’ but ill informed comments about chiropractic. However he purposely targeted the BCA – why not the UK profession’s regulator who had the same claims he disputed on their website?

    What about the other professional representatives in the UK, the UCA or the SCA?

    What about the Mctimmoney therapists who quickly admitted their claims to chiropractic efficacy were bogus?

    Jeff why the BCA?

    because Simon Singh wanted a response to inflate his PR …

    I do agree the BCA play was the wrong play but really would you want to get into a pissing contest in a paper that is anti chiropractic with some one they are putting forth as the scientific expert?

    And it was the profession took the hammering not the BCA …

  6. Jeff Keogh on April 21, 2010 at 22:09

    Hi Paul,

    I accept, he did so in the article. However, the article was about some of the nonscientific claims of chiro, so I’m not sure how he could have done otherwise.

    Absolutely, I agree with you. The BCA were not only entitled to respond, but indeed were obliged to respond. However, they chose not to respond in a manner befitting their position. The Guardian offered them the space to rebut Simon and address his claims.

    This would have been the measured and correct response – attack the claims, no the man. The BCA decided to play the man. They deserved what they got, which was a PR hammering.

  7. Paul on April 21, 2010 at 13:48

    Hi Jeff it was precisely because he singled out and mentioned the BCA that they responded.

    Whilst they responded overly strongly and in the wrong manner, they were entitled to respond and perhaps should have in the same manner Richard did.

  8. Jeff Keogh on April 20, 2010 at 21:54

    Hi Paul,

    I don’t think he did single out the BCA. If you read his writings, he has a dig at all peddlers of fairy dust.

    The BCA singled themselves out by their out-of-proportion response.

  9. Paul on April 20, 2010 at 13:37

    Hi Jeff

    I think that is coming to the nub of it – why did he single out the BCA for his ‘fair’ but prejudicial comment?

  10. Jeff Keogh on April 20, 2010 at 11:59

    You’re absolutely right. Simon Singh should never have dragged the BCA into the courts!

    Since he brought this ridiculous and unwarranted libel action, it’s only fair that he should have to pay!

    Oh, wait…

  11. Paul on April 20, 2010 at 09:31

    Whichever way you cut it guys Singh claimed it so far had cost him over £200K when clearly it never had.

    Are you serious that the BCA should pay his costs? Why when it is clear for some uknown reason Simon SIngh had targeted the BCA.

    He should pay for his PR.

  12. Tony Lloyd on April 19, 2010 at 16:08


    Simon Singh never claimed to have spent £200k. He claimed that the costs of both parties added to £200k. The £20k figure, for which you cite the FT, is originally from Simon’s solicitor. It refers to the amount Simon will be out of pocket after likely recovery of costs.

    I don’t know where the £60k figure comes from and so cannot comment on it. Suffice to say that two out of three figures touted by you as claims of expenditure by Simon were nothing of the sort and it is bogus to make out that they were!

  13. Jeff Keogh on April 19, 2010 at 02:32


    As I understand it, the £20,000 figure is what Simon Singh will be out of pocket AFTER the BCA has paid his costs in a best case scenario.

    I couldn’t follow the FT link to read what the article said, because I’m not a subscriber.

  14. Paul on April 17, 2010 at 10:03

    Hi Richard

    Here is the BCA Statement:

    And Singh’s costs continue to drop – now £20K according to the FT

    I would agree Richard I would think Simon Singh is indeed relieved he would have been destroyed in cross examination and I don’t think his arrogant ego would have recovered.

  15. Richard Lanigan on April 17, 2010 at 01:04

    When Simon wrote that article he knew very little about the chiropractic profession. I have always suspected it was Edzard Ernst who wrote the chapter on chiropractic in their book Trick or Treatment and Simon wrote the article in the Guardian based on that information. Simon says he wrote the chapter either way there were only 3 references in it all by Ernst.
    The BCA has always presented it self as the acceptable face of UK chiropractic and thats why the story worked, and as usual they made a unilateral decision to sue with a disregard to the rest of the profession, just as MacTimoney did when they decided to remove the websites. Its not sceptiucs that have brought the profession to its knees. Its apathy and a lack of leadership.
    Simon never expected the BCA to reacted the way they did, this is how they have maintained the status quo in the association for years. This is the association that refused to implement Human rights principles into its disciplinary code of practice in 2004, they thought the GCC how to operate. I will repost the e-mail Has the BCA lost its Integrity” from 2003.To be fair to Simon he had the balls and the money to hang in there when the Guardian pulled the article and this gave the BCA the confidence to throw their weight around. Never occurred to them this was a nice little meal ticket for the lawyers.
    I dont believe either party wanted to go to court at this time. Simon is a hero for free speech, however I dont think he would have faired so well being cross examined regarding his “Fair comment” on the BCA and their claims regarding colic. Simon has always maintained there is no biological reason why a spinal adjustment would help asthma, colic, otis media, the operative word being help rather than cure or treatment. The cross examination would have focused on that and he would have been way out of his depth. I have told him a number of times I would never debate him about particle physics, but would love to debate him or Ernst regarding spinal care and wellbeing. The story is being reported as a victory when the court merely ordered a reply and when the BCA should be fighting their corner. There is no comment on their website, I expect them to try and deflect attention towards the UCA and McTimoney as the “Unscientific” part of the profession

  16. Paul on April 16, 2010 at 13:12

    Hi Richard

    The reality is there are people like Singh who do not study the evidence carefully to arrive at a reasonable opinion and then expect to relay this opinion, despite it being prejudiced, inciteful and ill informed, and expect it to be received as conclusive.

    It’s a fine line between fact and comment and Simon Singh played it beautifully. Scientific and healthcare prejudice at its best masquerading as skepticism.

    I also agree it was too much for the BCA to witch hunt Simon Singh – the fact is he was stating an opinion to which he was prejudiced if not ill informed, something commentators do everyday.

    However rather than saying the chiropractic profession were happily promoting bogus treatments Singh for some unknown reason singled out the BCA. Why did he not single out the GCC who, at that time, had the same promotion on their website? Why not the UK UCA? Why not the McTimmoneys who have no evidence base at all of their own?

    Why did he single out the BCA?

    Personally I think he did so on purpose to bait a reputable yet politically naive organization that would rise to it and who had limited resources unlike the UK GCC.

    BTW has anyone noticed how Singh’s claims of having spent £200K, suddenly became £100K and then this morning £60K? I wonder how much it cost the BCA?

    Thankfully the BCA executive (for reasons not yet fully unknown) have stepped back. It is probably the first positive decision they have collectively made for the profession in fifty years.

    What now of the hundreds of complaint stimulated and to go through the GCC?

  17. fed up on April 16, 2010 at 11:34

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