Where do I start this story, how did a plastic paddy, a child of the 60s get elected to sit on a UK regulatory board with a load of suits most of whom have nothing better to do with their time. Since I was a child politics has been very much part of my families life. My Grandfather was one of the Tiperary players on that infamous day when British soldiers shot dead 14 people in Croke Park including my grandfathers best friend their goalkeeper Mike Hogan. The day was known as bloody Sunday and was the beginning of the end of British rule in 26 of the counties of Ireland.
Fifty two years later there was a second bloody Sunday in Ireland this time British soldiers killed 13 people protesting in Derry about the lack of civil rights for Catholics in Northern Ireland. The following day my mother was arrested in the public gallery of the House of Commons at the end of the emergency debate when the Tory home secretary Reginald Maudling warned Irish SDLP MP against supporting “illegal marches” in Northern Ireland.
The press reported how my mother was hauled out of the public gallery, struggling and shouting , “Murdering Tory bastards”. Its fair to say the one thing that was instilled in us as children was the concept of social justice. As a three year old in 1960 my mother pushed me in my pram on the ban the bomb march in Trafalgar square. Aged 11 she took me to the Anti Vietnam marches on St Patricks day 1968 that would end in a riot with hundreds arrested, There was also anti apartheid marches in 1969.
To my mothers disappointment I did not have my mothers passion for correcting the worlds wrongs. The 70s for me was about sex, drugs, rock and football, I moved to Denmark in the 80s, politics for me amounted to making sure I remembered to remove the Sun newspaper from my bag, any Murdock newspaper was not allowed in our house after the Wapping protests.
I trained as a PE teacher unfortunately not being much of a conformist teaching was not for me, went to Copenhagen for a weekend, I was standing on the walking street and saw this beautiful tall blonde girl walk by, my eyes started to follow her, then I noticed another one coming my way I asked her the time and she told me she loved talking English, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, I stayed in Copenhagen for twelve years, opened Scandinavians first Aerobic centre which brought me into contact with even more Danish girls. The Sweat Shop was a major success and brought me in contact with many of Denmark’s elite sports people at a time there was a lack of knowledge in preparing athletes to perform outside eastern Europe, I travelled in the former Soviet union and East Germany and applied these training principles to many of Denmarks elite. When Team Denmark was set up in 84, Sweat Shop was given the honour of being the first Team Denmark training Center.
During my time in Denmark I was first exposed to Chiropractic, one of the Sweat Shop clients Birgitte Westphall and her boyfriend Ole Wessung had trained as a Chiropractor at Palmer college in the US. Ole became a partner in Sweat Shop, an entrepreneur Ole pioneered “Bycyklen” (city bikes) and developed one of the biggest occupational health companies in Europe. Seeking a change I thought it would be fun to study chiropractic and enlisted at AECC in 1991. Ole’s parting words to me were whatever you do don’t get involved in chiropractic politics, I should have listened.
Chiropractors are a strange bunch, at the extremes are those who want to be somebody but don’t have the intellectual resources to achieve much beyond preaching and selling to the converted. On the one side are those not clever enough to get into medschool, they recognise the benefits of chiropractic but rather than devote themselves to the chiropractic profession they devote themselves to gaining acceptance within their first choice career medicine. The rest accept these people as the representatives of their chosen tribe don’t get involved in politics and provide chiropractic care to their patients and occasionally whing when their efforts at building this profession are undermined by the incompetence of the donkeys leading the profession, I thought I could change all that, as I had when student President at the Anglo Europrean College of Chiropractic however I misjudged the depts the powers that be were prepared to descend to maintain the status quo.
I documented everything and have kept all the magazines a papers since I joined the profession, its always worthwhile reminding the donkeys what they promised in the past.In 2002 I was an expert in one of the first cases to come before the GCC. Paid £27,000 for my work I could see how the regulatory process would bleed the profession dry and blew the whistle on what was going on behind the scenes not that anybody listened. In 2004 I received my masters in health promotion was awarded a fellowship by the College of Chiropractors. In May 2007 I was elected by the profession onto the General Chiropractic Council and was thrown off six months later. In January 2009 I resigned from the chiropractic Register in the UK.