Wednesday, 22 September 2010

You'd think John Stone would be pro-vaccine, really...

Given that John "Cock" Stone is a self-proclaimed expert on Mozart, and given what he's written about him, you'd expect him to realise that most of the vaccine-preventable diseases can be extremely nasty - and are potentially fatal. Indeed, according to Stone himself, writing in "The Mozart Compendium" (quote from

John Stone writing in ‘The Mozart Compendium’ lists eleven serious
illnesses which wracked our brother’s short life. The first, in 1762, was
scarlet fever. Bro Mozart was only four. The following year he suffered two
infantile bouts of rheumatic fever. He had whooping cough, when he nearly
suffocated, typhoid, smallpox, hepatitis, and several bouts of rheumatic fever,
among other illnesses.

He now tagteams with Clifford Miller, claiming that so-called "childhood illnesses" are mostly harmless.

What a twat.

Ref: STONE,JOHN, Mozart’s illnesses and death in The
Mozart Compendium
(H.C. Robbins Landon ed.),
London: Thames and Hudson, 1990

Saturday, 18 September 2010

John Stone flogs dead horse - still a cock - no shock there then

John Stone again seems intent on proving himself incapable of arguing himself out of a wet paper bag.  It's taken him two weeks to come up with what's frankly little more than a rehash of his usual "I'm right because I say I'm right - listen to my spin and lies" rants of the last few years.

Since he discovered that former Lib-Dem science spokesman Dr Evan Harris may have had a hand in the bringing low of Stone's personal love interest, Andrew Wakefield, Stone has turned his miniscule intellect on him.  Indeed, in the fortnight since Dr Harris wrote a very sensible piece in the Guardian about the Fletcher decision, and how, despite the spin put on it by the likes of Age of Autism, it's not any kind of admission that MMR causes autism, Stone has clearly spent his days and nights frothing over a load of bollocks that AoA have stuck on their blog.

Let's see what the swivel-eyed loon has to say;
In the aftermath of the Fletcher vaccine damage award case, former Liberal-Democrat MP and ‘science’ lobbyist Dr Evan Harris mounted a defence of MMR vaccine in a Guardian ‘political science’ blog (HERE), leaving all the usual questions unanswered, both the manifold questions about vaccine safety and policy

To an extent, yes, they're the "usual questions" - "usual" in that Stone keeps asking them - but they've been answered many, many times.  There is no evidence that vaccines, and specifically MMR, cause autism.  The only studies that suggest they do have been extremely small, badly conducted ones - usually involving Wakefield, or one of his team - which have been analysed in minute detail, and shown to be science-free rubbish.  Plenty of studies have, on the other hand, shown no association.

Where does Stone go from there?  Well, I'm not entirely sure, as he appears to be talking utter gobbledegook;
…and his own role in its defence including such issues as:
  • his bureaucratic fall-back position on vaccine damage ignoring legitimate parent concerns
  • how he helped precipitate the Wakefield affair but has failed to defend key points of GMC’s decision
  • his defence of controversial proponents of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy diagnosis Drs Meadow and Southall

Taking these points one by one;
  • What on earth is a "bureaucratic fall-back position on vaccine damage"? Dr Harris has a strong scientific background - I don't think he's likely to say that Stone et al are talking shit because some paper pusher's told him to. The man's a scientist and forms his views from the available evidence - not from rhetoric and quasi-religious belief (unlike Stone). At least, I think this is what Stone means. I could be entirely wrong.
  • Why, in an article about lack of association between autism and mercury is Dr Harris's involvement in bringing that fraud and liar Andrew Wakefield to book remotely relevant? MMR never had mercury in it. Additionally, why should Dr Harris feel the need to defend the GMC's ruling? Most of the charges were admitted, those that were contested were backed up by evidence, and only halfwits like John "Cock" Stone think otherwise.
  • What has the article to do with Drs Meadow and Southall?

Do I get the whiff of John Stone just looking for an excuse to throw everything he has (which amounts to the cube root of fuck all) at Dr Harris?

Still - let's carry on.

Stone then starts quoting his own comments on the story, as though they're fact;

Vaccines are not inherently safe and they are not very well tested, as Cochrane points out.

This is Stone cherry picking out of context quotes.  He is of the belief that the Cochrane Review of the available evidence on MMR indicates that there are still questions to be asked about the vaccine.  There aren't.  The abstract of the Cochrane Review actually says:
"Exposure to MMR was unlikely to be associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, autism or aseptic meningitis".

The plain language summary reads as follows:
" No credible evidence of an involvement of MMR with either autism or Crohn's disease was found."

Yes, the Cochrane Review points out that studies are not perfect, but then, that's partly the point of a Cochrane Review - to improve studies in the future. However, there's nothing in the review to suggest that there is any problem with MMR.

What actually happens in the real world is that even serious adverse effects are neither recorded or monitored

Yes they are, you cock. That's what the yellow card system is there for. It can be improved, certainly, but it's there, and unlike the VAERS database (which is often quoted as evidence by anti-vaxers), it's monitored, and results are taken seriously. The chances of a report of someone turning into the Incredible Hulk after a vaccine making it through are minimal.

Apparently Dr Harris ignored this. Are you surprised, Stone? These are points that you make every time you put rabid finger to spittle-flecked keyboard, and they're refuted by scientists and doctors every time. It's not all about you, y'know.

Stone then goes back to his second favourite subject - his fantasy lover, Andrew Wakefield.

No wonder the great interests were all so angry when Andrew Wakefield, John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch of the Royal Free Hospital stepped out of line and actually listened to the parents, and investigated their children’s medical history.

I'm not entirely sure who "the great interests" are supposed to be, but plenty people were angry - not because Wakefield et al were investigating anything, but because their "results" (later shown to be fraudulent, or in plain speak "lies") didn't support the conclusions that were drawn from their work.  It's not a conspiracy; Wakefield has been pilloried for unethical behaviour and lying.

Stone then gets on his high horse when Dr Harris doesn't respond to his pointless, repetitive questions about his involvement in helping Wakefield be finally brought before the beak.

John, let me explain something to you.  Dr Harris wrote the article.  The floor is then open for people to comment on the article, not to demand that they write another article, just for you, on an unrelated topic.  I know, next time you rewrite your fucking pointless diatribe, I'll show up, asking you questions about why the Pope has been covering up priestly paedophilia for decades, repeatedly, until my fucking keyboard wears out, then I'll post a diatribe on some shitty, ill-thought out American blog, give myself the pretentious title of "UK Editor" just because I live in the UK, ranting on about how John Stone supports child abuse* because he wouldn't reply to any of my questions.

Stone then proceeds to use the opportunity to rehash a few more of his personal theories and bleatings about the Wakefield affair,  continuing to berate Dr Harris for not answering his questions.  As I said before John;

"While you remain the internet's equivalent of the man dragging a broomhead down the street on a lead, shouting at invisible goblins and smelling of piss, it's unlikely anyone's going to give you the time of day."

Now that your pet hypotheses are being shot down again and again, why don't you just fuck off?

* True.  Opposing potentially life saving vaccines is, in my book, tantamount to child abuse.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Callous Disregard in "not very popular" shock.

Andrew Wakefield's book is now available for less than twelve dollars, new, on List price $26.95. Twelve dollars is about eight quid. Cheaper than an "Age of Autism Is full Of Shit" T-shirt, but with less street credibility.