Thursday, 8 November 2012

More on Jimmy Savile and Andrew Wakefield - the real similarities

That repugnant anti-vax loon John Stone has had another go at linking the vile activities of Jimmy Savile to vaccination, but he's got it completely arse-about-face.

He's read my piece from a few days ago in which I ridiculed him for trying to link Savile to religious exemption - I still have no idea what the fuck he thought he was saying - and after accusing me of being Brian Deer again (*sigh*) - he tries another angle, although, as ever with Stone, it's barely more coherent.

His new angle is to suggest that if "he remained protected and possibly assisted for more than 50 years by the great and the powerful", that shows that those same great and powerful have obviously covered up his imagined MMR scandal. He goes on to mention a couple of other cover-ups to show that these imaginary "great and powerful" are quite capable of covering things up. At least, I think that's what he's banging on about. But he's wrong, that's not where the similarities lie.

First of all, in the case of Savile, people did raise concerns, and had them dismissed out of hand, with no investigation.

Andrew Wakefield raised concerns about the MMR vaccine, and these were dismissed, but only after millions of pounds and thousands of hours were spent on trying to replicate his results, investigating aspects of his work in case there was something in his (always rather unlikely) hypothesis came to nothing. All those resources have produced not a shred of evidence that MMR causes autism.

"So they're not similar at all Becky!" I hear you cry. "Hold on there", I reply. "There are similarities - just not in the way Stone thinks."

First of all, during his lifetime, Savile was lauded for the work he did for children. His fund raising for Stoke Mandeville hospital was frequently in the papers and on TV. His most famous TV programme, "Jim'll Fix It" made the wildest dreams of children come true, often thanks to celebrities supporting him; "my very good friends The. Red. Arrows. Very busy people", Iron Maiden, various Doctor Whos, Muhammed Ali.

Andrew Wakefield is always keen to be seen as a brave, maverick doctor who's only doing his work for the benefit of the children - and has been supported over the years by well known faces (some of since whom have retracted their support) - Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy, Ian Hislop and Private Eye, The Daily Mail and Spectator's Mad Melanie Phillips among them.

It turned out Jimmy Savile was actually attacking children and patients.

It turned out that Andrew Wakefield had attacked children by ordering non-clinically indicated colonoscopies and lumbar punctures, and had taken blood from children at parties, later laughing about how they cried and fainted.

When suspicions were voiced about Savile (all the way through his career, starting with his club DJ days in Leeds) and his activities, he responded with threats of violence.

Wakefield's supporters have threatened a reporter from the New York Times; "Be nice to him, or we will hurt you."

When violence wasn't an option, Savile would resort to legal threats. In the 1980s he threatened the comedian Jerry Sadowitz with legal action unless he withdrew a live album on which Sadowitz accused Savile of being a paedophile.

Wakefield is famously keen to fling around his legal muscle. He's taken out various cases against investigative reporter Brian Deer (and lost), Channel 4, and is currently engaged in a laughable suit from his bolt-hole in Texas.

Savile was finally exposed by investigative reporting, showing that his sham "good works" for charity and children were purely to benefit himself by ultimately allowing him access to his victims at hospitals and in television studios.

Wakefield was finally exposed by investigative reporting showing that his sham "good work" for children and the wider autistic community was only done to benefit himself by ultimately allowing him access to vast piles of cash, from legal aid and parents terrified into parting with cash by his lies.

So, it seems John Stone has a point. There are many similarities between Andrew Wakefield and Jimmy Savile - just not perhaps in ways he might have considered.

Please note, I am not in any way suggesting that Andrew Wakefield is a paedophile.


Science Mom said...

I don't know about Melanie Phillips but Jenny McCarthy is still a fangurl. She wrote the forward to his wretched book, "Callous Disregard" and Wakefield is a regular at her AutismOne conference.

Anonymous said...

John Stone isn't the only one at it. This homeopathy swilling woman compares the gorgeous Dr Ranj to the vile Saville, then, pathetically claims to be doing no such thing