June 05, 2009

Compulsory Vaccination or Low Grade Authoritarianism

Wrong answer By Martin J. Walker
I'm deep in the middle of preparing the Parents Voice book Vol. II and getting ready to travel to London for the next dollop of the GMC hearing. However, I couldn't let the new information about the Joint Council on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) go without making some comment on it. Especially when I saw what people where saying on the new autism initiative steering group (nai), for example 'it's the next step towards compulsory vaccination'. Not that this is completely wrong, it's just that the matter is more complex than this and fits into an intellectual position with regard to the State and pediatricians, in an apparently Liberal society, in a more complicated way. Unless we get our analysis right we don't know what our campaigning objectives are.

Lets look for a moment at Horton voicing the views of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the matter of Pediatricians and the GMC, this morning Friday 24th May on the Radio 4 Today programme. Horton who appeared for the prosecution in the GMC fitness to practice hearing against Wakefield, Murch and Walker - Smith, is the Editor of The Lancet and his immediate on line boss at Elsevier, Lancet's publisher, is a non-executive Chair of the GKS board. There is, of course absolutely no excuse or rational reason, for one of the major medical journal publishers to be controlled by pharmaceutical company interests. While giving evidence against Wakefield accusing him of conflict of interest, Horton, however, thinks his connection to GSK is OK. Only recently Elsevier's credibility was shot down in flames during an ongoing Vioxx civil claim for damages trial in Melbourne, Australia where it was said that they published at least four fake journals in order to progress drugs marketing.

On the Today programme Horton argued in relation to the Southall case - struck off by the GMC and then not allowed back by the high court on Appeal - that society is giving pediatricians mixed messages. Horton suggests that children need protecting from their parents and the people best placed to do this are pediatricians. We have given them the responsibility of keeping a watch on children, so we must give them a free reign of responsibility and they should be immune from prosecution or regulatory procedures before the GMC

Of course, this vapid argument is utterly wrong, millions of parents have agreed that a whole series of people take responsibility for children in our complex society, from; child-minders, teachers, doctors of all kinds (I notice that Horton didn't include gastroenterologists with pediatricians), psychiatrists, psychologists, bus drivers, taxi drivers, football coaches, community music teachers, etc. etc. However, the difference between all these professionals and pediatricians is that only pediatricians (psychiatrists and psychologists too in some circumstances) have an almost complete right to take a child out of the family and give up the child into the authority of the family court.

Why is this important? I would argue that it is important in contemporary society principally because of the role that pediatricians play in the vaccine industry. Let's look now at the new inclusion in the JCVI 'vaccine' constitution: 'All children have a right to vaccination'. This is a contemporary classic of the authoritarian professional. It's actually much better than stating categorically that all parents must present their children for compulsory vaccination.

Why is it better? Because it does not depend upon any deep, legal or intellectual argument about whether the parents have rights over their children. This matter has been pre-decided, the State and State professionals have the legal and moral rights over children; parents are excluded from any discussion of rights. In fact the designation of 'the right of the child to vaccination' hands over the parental responsibility for the unspeaking child directly to the drug company, because many pediatricians and professionals are in the pay of, or loyal to, Big Pharma.

Contrary to what someone wrote this morning on the nai-group, that parents should now get their statements and advice ready to argue the toss about their child's vaccination, no parent is going to be given the legal space to do this. A child has a right to vaccination, full stop.

If we use another absurd example, perhaps it would show up the motives behind this sudden bestowing of rights on inarticulate children. What if a group of nutritionists framed a law or a regulation based on their scientific work which stated clearly, backed up by evidence from research carried out in Hackney North East London (some research from Hackney has concluded that one third of school children go to school without any breakfast - or only a slice of bread). If they were given a choice by 'law makers', to either make good nutrition compulsory, that is, all children in Hackney had to have a balanced nutritional breakfast. Who would enforce this? How could the courts remedy it - would children who didn't  get a breakfast be provided it by the local authority? Clearly the answer to both questions is 'No'.

The State and its agencies be in a much better position if they said, 'Every Child in London has the right to a breakfast?' How would the local authority police this, it's easy, isn't it, any child who was arrested or caught in class making trouble (or getting measles) would be asked if they had had a proper breakfast. And the sanctions applied against them would put all other parents in Hackney and the rest of the country in fear and dread.

Of course this scenario missed out one thing and that is the protection of food industry interests. Lets suppose that the original research on nutrition was financed by an industrial egg company. This, of course would make the whole scheme even more suspect. Another absurd example would be if Manchester United football team pressed for a law or regulation that every child in England had 'a right' to play football professionally and built into this regulation that Manchester United would hold and finance the trials and have the first opportunity to offer apprenticeships to any talented youngsters. It is clearly the creation of monopoly markets by legislation. In either case, the law is made to favour vested interests and not in fact to favour the child or it's specious 'rights'.

If we combine the above two pronouncements, protection for pediatricians and 'rights for children' with the government order last April that the JCVI (read pharmaceutical vested interests) from then on, would be solely in control of all vaccine issues, we can see clearly how the government has helped the vaccine industry enact a tripartite assault on British children. However, the objective is not simply to introduce compulsory vaccination, but to hand all legal responsibility for vaccination to, pediatricians, the family courts and the pharmaceutical companies. The most fascinating political aspect of this for British people is that New Labour is getting away with privatising an aspect of the legal system; the ultimate rule of vested interests.

I personally can only see one way out of this situation now - apart from being saved by a new government and this is in no way definite. In Britain the whole of the vaccination law and practice will come to depend on a number of cases occurring over the next few years, not where parents object to vaccination, but where children of parents who object are then seriously damaged by vaccination. Criminal law cases for assault will have to be taken against doctors and pediatricians who damage children's lives. 
Sympathetic doctors will have to keep watch over any cases that seem to be vulnerable from the first instance of the child's vaccination so that a credible medical history can be given in court. At the same time rational, intelligent and humane scientists will have to step up their quest for the factors that make children vulnerable to vaccination. 

At the same time we all have to keep our eyes open for any infraction, however slight, involving vested interests of any pediatrician, drug company, or vaccine industry participant, that shows they do not have a higher right than parents. And, of course, the Parents Voice in this matter becomes even more important to our battle. It is my feeling that parents in Britain need a legally enforced charter to guard against the encroachments of the State and State agencies, in the life of the family. While it has to be admitted that numerous crimes are committed by adults against children within the family, these cannot be righted by crimes committed against the family by the State.

Perhaps above all we must start seeing the situation in its many complex forms and stop thinking that there will be one hammer blow labelled 'compulsory vaccination'. Our campaigning strategy depends upon a proper analysis. The British State is Machiavellian and it is not about to bring in an unenforceable 'compulsory' vaccination programme.

Martin J Walker is an investigative writer who has written four books about aspects of the medical industrial complex. He started focusing on conflict of interest, intervention by pharmaceutical companies in government and patient groups in 1993. Over the last three years he has been a campaign writer for the parents of MMR vaccine damaged children covering every day of the now two year hearing of the General Medical Council that is trying Dr Wakefield and two other doctors. His GMC accounts can be found at www.cryshame.com, and his own website is, www.slingshotpublications.com.