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Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
6 months ago

The Lancet wears the disguise of a white lab coat and stethoscope, giving the impression of an agenda-free repository of unvarnished scientific truth. The truth is that it always has been, and remains, deeply partisan and acts as the in-house mag for medical activism. Its editor chooses to take sides in the political arena, to suit his own activist leanings.
Richard Horton was absolutely scathing of the Govt’s response to Covid, yet neither the BBC nor Guardian ever posited the question as to whether he was simply putting out his objective medical judgement, or – just maybe – if he was allowing his years of blatant antipathy towards the Tory party, and his years as a staunch Labour party activist, to colour his opinions.
Horton, in a Guardian article that was also widely reported on the BBC, called the Govt’s handling of Covid a â€œnational scandal”. …… “We knew in the last week of January that this was coming – the message from China was absolutely clear that a new virus with pandemic potential was hitting cities.”
No mention, of course, that in late January – when supposedly the picture was â€œabsolutely clear that a new virus with pandemic potential was hitting cities” Dr Horton was busy tweeting ….

“A call for caution please. Media are escalating anxiety by talking of a “killer virus” + “growing fears”. In truth, from what we currently know, 2019-nCoV has moderate transmissibility and relatively low pathogenicity. There is no reason to foster panic with exaggerated language.”

Even in the February edition of the Lancet, there seemed to be doubt. 
“2019-nCoV still needs to be studied deeply in case it becomes a global health threat”
So, the Editor of what he is proud to call the world’s most prominent medical journal expects the Govt to recognise the level of medical threat when he had not yet identified it himself?
That is an obvious and blatant bias, yet the BBC and other left-liberal media outlets were happy to continually offer Horton a platform from which to berate the Govt. He is by no stretch a neutral actor in this debate.
It is beyond doubt that if a right-leaning academic or scientist was interviewed on the BBC, the editors would be sure that their expressed thoughts carried a “health warning” that highlighted their political stance – so viewers and listeners could judge their utterances in that light.
As a point of consistency and journalistic integrity I wonder why Dr Horton’s comments, carry no such rider? I think we all know. Narrative and that which fits the liberal agenda is accepted at face value, with no fact-checking required, whilst that which pushes back against the orthodoxy will be rubbished (such as the Wuhan leak theory) or simply not reported.
Dr Horton wrote of the Cumming’s/ Barnard Castle scandal that “what is at stake here is not the fate of one political adviser or even of a government in crisis. It is the independence and credibility of science and medicine”
Surely Horton and the journal he edits has done more to undermine that independence and credibility than anything the Govt has done?

Last edited 6 months ago by Paddy Taylor
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
6 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

As usual a fine evisceration of the hypocrisy of Horton and the BBC. You should do this professionally. We need more journalistic realists commenting.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Seconded.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Agreed, but to be fair, pointing out the hypocrisy of that crowd is like shooting fish in a barrel. Paddy has elevated it to an art form though.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Absolutely. But shooting all the fish in the barrel requires steady nerves and a straight aim. The Lancet’s coverage of “Covid” destroyed my trust in what I previously thought of as “science”.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
6 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Good work Paddy.

Chipoko
Chipoko
6 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Spot on, Paddy!

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

Ugh. Sounds like a charming guy. And people wonder why trust in institutions has cratered.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
6 months ago

With a recent article on the Australian Voice referendum entitled “Racism and the 2023 Australian constitutional referendum” which was written by YES campers Ian Anderson, Yin Paradies, Marcia Langton, Ray Lovett and Tom Calma, it would appear Lancet’s political activism continues apace.

Last edited 6 months ago by Tony Taylor
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
6 months ago

Interesting article and history. Two comments, both controversial!
1. Forgotten in the Wakefield story is that ten of the twelve co-authors of the paper, under intense pressure and fearing for their future employment, retracted. Wakefield and Walker-Smith refused to retract and were struck off the medical register. Walker-Smith sued the GMC, won his case, and was reinstated. Wakefield didn’t bother and became a verb ‘to be Wakefielded’. The Wakefield ‘Bogeyman’ story is not quite the simple morality tale that we are handed down if you look into it further.
2. The hydroxychloroquine story is very complex and murky. Read the last chapter of RFK Jr’s The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health, Peter McCullough & John Leake’s The Courage to Face Covid-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex and George Fareed & Brian Tyson’s ‘Overcoming the COVID Darkness: How Two Doctors Successfully Treated 7000 Patients‘.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
6 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

I too have read the book about Fauci and was totally gobsmacked by the sheer depth and stinkiness of the cesspit. Whatever you may have thought, it always turns out to be far worse.

I’ve seen a YT video of our own Dr June Raine of the MHRA where she crows about ‘ripping up the rulebook’ for Covid, hardly a clever idea for a supposed regulator.

I’m sceptical about most things but post-pandemic, I now have zero faith in any of the so-called medical establishment.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

There’s a great quote in Pierre Kory’s ‘The War on Ivermectin’ (which I reviewed):
“In a review paper published in JAMA, researchers found that of the twenty-six Pharma companies they included in their analysis, 85 per cent had paid financial penalties for illegal activities totalling 33 billion dollars in the years from 2003 to 2016. If you taxed yourself to come up with a list of one hundred illegal, immoral, or just plain shameful things drug companies might do to make a buck, I’d bet my last dime they’ve done every single one. And keep in mind, these are just the crimes they’ve been caught doing and convicted for. What do you suppose the odds are that this is the full criminal list?”
On the MHRA, I don’t know if you are familiar with the Pfizer ‘bait and switch’ between the Process 1 vaccines, which were (sort of) tested, and the Process 2 vaccines, which ended up in people’s arms, but the MHRA Finally Admits It Failed to Test the Safety of Mass Manufactured Covid Vaccine Batches.
Now, we find via three separate researchers with DNA labs that these Process 2 vaccines contain plasmid DNA and an oncogenic SV40 promoter, something we were assured could never happen.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
6 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Dear Nik,

I actually believed her in preference to any of the company reps, but I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s just little more than a front person for them at this stage. Didn’t stop her getting her gong of course.

I try not to get too angry about all this because it’s no good for my blood pressure but honestly, I’d line all the b$stards up against a wall.

Oops: is that the Bill I hear at the door?

Last edited 6 months ago by Mike Downing
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Bill’s off enjoying all the money he made out of investing in vaccines. Now, he’s switched focus to agriculture.

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
6 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

It’s not that Wakefield did not bother to sue, his insurance denied coverage and he could not privately afford the costs of the suit – in excess of ÂŁ500,000.
Prof. Walker-Smith did not just win his judicial review against the GMC (that in itself is a rarity), but the judge absolutely eviscerated the GMC’s case.
Walker-Smith had to be blamed because he was the clinician – Wakefield never actually treated any of the patients in question, he just analysed the data. With Walker-Smith’s striking-off reversed, there was legally no longer any case against Wakefield. But of course, that is not mentioned.
It is quite remarkable to see Deer, a Murdoch rag hatchet-man, held up as a paragon of “investigative reporting”.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
6 months ago

Thanks. Even more detail than I had. We’re even further from the story that everybody accepts.

Andrew F
Andrew F
6 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

I remember that controversy around MMR vaccine was not just whether it has side effects but whether giving 3 separate jabs is safer.
Tony Blair refused to say whether his children had MMR vaccine and there was burglary in Blairs family GP practice.
Most probably to find out.
I know quite a few people who said they vaccinated their children with separate vaccines.
If I recall the main advantage of MMR vaccine is that is cheap to produce and to administer (one appointment and not 3).

Last edited 6 months ago by Andrew F
Simon S
Simon S
6 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Yes – thanks for taking tbe time to remind people of this on Wakefield. And the paper was never falsified – retraction is purely political. Not sure why the author failed to cite this example to support his argument…..

And Deer is quite, quite repellent.

jason mann
jason mann
6 months ago

As a pulmonary critical care physician I watched previously highly trusted medical journals die to wokeism and governmental influence. The practice of evidence based art of medicine declined in tow, and make no mistake it is an art, and became a liability. Science turned into “we believe in THEIR science.” I finally quit clinical medicine all together this past year. Many of us talented physicians in our 40s are leaving. It’s a shame.

Humanity? Ask any family member of a dying patient in the ICU who could only view their family member on a ventilator on an Zoom screen. Somehow medical providers could magically be allowed in COVID rooms but administration and “science” forbade family from doing so. I fought and gave up. It was of no use.

Last edited 6 months ago by jason mann
Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
6 months ago

‘who really pays the price for The Lancet’s success?’ We do. Horton is to medical journalism what Lucy Letbe is to nursing.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
6 months ago

The Lancet is the medical equivalent of the New Statesman. Editorially quasi-academic, but always with a progressive left wing agenda that’s defined less by what it supports than what it denigrates.

Hence the unqualified accolades for China, a modern-day slaving nation. Because China stands against the US and Western Europe and, as all good Marxists (nowadays progressive leftists) know, ones enemies’ enemy is a friend.

What’s astonishing is how the Lancet has consumed so much opprobrium and thrived on it. Testimony to Richard Horton’s sheer brass neck, or to the Long March through our institutions?

Probably a dialectical mix of both these things.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
6 months ago

I must admit that I had no idea of any of this. Oh, I knew about the recent Covid nonsense, but I thought that until that time The Lancet was a highly respected, stodgy rag of record in the medical world. Breakfast reading for stodgy a**l-retentive types.
I live and learn!

B Robshaw
B Robshaw
6 months ago

I enjoyed the article; but does the author know the meaning of the word ‘poignantly’?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

The censorious thugs at Unherd are at again, deleting what I thought was a fairly banal comment.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
6 months ago

If we put the case of the Lancet in the wider perspective of modern medicine we can see a melodrama with many egos and financial interests, based on a model of the living (and illness) which is far too analytical to represent the reality of the complexity and variability of individuals. Those who really want to help patients are caught in this quagmire and finish by feeling burned out or disappointed: they want to get out.
There is hope that the new Integrative Medicine definition can bring improvement, but only if it is being interpreted in its full meaning and collaborative way between all knowledge in medicine which includes the traditional and complementary knowledge and experience.
https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/who-traditional-medicine-summit-2023-meeting-report–gujarat-declaration

IM defintion:
‱Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing. ‱https://imconsortium.org/about/introduction/

There are two truths in medicine: 1)the very analytical views/knowledge etc and the 2) System-view/holistic/narrative views. They both bring solutions and should cooperate constructively.
The problem is option 1) is funded by a very rich and powerful industry, Option 2) is funded … by civil society The politicians remain attached to group 1) for the moment.. and the rich industry has much to loose from the promotion option 2) unless it cleverly grips and makes option 2) its own as a narrative to sell stuff…