First Posted – 18/02/2009
It appears that Jeni Barnett has begun posting on her blog again, but given how honestly she has reflected criticisms of her MMR vaccination ignorance in the past, she probably won’t address any of the questions I posed in a post to the above blog this afternoon (Jeni – you might feel it necessary to ask your agent’s permission before you write a reply, but really, you’re a big girl now and should be able to stand or fall by what you say… although, you’ve not done so well up until now I suppose).
Nevertheless, my post and the questions I’ve posed, appears below. If she responds, I’ll be reporting it here, in all it’s unedited glory (which is more than you can say about anything that’s posted over at Jeni’s blog – I wonder if she writes it all herself?)…
Given your complete and abject failure to acknowledge your dangerous ignorance in terms of the misinformation you presented to the public with regard to MMR vaccination. Will you now, publicly, acknowledge your reckless foolishness in this matter? Retract the ridiculous statements you made on air earlier this year? And apologise to the NHS nurse you (completely unfoundedly) branded “vicious”?
In addition, how do you answer the complaints to OFCOM and to LBC which allege that you have failed in your responsibilities under paragraph 2(1) of Part II of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1990, paragraphs 9 and 10 of Schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998, and paragraph 15 of Schedule 14 to the Communications Act 2003, which state that Broadcasting Act licensees should not:
> practise or advocate illegal behaviour;
> practise or advocate behaviour which is injurious to the health or morals of participants or others;
> practise or advocate behaviour which infringes the rights and freedoms of participants or others;
> pose a threat to public safety;
> pose a threat to national security or territorial integrity;
> or threaten the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
In particular, how would you address the complaint that your broadcast of January this year could prove “injurious to the health” of some listeners and/or their children? And certainly poses a “threat to public safety”?
Do you intend to withdraw from your position as a patron of The Grove Park School in Crowborough, East Sussex which focuses on (amongst others), autistic pupils? Given that you have so blatantly betrayed such a responsibility?
Please answer my questions in a public forum, instead of ignoring and/or removing these criticisms from the record of the discussion.
The Milligan – 18/02/2009
At last, despite posting my original questions / criticisms on Jeni Barnett’s blog more than 24-hours earlier, the “professional broadcaster” has at last published my post (as detailed above), numbered and time-stamped as follows…
1. At February 19, 2009 4:40 PM Terence Milligan
No reply as yet.
Developments will be posted here.
No comment on Jeni’s blog this morning, certainly no responses to my post, so, a little nudge is in order.
Posted at 10:20 this morning, maybe it’ll be published, maybe it won’t…
Nobody wants you to stop blogging Jeni and genuine criticism of misinformation is not bullying – free-speech and the chance to debate is what brought your little share of the media’s “MMR Vaccine Hoax” to the notice of so many. E.g., when LBC’s lawyers behaved so stupidly with Ben Goldacre, then the particularly crazy idea by your agent to remove those postings from your blog – he really doesn’t understand modern communications.
I can imagine that neither decision was yours, that doesn’t fit well with what I’ve read about your points of view on this blog.
However, you have been heavily criticised about the views you expressed during that January “MMR” broadcast. Not least by myself. The criticisms I have made have been very specific. The evidence supporting those criticisms has been conclusive.
Surely you know more about the facts now than when you started.
How do you answer the overwhelming weight of objective scientific evidence, and legal conclusions, from the UK and US, that completely contradict everything you based your position on?
Scientists have long decried the poor methodology of Andrew Wakefield’s studies. Scandalous weaknesses in his methodology were evident from his work published in scientific journals. Unfortunately, these journals are not commonly open to the public, who generally lack the training to identify a weak clinical study anyway.
As a result, the general public, yourself included are only exposed to usual, rather shabby, reporting of scientific evidence in mainstream media. Then, when a report which contradicts that which has gone before finally surfaces (e.g. the recent Times article criticising Wakefield), it’s rather easy to portray the situation as “a lone, maverick voice, being silenced by the establishment and big pharmaceutical company money”.
This is not the case here. Independent experts, as well as solid, working scientists, throughout the world have identified Wakefield’s work as extremely poor science, if not downright deceitful. We do NOT have an axe to grind, we do NOT have a bias.
I have children, if the evidence showed that the MMR vaccine caused autism – even in a minority of cases – I would not think twice about paying for single jabs. But the evidence does not. It really is conclusive that solid facts point elsewhere.
At one point you said something akin to “why can’t those with science-based opinions allow others to have a different opinion?”
Well, the answer to that is, in cases of this kind, a different opinion can kill people.
Take a look at this web site…
where case studies of those that have been killed or injured through “vaccine denial” have been collected.
This is not a matter of “opinion”. In my “opinion” the square root of 9.8696 is approximately equal to Pi. In this case, you can do the calculation necessary to check my opinion quite simply, on a calculator. You can make an independent assessment of it’s accuracy – but not without some training in mathematics. Without some higher level of scientific training, it’s not very likely that you can make a sound judgement of a number of clinical studies… and that is what is needed to form a consensus of opinion in science. Not just one study from a “lone maverick” – that simply is not good enough to make decisions upon which will affect people’s lives.
Somebody in a position, of even a little social influence, could prevent a number of children from being vaccinated in the best way possible. This could kill innocents and nothing is more important than that. As a result, you and anybody else that reaches a large audience, must be held to a standard of truth and fact.
You must, at least, get your facts right. You know, and have admitted as much, that you failed to reach that standard.
PLEASE, engage the debate. Look carefully at the facts, not the rumour – address your critics in a public forum. Address the facts.
The Milligan – 20/02/2009
Well now, the case of the mysterious vanishing blog posts continues. On Thursday 19th February 2009, Jeni Barnett’s blog page…
Had the following first posting…
1. At February 19, 2009 4:40 PM Terence Milligan wrote:
Followed by my posting detailed above on the 18th February.
Now it appears the “The Agent Gremlins” have been attacking again.
The Milligan’s posting has vanished! Shock! Horror!! Oh the deceitfulness!!
After all, it’s not as if the old girl has a track record of this sort of dishonesty is it?
Judge for yourselves people. Was my post hurtful, or a personal attack in any way? Nevertheless, it’s gone.
Uncomfortable truths that she doesn’t want to deal with.
My posting has been replaced by a bit of simpering “Jeni we love you”…
1. At February 19, 2009 8:57 PM judi4 wrote:
I wonder if she typed it herself or got her agent to do it.
This plumbs new depths even for Barnett.
But Lo!!! Not content with censoring honest debate from The Milligan, she deletes a posting from a character by the name of “Buggy”, who originally appeared as posting number 12 on the following thread…
Buggy helpfully pointed Barnett in the direction of all those other missing posts that the “Agent Gremlins” had eradicated, but no, we can’t have anything eluding to the fact that the Barnett may have critics. Instead we now have posting number 12, as below…
12. At February 22, 2009 12:17 AM Mo wrote:
@ Buggy, comment 12, give it a rest will you! Can’t speak for other regular readers of Jeni’s blog but I’m not interested in your nonsense.
It’s great to see you back blogging Jeni, I missed you!
Now, because this post “gives the game away” slightly, by revealing that there was really another “No.12” before this one, I thought I’d include a screenshot this time…
Which doesn’t really make sense any more does it? But what the heck, it’s a bit more simpering crap to pander to the old girl’s ego. So now, even Barnett’s regular bloggers can see the level of deceitfulness which is routinely being practiced (and they’re not pleased).
Well done Jeni, as an actress – a professional faker by your own admission…
“Acting is all about honesty, if you can fake that you can fake anything.”
I’m sure there’ll be more to come – keep checking here.
Update – 22/02/2009 23:05
I know I said that there’d be more, but I really didn’t expect it to come so soon. It seems that someone with a sense of humour got a sneaky post on the Barmy Barnett’s latest blog thread – “Bulbs a Plenty”…
Great to see you posting again… I thought this would be of interest to you, click here.
I have to admit to a sneaking amusement here, take a look at where the hyperlink actually points, and just in case the old faker decides to pull her usual trick and kill the post, here’s a screenshot for posterity…
Update – 25/02/2009 08:20
Sadly, still no reply from the woman who claims to be an advocate of debate. I shall of course, continue to submit posts to the old faker’s blog, in an attempt to glean some sort of response… a proper one that is, you know, as opposed to the ones that are written IN BLOCK CAP’S and have little thought behind them.
You won’t see the posts I submit to JB’s blog of course, the woman who wants the debate won’t allow them to be published, but trust me, they’ll be just the same as the one I sent on the 20/02/2009 (above).
And lastly, just because I’m chilidsh and can’t resist it – Hey, Mo…
Update – 25/02/2009 14:30
Cross-posted at http://www.jenibarnett.com/2009/02/snow_bound.php
Well now, I’ve been keeping a “bit of an eye” on Jeni Barnett’s blog – as I’m sure you can see – and this afternoon I notice that something like one of my old posts has surfaced on the Snow bound thread, as post number 9. Before it’s deleted again, here’s a screenshot…
OK – she’s posted at last, but this isn’t quite what I wrote is it Jeni? I have provided details of all my submissions to Barnett’s blog (as can be seen above).
I’ve been open here, publishing whatever comments have come my way and editing none. If there is some sort of stipulation in place with regard to not commenting on, for example, on-going OFCOM complaints, would it not be possible, even advisable to issue a statement with regard to status?
I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt here, but I’m sceptical.
All I’m after is a sensible reply, one based on evidence, not rumour and “mother’s intuition”. Given the current evidence and the status of medical research, this could only result in a retraction of Barnett’s opinion piece during her January 2009 broadcast.
She also owes every healthcare worker in the country an apology, but I’d settle for just one – to the nurse that she lied about when she branded her “vicious”.
But I’ll tell you what, and this is the nature of science, if the evidence ever points to Jeni Barnett being right, my opinion will change completely.
I go with the evidence and I’ll acknowledge it from the highest rooftops and grovellingly apologise in any and every forum the woman cares to name.
I have no ego invested in this, just an opinion – based on rigorous, properly analysed, peer-reviewed, replicable, scientific evidence – on a topic that is as important as life and death.
Where’s your evidence Jeni?
No sign of anything yet.
Watch this space (but don’t hold your breath).