MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

I ought to admit to a conflict of interest regarding today’s post:

I am not a fan of Mr Corbyn!

He fooled us prior to the Referendum claiming he was backing Remain and subsequently campaigned less than half-heartedly for it. Not least thanks to him and his sham of a campaign Leave won the referendum. Subsequently, the UK embarked on a bonanza of self-destruction and a frenzy of xenophobia which changed the UK beyond recognition. Currently, Mr Corbyn is doing the same trick again. He had to concede in the Labour manifesto that his party would eventually support a People’s Vote, and now he bends over backwards to avoid doing anything remotely like it. This strategy, together with his rather non-transparent stance on anti-Semitism does it for me. I could not vote for Corbyn in a million years now.

NOTHING TO DO WITH ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE!, I hear you exclaim.

Yes, you are right – but this has:

Some time ago, Corbyn tweeted ‘I believe that homeopathy works for some ppl and that it compliments ‘convential’ meds. they both come from organic matter…’

Excuse my frankness, but I find this short tweet embarrassingly stupid (regardless of who authored it).

Apart from two spelling mistakes, it contains several fundamental errors and fallacies:

  • Corbyn seems to think that, because some people experience improvement after taking a homeopathic remedy, homeopathy is effective. Does he also believe that the crowing of a cock makes the sun rise in the morning? The statement shows a most irritating lack of understanding as to what constitutes medical evidence and what not. That it was made by a politician makes it only worse.
  • Corbyn also tells us that homeopathy is an appropriate adjunct to conventional healthcare. His impression is based on the fact that ‘it works for some people’. This assumption reveals a naivety that is deplorable in a politician who evidently thinks himself sufficiently well-informed to tweet about the matter.
  • The final straw is Corbyn’s little afterthought: they both come from organic matter. Many conventional medicines come from inorganic matter. And homeopathic remedies? Yes, many also come from inorganic materials.

Yes, I know, you probably think me a bit pedantic here. As I said, I have strong misgivings against Mr Corbyn.

But, even leaving my prejudice aside, I do think that politicians and other people of influence should comment on issues only after they informed themselves about them sufficiently to make good sense. Otherwise they are in danger to merely disclose their ineptitude in the same way as Corbyn did when he wrote the above tweet.

 

27 Responses to Jeremy Corbyn and homeopathy

  • “This assumption reveals a naivety that is deplorable in a politician who evidently thinks himself sufficiently well-informed to tweet about the matter.”

    Naivety is a character that seems to apply across the board for Mr Corbyn.

  • I remember a clip shown on the BBC a few months ago where Corbyn was filmed on his bicycle turning performing an illegal left turn. It reminded me of Gerard Hoffnung’s advice to tourists: “Ignore all right and left signs – they are merely political slogans” . (Along with “Have you tried the famous echo in the Reading Room at the British Museum?” and “Every London brothel carries a blue light”.)

  • I am very sorry to see this, because I am a fan of Mr. Corbyn. For many years I have been saddened by the tendency of otherwise fairminded, even altruistic persons to fall for “alternatives”. One can only hope that the sort of good sense and respect for justice that leads Mr Corbyn to be a vegetarian will eventually prevail.

  • Paracelsus caused a stir by arguing that that non-organic substances should also be used in medicine, in contravention of Galenic principles. Corbyn obviously isn’t ready to make this transition into the fifteenth century quite yet, obviously.

    ‘Western’ medicine is of course Western, and Corbyn will align himself with anything that opposes Western hegemony, whether it be Hamas, Iranian Mullahs, or homeopathy. What an ignorant buffoon.

    • Considering homeopathy was invented in Germany, I’m pretty sure it is Western medicine (or rather Western quackery).

      • Don’t worry, with profits like these homeopaths no doubt believe themselves the persecuted minority bravely opposing Western hegemony too:

        Boiron Financial Statement
        2017 Revenue: $739,000,000
        Operating Income: $146,000,000
        Gross Profit: $586,000,000

        • I suppose mr. Corbyn just likes everyone who feels persecuted.

          Just because you feel persecuted doesn’t make you right and above critisism.

          • When your entire sense of self-worth [and often social status and income too] is built atop your personal belief systems, any criticism of those beliefs is a direct attack upon the ego that cannot be allowed to stand, whether Corbyn cultists, white pride scum, alt-med wackjobs, or whatever.

            For such people, humility isn’t so much a tough pill to swallow as a suppository the size of Mars. No surprise they pucker up tighter than a Yorkshireman’s purse.

            #BrokenPeopleSuck

  • Organic or non-organic, that is the question, so let’s get real! The human body contains both organic and inorganic compounds. The standard accepted definition of ‘organic’ is anything that is – or once was – living. That means the original substance would have to contain carbon molecules, otherwise the substance could not have grown and eventually died. Non-organic substances such as rocks are to be found everywhere on the surface of the Earth and have lasted for billions of years unless they have been eroded by time and Nature, however, these non-edible rocks can also contain carbon molecules, the foundation of all life on this Planet. Whether a conventional medicine or even a homeopathic treatment ‘works’ – or not – for the person being treated is not necessarily because the substance contains ONLY organic or ONLY non-organic material. It seems the human body can make use of both.

    • As far as I know the standard accepted definition of an organic compound is that it contains carbon, though simple carbon compounds (such as salts, diamond or carbon dioxide) are excluded. I think the simplest organic compound therefore is methane.

      Non-organic compounds are also used in medicine, such as lithium salts for bipolar disorder, and radium-223 dichloride for metastatic prostate cancer (I don’t know of any medicinal use for dilithium, however).

  • As a scientist, an organic compound is one which contains carbon atoms, usually with hydrogen.
    Hence: ‘organic chemistry’.

    • Yes you are correct, as you say, organic compounds usually include hydrogen. Plain water is inorganic as it does not contain carbon atoms unless it has been contaminated with organic material such as dead vegetation or other material.

  • Anything to further your personal crusade against Corbyn it seems, on a subject you obviously know little about.
    You need the constant reassurance though, don’t you?

  • Ah, Jeremy Corbyn. Such a mendacious little grifter. Though at least he’s not into chiropractic, as he’d need a spine for that.

  • The two Corbyn brothers don’t seem to sit alongside science very comfortably, what with Jeremy’s brother being an anthropogenic climate change denier. I wonder if Jeremy would tolerate an homeopathic nuclear bomb – a magical water bomb with all the uranium removed. Would it possibly work by producing widespread nocebo effects amongst the population? Would that be permissible? Just making people feel thoroughly depressed as opposed to being incinerated. Exactly like the Brexit debacle has made the country feel.

    • Goodness knows what that was in response to, Greg. Indeed, Boiron make a lot of money from sugar pills and show that it’s big business, not some cottage industry, but they have little to no market presence in the UK. The main manufacturers here are Nelsons, Helios, Ainsworths and Weleda, with Freemans and Sanjivani as less well-known brands. How are they all doing?

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