Blog Archives

Broken Britain 19: poor redress for war veterans damaged by government policy

At last, the case of people whose health has been seriously damaged caused by infected blood bought by a government agency is coming to the fore. But the plight of farmers, whose health suffered because government compelled them to use organophosphate sheep dips, is yet to be addressed – many affected veterans and farmers have died after long suffering.

OP-affected Richard Bruce writes: Dr Davis and Dr Ahmed wrote some informative papers on the subject. One may be read here: https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-functional-magnetic-resonance-imaging-fmri/

Allowed to sink into obscurity

In 1996 Defence minister Nicholas Soames confirmed that many of the soldiers returning from the Gulf War reporting fatigue, memory loss, weakness, joint and muscle pain and depression – a condition now known as Gulf War Syndrome, had been exposed to some sort of organophosphate pesticide.

From the archives:

1999: the US Government accepted that their veterans’ illnesses were mostly due to service in the Gulf. Of their 700,000-plus troops deployed there, 88% became eligible for benefits through their equivalent of the Veterans Agency and 45% had by then sought medical care. The US Government also accepted the extremely serious consequences of using organophosphates.

2000-2001: the UK government funded more research into the effects of organophosphate exposure and poisoning. The results of some studies provided support for the poisoning hypothesis but the research was delayed by the FMD outbreak and only completed in 2007.

2004:  A study published in the British Medical Journal: ‘Overcoming apathy in research on organophosphate poisoning, concluded that high rates of pesticide poisoning in developing countries and increasing risk of nerve gas attacks in the West mean effective antidotes for organophosphates should be a worldwide priority.

2008: the American government concluded an intensive study into the cause of “Gulf War Syndrome” Their $400,000 study found that OPs had causal responsibility for the harm inflicted. This finding was reported to the British Government by the Chief of Defence Staff [RAF].

Conflicts of interest: those campaigning for a ban on organophosphate pesticides have to face opposition from the agro-chemical industry, whose representatives sit on expert committees advising governments on pesticide safety.

As the Countess of Mar explained: There seems to be a nucleus of about 25 individuals who advise on a number of committees. The scientific community is very close-knit and because the numbers of individuals in specialties is small, they will all know one another. They are dependent upon one another for support, guidance, praise and recognition. If they wish to succeed, they must run with the prevailing ethos of their group, department or specialism Hansard 24 Jun 1997: Columns 1555-9

The Scotsman reported the findings of the 2004 independent inquiry into illnesses suffered by veterans of the first Gulf War which was headed by the former law lord Lord Lloyd of Berwick, called on the Ministry of Defence finally to recognise the existence of a “Gulf War syndrome”. It said that it was clear the cocktail of health problems suffered by an estimated 6,000 veterans were a direct result of their service in the 1991 conflict and urged the MoD to establish a special fund to make one-off compensation payments to those affected.

Is the long and inhumane delay due to the fact that the establishment of a link between Gulf War Syndrome and organophosphate poisoning would cost the MoD vast sums in compensation?

 

 

 

 

 

Soapbox for the 99%: privatisation is grand theft from the public

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Richard Bruce says:

Having given a lot of thought about nationalisation, privatisation and the results of policy decisions, I have come to the conclusion that privatisation is in fact grand theft from the public which is then made to pay again for what they had already both paid for and provided the funding to build the infrastructure that made the sell-off possible.

We are seeing it again with the rescued banks – they will be re-privatised at a massive loss.

Public loss, private gain

The population at large blamed nationalisation for failure when the reality is that placemen put into the hierarchy deliberately run down the businesses so that a sell-off at a fraction of the real value could take place without too much public outcry. Those responsible enriched themselves handsomely.

The Post Office

This is happening again with the Post Office which has priced itself out of the general letter post making it almost impossible for people to afford to send letters and cards as they once did and which now relies on the massively annoying junk mail problem, just to keep profitable, which wastes an enormous amount of resources and landfill.

What was once a respected next day delivery service to all addresses in the UK is now rapidly degenerating into a third-class service where there is no guarantee for delivery even for recorded delivery letters. Where once the mail was routinely delivered before 9 am in the morning some are lucky if they get deliveries by mid-afternoon as consolidation of rounds mean postmen have much bigger rounds than they once had.

Politicians of all parties are to blame as they have allowed competitors to cream off the most profitable services but add to the cost of the Post Office by making them carry the burden of less profitable deliveries. One can only wonder if those politicians held shares in the competitors.

If we examine what has happened to the privatised formerly nationalised services the outlook for the Post Office looks bleak.

The railways

I well remember talking to a well-spoken gentleman on a station platform and how he declared that once the railways were privatised things would improve. How wrong he was. Ticket prices soared. Subsidies increased. Shareholders ran away with the profits that would have eased the tax burden on us all. Worse still we no longer have a joined up national railway with problems now similar to those that required nationalisation in the first place – and some regional services are run by foreign owned nationalised companies.

Water, electricity and telephone services

If we look at water, electricity and telephone services we see the same story. What was once owned by the taxpayers via government is now more often than not run by foreign companies with the British customer being forced to pay excessively high prices to satisfy shareholders and foreign companies.

Housing

Housing was another privatisation scam. Well-built council houses were sold for political reasons at a fraction of their worth and that triggered a shortage of homes for those who could not afford to buy and fuelled increases in house prices and the rents linked to them.

That in turn increased the welfare bill because the owners of property no longer paid rates and the tenants often could not afford to pay rent and the council tax, plus the water bills that were once included in the rates. Worse than that was the replacement housing costs which required agreements with builders and more subsidies for the provision of what are basically little more than wooden sheds with decorative walls but which are still priced as if they were built to last. Why can no politician see the glaring scandal there?

We now have a government that is reportedly going to offer money to first time buyers who cannot afford the required deposits so that they can once again get the property owning sector moving again. What seems to have been forgotten is that it is this very issue that supposedly started the current financial crisis with the sub-prime mortgages failures that brought down long-established banks.

Of course we should question if there really is/was a financial crisis as it should be noted that the elite are doing very nicely thank you and it is only the very poorest in society who are being hit, as is usual.

The Coalition’s current policy is to once again support those who cannot afford mortgages while at the same time punishing those who are unable to afford their rents and who have received financial assistance not for themselves but as direct payments to wealthy landlords as inflated rents. Both actions will no doubt end in disaster.

National Health Service

We were told that the NHS would be safe but it is clear that there is a move towards privatisation with the changes to Foundation Trusts which offer members discounts at local shops whilst at the same time drastically cutting numbers of hospital beds, Nurses and Blood Donor Services. The added stress of staff is unbearable and we have seen the same in the changes made to the education system with the cuts hitting as they did before at the basic infrastructure, which is usually far cheaper to properly maintain than it is to replace after being run-down.

Once again short-term political gain is to be paid for by even greater financial problems down the track.

The prison service

Not so very long ago there was an outcry that government was using a prison ship because there were too many prisoners and there were promises that more prisons would be built. The reality is that they have closed prisons and shortened sentences and yet crime has reached a point where hardly a day goes by without reports of murder.

All of the formerly nationalised services were sold off at a fraction of their true worth as a temporary fix for the economy – but surely anyone with eyes to see would realise that such a short-term fix brings long-term pain.

Welfare and NHS cuts

Look closer and we can see that once again it is grand theft from the people of this country who provided the investment, just as the new welfare and NHS cuts are a betrayal of the ideals of the National Insurance Contributions scheme, which was supposed to protect those injured at work or by accident illness etc. Now that too is slowly being privatised, as are the services that determine eligibility, and here too those who have eyes to see can see obvious fraud and deception, but the politicians responsible see only good in what they do because they know that they will never have to suffer from the consequences of their actions.

They are alright Jack – and the rest of us will just have to take it all on the chin and from our wallets….

 

 

 

Our Secret State – 6: incidences of chemically induced disability and death are not recorded publicly in this country

A World Health Organisation list of preventable causes of death and another list of causes of death ‘by rate’, fails to mention intake of accidental or prescribed chemicals. However, following a lead from George Wescott, information was found on its Toxic Hazards page, recording that “An estimated 355,000 people are believed to die each year from unintentional pesticide poisoning”. 

philip case fwPhilip Case, deputy news editor of the Farmers Weekly Online (left) is said to have suggested, during a phone call, that the FW’s silence on the OP situation was due to the fact that they could find no deaths recorded as resulting from OP poisoning.

The only successful legal case was brought by John Amos Hill in 1997, who died recently. He won a case for compensation against his employer and the chemical company, as this was his one and only instance of using OPs, enabling him to prove the link between using the chemical and his ill health.

Richard Bruce (background here) writes:

“Death certificates often do not state the illnesses that lead to death, citing instead  organ failures such as heart or lung failure.

“When my late mother-in-law died we were able to see the original death certificate as my wife was a close friend of the funeral director. We noted with interest that the pneumonia that killed her was not even mentioned. It simply said multiple organ failure – but she had been given the pneumonia vaccine, the effects from which she never recovered. That may explain why it was not recorded. I suspect the same will be true for OP poisoning cases”.  See an informal case history here.

Mr Bruce would welcome two beneficial changes:
  • more accurate death certificates which include a doctor’s initial illness diagnosis.
  • open reporting of the proven dangers of OPs, including those from the organophosphorus herbicide glyphosate (used on GM crops) which has been implicated in countless poisonings and suicides around the world…..

Listed elsewhere as a social crime in a PCU draft: “government obliges the pharmaceutical companies by allowing unsuitable, poorly tested drugs to be prescribed, periodically attempting mass medication via fluoride, various vaccinations, unneeded statins and so on”.

A fatal illness originated by agro-chemicals or pharmaceuticals should be indicated on the person’s death certificate, however strongly the manufacturers object.

 

The corporate-political nexus: chemical companies and regulators

“EU to draft rules allowing traces of unapproved GMOs in food” . . . Richard Bruce sees a familiar pattern. Richard, whose health has been seriously damaged by agricultural pesticide, replies to this report

“The chemical companies are always using this tactic. They introduced pesticides and regulators found that it was impossible to prevent residues – so they allowed residues. . . Read on here.