The Death of Democracy
Today Southampton residents learned that their water will be fluoridated -even though their kids already have excellent teeth.
I hate to say 'I told you so!' - but I will anyway! The South Central SHA has done what it does best -- it's stuck to official policy, come hell or high water. No amount of reason could persuade those unfortunate innocents, the SHA Board Members, to accept evidence from anyone other than from their own carefully selected 'experts', rigorously vetted for their loyalty to the Department of Health.It was, of course, entirely predictable that they would rely on the political spin of their appointed minders, rather than on the carefully phrased but ultimately naive arguments of even the most respected of scientists.
The brutal fact is that these rogue 'experts' do not play by the gentle rules of decent folk. Scientists rely on reason, evidence, and argument, presented in a decent, civilised and respectful fashion.The pro-fluoridation fanatics rely on dogma, distortion, and assertion, projected at high speed and with utter ruthlessness at the mainly uncomprehending and ill-qualified Board Members. The only way to beat them is to play by even more ruthless rules - and that is what we shall be doing in the next few weeks.The despair that local campaigners are feeling at the moment is unwarranted. Whilst they waited for this decision, they had nothing to get their teeth into. Now it is in the open, and the astonishing spectacle of this Whitehall farce has at last been exposed to full public scrutiny, there is plenty of material that can be used to bring this charade to an end, and its instigators to account.
The establishment 'experts' advising the Board today made some very serious mistakes. It was claimed that fluoridation is not medication - wrong! It was said that dental fluorosis in Ireland only affects a few people - 37% is more than just a few. And the Precautionary Principle is used to avoid possible hazards to the public, not to increase them.But crucially, it was even claimed that fluoridation is not against the law. Board Members need to be very clear about this, because they are now entering into very choppy waters indeed. One of the key documents provided by the SHA was specifically designed to persuade them that water fluoridation is entirely lawful, and that there were no underlying issues that were of concern to them.
If they were misled into accepting this propaganda, then they should take very urgent legal advice, because it was horrendously wrong.In fact, so serious was some of the misinformation and misrepresentation used to persuade them to support the team effort that there is now a clear case for a full Inquiry into the whole conduct of this charade, and the legitimacy of the decision that they reached. Members are required to ensure that there are no safety issues or legal obstructions arising from any decision they make, or to any action that they authorise. They have now been informed that there are indeed such issues - this is where the Precautionary principle kicks in, and a halt must be called to the project.Their personal liability for any adverse consequences of ignoring that advice - even if it came from sources other than their own trusted minders - places them personally at risk of potentially severe personal sanctions.
They need to be aware that local campaigners now have sufficient evidence with which to challenge this ill-advised decision. The next few weeks will become quite interesting, and it will have our complete and undivided attention