Homeopaths concerned about Day Zero

As the spectre of Day Zero continues to ever more occupy the Cape Town psyche, one particular group of complete and utter charlatans is feigning panic more loudly than many others.

Local homeopaths, whose sham of an industry relies almost entirely on selling people small, expensive bottles of water, are voicing their concerns that they may not be able to offer their completely ineffectual services once the taps run dry.

Ron Liar, spokesperson for local quack body, the Society of Homeopaths In Town (SHIT) this morning issued a statement in which he expressed anxiety over the immediate future of their members as Day Zero approaches:

As a group representing registered Homeopaths in Cape Town, we are dismayed at the thought of the city running out of water. Water is the lifeblood of mankind, but is especially important in our field of expertise. Indeed, without water, homeopathy is unable to function, since all our products are, in fact, just small, expensive bottles of water.
If we are forced to reduce our water usage, our preparations will increase in concentration to the point where molecules of the so-called active ingredient may even be found in them. Not only would this cause them to work less effectively (as per the pseudoscientific laws to which we ascribe), it might actually make them genuinely toxic. We use some really horrible stuff in there, you know? That’s one of the reasons we quietly dilute the living hell out of them before we had them over to the victim client.
It might actually kill them if we didn’t.
We need that water.

But the idiots who actually pay these fraudsters for their snake oil seemed unperturbed. We interrupted Obs resident Moonbell Dinglebat during her Nepalese Meditation session and she told us that had her own method of getting around the issue:

If there is a water shortage at my homeopathist, I’ll simply take more of whatever he prescribes for me: using two five millilitre vials instead of one ten millilitre vial will not only reduce the dosage I receive, thus increasing the effect of the preparation, it will also save water and help to protect Mother Earth.

At this point, we had to terminate the interview, because quite frankly, our heads were about to explode, and the thin mask of professionalism behind which at least some our work takes place was becoming dangerously close to slipping.

The challenges that Cape Town faces as we become the first major city to run out of water (yeah, I’ve seen the thing on Sao Paulo, don’t @ me) are numerous and terrifying.
Thus, if there are any positives that can be taken from the situation, we should do so with great glee, and the imminent death of the fraudulent homeopathic businesses across the Mother City is surely the one that I’m looking forward to the most.

“Dilute to taste”

We all know what great work homeopaths do, and now they are doing some more great work in Gambia, under the welcoming gaze of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh. He’s the guy that discovered the cure for HIV in 2007, which is why we don’t have any HIV anymore.

Fortunately for the impoverished village of Manduar in western Gambia, British homeopathic the Gambia Wellness Foundation are on the scene, using the power of dilution to cure all their ills.

The Telegraph asked Professor David Colquhoun of University College London to comment on some of the GWF’s many successes:

The homeopaths: “We once arrived at a village where a child had accidentally swallowed some bleach or some similar detergent. We immediately prescribed Sulphur 30C (a homoeopathic remedy used for skin conditions) to give to the child frequently. On our next visit, the parents came to see us to specifically thank us for saving their child’s life.”

Prof Colquhoun: “Sulphur 30C contains no sulphur, and even if it did it would not be the slightest help for bleach poisoning (if that’s what it was). The child recovered with no help from the pills.”

But it’s during the next rebuttal that the Prof comes out with this gem of a quote on the extreme dilutions used by the pseudoscientists:

A 200C pill is a dilution of one part in 10 to the power of 400. That’s a molecule in a sphere bigger than the known universe.

Still, as he points out:

Water is good if they are dehydrated.

Western people with their own money and other options who insist on going to homeopaths? Well, they’re idiots, aren’t they? Moonbats. Muppets. Hippie tosspots.

But when you live in a tiny, 3rd world African country, under a despotic, homophobic president who sanctions witch hunts and kidnaps journalists; one who can conveniently avoid paying for real medicine by inviting and thus tacitly legitimising quacks from overseas to “treat” you; when you have homeopathy forced upon you and your children as a substitute for real medicine that might actually do you some good?

When you’re a bunch of educated British adults being charlatans, masquerading as doctors and squeezing out real medics from doing a proper job of helping those in need?

Well jeez. That makes me rather annoyed.

Sally Speaks

Professor Dame Sally Davies – Britain’s Chief Medical Officer – was a busy lady yesterday, speaking to the Commons Science and Technology Committee on a range of health related issues, two of which will come as no surprise to readers of this blog.

First off, as I reminded you guys late last year, we’re all going to die horribly because pretty soon we’re not going to have any useful antibiotics available to us. By “useful”, I mean ones that work.

Prof Davies even went as far as to suggest that:

“…the threat from infections that are resistant to frontline antibiotics was so serious that the issue should be added to the government’s national risk register of civil emergencies.”

She described what she called an “apocalyptic scenario” where people going for simple operations in 20 years’ time die of routine infections “because we have run out of antibiotics”.

I would (and do) agree, but I take exception with her use of the term “apocalyptic”. Recent failed apocalypses (Harold Camping, The Mayans) have meant that the word lacks any sort of gravitas amongst the general public any more. They simply don’t take it seriously. And this is serious, although there’s actually very little that the general public can do about it. Except die. Horribly.

On a lighter, far more comedic note, the meeting of the Science and Technology Committee also included a brief discussion on Homeopathy. This is about as appropriate a conversation about tree-felling methods at a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee or a chat about the fungal diseases of goldfish at a meeting of the Institute of Motor Mechanics Committee, but fortuitously, Dame Sally dealt with the subject with the ridicule it so richly deserves.

Professor Dame Sally Davies said she was “perpetually surprised” homeopathy was provided on the NHS, and branded homeopaths “peddlers””

She also expressed fears about the prescription of homeopathic remedies to treat malaria and other illnesses:
“I’m very concerned when homeopathic practitioners try to peddle this way of life to prevent malaria or other infectious disease,” she said. “I am perpetually surprised that homeopathy is available on the NHS.”

Dame Sally, who is England’s most senior doctor, concluded by remarking that homeopathy “is rubbish”.

Now all that we need is a Secretary of State for Health that chooses to listen to scientific and er… medical advice. Not like the incumbent Jeremy Hunt, who is an idiot.

Dara O’Briain does Homeopathy

I popped this video on here because I was watching this performance from Dara O’Briain last night on the BBC Entertainment Comedy Festival and he had me crying with laughter.
He’s obviously annoyed by exactly the same idiots as me: homeopaths, priests, nutrionists and astrologers. But his methods of dealing with them are far better than mine.

Warning! This clip contains occasional naughty words.

And this on the back of a brief twitter discussion yesterday with the great minds of @JacquesR and @ComradeSipho (who has previous form, guv) as to whether the opinions of “ordinary” people should be recognised as legitimate substance for journalists.

Once again, Dara and I are singing from the same hymnsheet on that one.