Here’s another wonderful example of the workings of power, again without fear or favour.
George Orwell once pointed out that the first job of a leader is to create an enemy that could strike fear into the hearts of the electorate, a lesson that George W. Bush learnt at his daddy’s knee.
The result is the new Homeland Security Act, which gives extraordinary powers of arrest to the security forces in the States. Oh yes, and it also protects pharmaceutical companies from legal action from parents of autistic children.
Come again? In an eleventh-hour amendment to the legislation, it was suddenly decided that mums represented as big a danger as Osama bin Laden, and so defenceless pharmaceutical companies need protection from them.
Pivotal to this is pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, which makes thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, which is found in the MMR vaccines given to our children. It is suspected that thimerosal may be the ingredient responsible for causing autism; certainly enough parents in the States, who have filed lawsuits against Eli Lilly, think so. Even the American drugs regulator, the FDA, thinks so too, and would like to see thimerosal removed from vaccines but, hey, what’s the rush?
It so happens, quite coincidentally, that Eli Lilly funded the Republican election campaign to the tune of $1.6m. The chairman of Eli Lilly, Sidney Taural, happens to sit on President Bush’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, which is also nothing more than a coincidence.
Thimerosal can be found in an MMR injection near you in the UK, you’ll be delighted to hear, so perhaps you, too, are as much a threat to our national security as Osama.
We think Mr Taural should be told.