Archive for August, 2009

23
Aug
09

Abridged version of statement replying to Prof. Hooper

18
Aug
09

Statement in response to Professor Malcolm Hooper’s statement of 29th July 2009

Reply to a statement issued by

Professor Malcolm Hooper, forwarded

by Mr. Stephen Ralph to Co-Cure,

Wednesday the 29th of July 2009.

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Professor Hooper’s statement

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In his statement of Wednesday the 29th of July 2009, Professor Malcolm Hooper refers to

YouTube attacks“, presumably a reference to part twelve and perhaps part thirteen of the

series I recorded called “NICE Review? The CFS/ME guidelines Judicial Review“, broadcast

for fifteen weeks between Monday the 27th of April 2009 and Monday the 3rd of August

2009 on the YouTube channel GBCTwo.

The two parts which are at the centre of the debate were made public on Monday the 13th

of July and Monday the 20th of July – the aforementioned parts twelve and thirteen.

The contributor whose comments in parts twelve and thirteen that

have resulted in Professor Hooper’s statement is Ciaran Farrell.

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Personal background

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Before I address the concerns in the Hooper statement, a little about myself,

and latterly Mr. Farrell, in an effort to contextualise…….

1994 – fell ill with cold (January)

– developed non-cold based symptoms (March)

– dismissed from employment (June)

– hospital diagnosis (virtually through process of elimination)

of M.E. (September)

2001 – attended Action For M.E. event in Whitehall, London (May)

2003 – attended Whitehall M.E. Awareness rally (May)

2004 – attended Whitehall M.E. Awareness rally (May)

2005 – attended Whitehall M.E. Awareness rally (May)

– attended Royal Free Hospital vigil (July)

2006 – joined protest outside Gresham College for Simon

Wessely lecture (January),

– attended Whitehall M.E. Awareness rally (May)

– attended a rally in Sheffield highlighting benefit cuts (June)

– attended two of the Gibson inquiry hearings (July)

2007 – attended the “NICE one!” lecture at the Institute of Psychiatry

(February)

2008 – organised the protest outside the Royal Society of Medicine’s

CFS conference (April)

2009 – recorded and published video containing information for those

wanting to attend the NICE Judicial Review (January)

– attended NICE Judicial Review (February)

– attended the Royal Society of Medicine’s “Medicine and Me”

conference (July)

– attended the two All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry hearings

into service provision for M.E. (July)

I have also attended every All Party Parliamentary Group meeting on M.E. at Westminster

since April 2006.

For two of the Whitehall rallies (2004, 2005) I designed and made

banners. For the protest outside the Royal Society of Medicine,

I recorded a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ_WVWj7chA&hd=1

For a number of these events, I have distributed reports, photographs and even audio of the

proceedings in order for those who did not attend to gain some insight over the internet.

All expenses incurred by me are reimbursed from my own pocket; I am not funded by any

charity or individual. I am also under no obligation at all to attend or organise any event,

other than that I believe it is in my best interests to do so considering the diagnosis I

received and the lack of, in my view, proper treatment available for that diagnosis.

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Mr. Farrell has attended many of the aforementioned events with me including the

recent RSM “Medicine and Me” conference where his questioning was greeted with a

round of applause from the audience (a rarity that day for non-speakers) and I noticed

that at least two of the people on stage personally congratulated him on his questioning

during the break and after the conference had ended.

He has a Joint Honours Degree in Chemistry and Physics (GRSC) and undertook scientific

research in order to gain a DSc degree but was unable achieve the qualification due to

funding problems at the college he attended, Chelsea College. He also studied the

Philosophy of Science at Chelsea College.

He has many years of experience of participating in a variety of committees, bodies and

authorities including Community Health Councils.

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Some background to the YouTube series

NICE Review? The CFS/ME guidelines Judicial Review

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On Wednesday the 11th February 2009, the Royal Courts of Justice in London saw the

first day of a case in which Mr. Kevin Short, Mr. Douglas Fraser and  the Interested Party,

Ms. Jane Bryant, aimed to overturn the NICE guidelines regarding the treatment of “CFS/ME”.

Like a number of other people diagnosed with this, I attended these proceedings hoping

that the main conclusion of the guidelines, the recommendation of CBT with no real

alternative, would be overturned.

Accompanying me to the court was Mr. Farrell and my video camera.

Mr. Farrell lives in north London and I frequently help him to travel to various M.E.

related events throughout London since he is not the most mobile of people.

The video camera was brought in an effort to document people’s thoughts and feelings on

the case, for release after the event.

From that day to Wednesday the 6th May 2009, the last day of recording, I recorded eleven

participants, each with their own views and angles on the case. The recordings subsequently

comprised the series “NICE Review? The CFS/ME guidelines Judicial Review“.

None of these people were coerced into saying what they said and each person was made

aware that the series was about the NICE guidelines case and that they could say as little or

as much as they wanted.

As the caption in the very first ten seconds of the series said:

The views expressed in these video clips are purely the views of the individual participants

and do not necessarily represent the views of other appearing participants. All participants

were unscripted.

That caption included, in its meaning, the wish for no blacklisting, unsubscribing, besmirching or

avoidance of those who merely happened to appear in the series, whether that be Mr. Farrell or

anyone else, by anyone else.

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Accusations in Professor Hooper’s statement dated

Wednesday the 29th of July 2009

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Professor Hooper’s statement on the 29th of July 2009 refers to “those making the attacks“,

presumably myself and Ciaran Farrell, as “acting maliciously” after those “attacks” were called

erroneous and defamatory“.

Mr. Farrell essentially did three things:

1. He relayed parts of Mr. Stephen Hocking’s witness statement.

2. Criticised the tactics employed by Margaret Williams/Julia Hamilton/Kate Stewart.

3. Relayed, again from Mr. Hocking’s witness statement, that some of Mr. Jamie Beagent’s

witness statement was the work of Margaret Williams/Kate Stewart and not Beagent’s.

As far as I am aware, Mr. Hocking’s statement was not challenged in Court and not withdrawn.

Therefore, unless I’m very much mistaken, it can be subject to public scrutiny and debate now

that the case is over and presumably that scrutiny and debate

is applicable to any part of Mr. Hocking’s statement.

Professor Hooper says that “people have the right to know the facts“.

If what Mr. Farrell said was not factual, what precisely are the “facts“?

Maybe more transparency regarding the “facts” is, and was, necessary?

It might be seen as naive to expect people not to talk about such matters in the light of such

a case and the fallout from it.

As an aside, I note that Professor Hooper refers to having “issued” statements after I had asked

him were they “composed by you and only you“* – “issued” is not the same as “composed

but I am willing to give Professor Hooper the benefit of the doubt over my pedantry.

It is also not entirely clear as to whether Professor Hooper had actually viewed the video clips

in question as of the date of his first statement. Again, I am more than willing to

give Professor Hooper the benefit of the doubt.

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Conclusion

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Mr. Farrell’s criticism of Margaret Williams/Julia Hamilton/Kate Stewart is his opinion (I refer

readers to the caption at the beginning of the series) and, in my opinion, his is an acceptable

opinion for which in no way could be referred to as an “attack“.

Frustrated, exasperated and disappointed Mr. Farrell may have been but I really cannot view

his comments as an “attack“. With the greatest of respect to Professor Hooper, words like

attacks“, “maliciously” and “defamatory” are, again in my opinion, incorrect

bordering on irrational.

All of the series was made in good faith.

Indeed, Mr. Farrell displays his support, on camera, for the claimants earlier in the series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcYp8sqKa-I&hd=1

(9.14 into the clip)

For what it’s worth, my wish is for readers of this statement (and perhaps, more importantly,

non-readers – not that they will be aware of what is said, of course) is to step back from the

ad hominem vilification from certain quarters that has been directed at Mr. Farrell, myself

and those who have defended the video clips, read the witness statement from Mr. Hocking

that Mr. Farrell refers to:

http://www.theoneclickgroup.co.uk/documents/ME-CFS_docs/Witness%20Statement,%20Stephen%20Hocking,%20Beachcroft..pdf

read Mr Justice Simon’s verdict:

http://www.bailii.org:80/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2009/452.html

view the video clips in question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKPel06vVLw&hd=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2JV11PNw0M&hd=1

and decide whether Mr. Farrell has said anything that is “defamatory” or “erroneous” based

on the documents he viewed.

I reject the claim that I have attacked anyone in this series and, for that matter, I also reject

the claim that Mr. Farrell has either.

Gus Ryan, 18th August 2009

Appendix

* Email from Augustine (Gus) Ryan to Professor Malcolm Hooper

re authorship of statements, 9th August 2009:

“Dear Professor Hooper,

Could you confirm that statements released on the dates specified

in the header regarding the NICE Judicial Review and YouTube videos

that are referred to in those statements were composed by you and only you.

I hope you don’t mind my asking since I was the person who recorded

the said videos with Ciaran Farrell, the man who appeared in them.

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Augustine (Gus) Ryan.”

……………………………………………………………………………………..

Reply from Professor Malcolm Hooper to Augustine (Gus) Ryan, 10th August 2009:

“Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your email.

Both the statements I issued were my full and final comments on the matter

and I have nothing further to add.

Malcolm Hooper.”

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