Posts Tagged ‘syndrome


Michael Hanlon’s email regarding his Sunday Times Magazine article

This is an email that I received on the 30th November 2012 from journalist 
Michael Hanlon regarding an article which was eventually published in the
Sunday Times Magazine on Sunday 5th May 2013

I declined to answer.


Dear Gus

I believe this is your email. I got it from some on-line details of a demo at the RSM
which took place some years ago. I understand you are active in the ME community,
and advocate a better deal for sufferers.

I am a science journalist, and I am writing a story for the Sunday Times Magazine
about the Great ME Controversy, the claims, counter-claims and, hopefully, the
truth. I am hoping you may speak to me. This is all in the wake of the XMRV findings
and the controversy surrounding the recent prize awarded to Simon Wessely.

Do I have an agenda? Yes. Up to now I have been pretty convinced that attempts
to criticise people like Simon Wessely publicly and vehemently have been
counter productive. I have written in support of the psychiatrists.

But I am prepared to be proved wrong. And I promise that what I write will
accurately reflect the view of everyone in this debate.

Would you be prepared to meet? Or at least chat over the phone? You can
Google me to see how I write and what I write about.

Best regards

Mike Hanlon




I hate to say “I told you so”, but…..

…I told you so.

Within hours of the news of the WPI/Mikovits stuff on XMRV re “CFS”/ME,
I posted something on here about my, what only could be described as, cautious
optimism regarding a linking of a retrovirus and “CFS”/ME

Just over two years later, Mikovits was arrested after the WPI noticed
that data had gone missing from their labs. This had come on top of an
increasingly negative set of stories about the integrity of the research
Mikovits had carried out.

Now, this is my point.

I am not a scientist.
You are (probably) not a scientist.
I want an answer as to what causes “CFS”/ME.
I want a cure for “CFS”/ME.
I do not believe that there are psychological or psychiatric explanations
behind “CFS”/ME.
I would suggest that I have personal experience to back that last statement.
However, the rabid, irrational, unquestioning zeal that has supported
the XMRV stuff from some sections of the “CFS”/ME “community” just makes
the rest of us look like utter arseholes.

Just because you, I and others might want something to be the case,
it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the case; I would dearly love
to see England win the football World Cup in 2014 but hey, you know
what? It probably won’t happen.

“Wishing” and “fact” are two entirely separate entities.

Are you pleased with yourselves now?

You’ve given the likes of the utterly disingenuous Wessely more fucking

You are utterly clueless.
Up your acts, for fuck sake.


From the file marked “bullshit”…..

….comes this.

Where do I start?
“Chronic fatigue syndrome” – shitty, lazy misnomer.
Dr Ester Crawley. To science what Alan Carr is to cage fighting.
Hotopf. Psychiatrist. Irrelevant.

Oh, and just because I have the audacity to say so doesn’t mean
that I am in need of psychiatry, by the way.

As for Willows, sincerity is not a word that comes to mind.

A virtual lack of science in the piece.
Very shallow and utterly bereft of any meaning but hey, we live
in a world where more people watch the X Factor than vote in elections
and the be all and end all is to be famous regardless of talent.


The final confirmation…if not solution. Yet.

Didn’t see this at the time but Iain Duncan Smith lets slip the old “Arbeit Macht Frei” stuff on
BBC TV (click video, 16 seconds in).

Now in fairness he actually said “work actually helps free people” (too many “actually“s in
that last sentence, actually), which is, if you click the “Arbeit Macht Frei” link, not quite
work sets you free” but is, and I’ve deliberated over this for a least three seconds, pretty
near dammit.

IDS or Mike Gardner? As Harry Hill might say, there’s only one way to find out…..


“Minister denies fuelling tabloid attacks on ‘workshy'”

Employment Minister Chris Grayling has denied claims the government
had helped fuel press coverage labelling benefit claimants as “workshy”

Disingenuous fucker.

P.S. Oh, by the way this is the same Chris Grayling as in this


CBT through the back door?

The BBC’s David Sillito reports on the “Happiness Challenge“.


Next APPG on ME – 09/11/2010

Well as I somewhat suspected when I noted my observations back in March this year, the
APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) meetings on ME are due to return without public
participation. The meetings are after all parliamentary so it should be no surprise
at all that they should return to that.

However, I have a suspicion that another reason may have also played a part –
the meetings went public. With consequences.

Let’s see….
What do you get when you have a load of people, probably quite a few with different
illnesses but given the same diagnosis, left to rot by the medical profession, mostly
unhappy with the fashionable crap that is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy being the only
‘official’ treatment when for many a physiological trigger followed by physiological
problems leads them to think that it’s….errr….physiological?

You get a bunch of people who are not really terribly happy with the status quo.

What do you get when a parliamentary meeting is held about these people and they are
allowed to attend?

Unhappy people telling politicians they are not happy and sometimes letting their
unhappiness show.

Quel(le) surprise.

Who’d have thought it?
Democracy resulting in hard-nosed politicians being presented with problems by those
that democratically elected them!

My previous blog entry in which I berated those in the ME ‘community’ for not being mentally
tough enough to campaign effectively has been probably my least viewed blog entry of all
time. I am not at all surprised. It confirms exactly what I thought – people are afraid of
confronting it. We now have a situation where people in power are talking about us
*without* us, to paraphrase a memorable quote from a contributor to the NICE judicial
review series I recorded last year

The video clips of the ME blood ban protest last Monday have proved to be the most
immediately watched clips on ME that I’ve ever uploaded to YouTube. Again that does
not surprise me. The clips are unthreatening almost uplifting. There is almost a ‘burying
the head in the sand’ quality about them. I shall no doubt either be criticised or
ignored for this and other similar posts but therein lies the problem. There are very
real and so far insurmountable difficulties in patients attempting to gain physiological
treatment when diagnosed with ME and, as a result, we absolutely have to accept that
the situation is difficult and that situation has to be challenged.

Pressure must increase, not stay at the same level or drop off.
XMRV may or may not answer some questions but the longer thorny issues are avoided,
the longer we will all be here.

Is that what you want?