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Friday, 27 April 2012

On Superheroes and Villains


I tend to view people who discover or work towards discovering cures for illnesses and disease as heroes.  How many millions upon millions of lives have been saved by penicillin alone?  Alexander Fleming is usually attributed to discovering penicillin back in 1928, for which he is a hero, but even so there were others before him who realised that a strange mouldy substance had antibacterial properties.  Later, using Fleming's earlier work, others made penicillin into a proper medicine and lives and limbs were saved in huge numbers.  Heroes, all of them.  No, they are superheroes.

So that's my view on researchers and scientists.  It's important to mention that from the start because when I think about the good work in cancer research that Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has done, the good work that they can continue to do, I view many of the people working for them as heroes.  Someday, somebody (or many somebodies) will make a huge breakthrough in properly curing one of the many forms of cancer, and countless lives will undoubtedly be saved.  And they will be heroes.

Yet despite my views I am in the awkward position of also believing that CRUK, which is so utterly capable of being a superhero, is doing an equal amount of harm to people as it seeks to enforce a particular agenda on the population rather than doing what it should be doing, which is working towards curing all cancers.

An Ounce of Prevention

You know the saying, just as I do.  "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  All of the so-called health charities are now actively lobbying government for preventative tobacco control policies, such as plain packs, display bans, or just outright prohibition of tobacco.  CRUK is at the forefront of that lobbying and activism.  Without CRUK's financial support, many of these "charities" would simply disappear.  And so the familiar saying perhaps requires some modification:  "An ounce of prevention is worth millions of pounds."

I have no issue with any person or organisation trying to educate people on the risks of tobacco use, because I believe that people need to be properly informed of the facts in order to make decisions, or at least understand the possible impact of those decisions.  Knowledge is paramount.  What I take issue with is any person or organisation who would seek to legislate my personal decisions through prohibition or behavioural modification, to legislate my lifestyle via high taxes or bans, and to that end to put out patently false propaganda to sway the "gullible" feeling-not-thinking public into taking up their cause in order to protect children, who didn't really need any protection at all it seems.

If Hitler Were on Twitter & YouTube It Would Probably Look A Lot Like This

The latest video by CRUK is a travesty of research and integrity, it is blatant sensationalised propaganda, just like the propaganda that Hitler would have used.  You could have given those kids pink dildos and got the exact same response.  Because CRUK has for years consistently disregarded the facts in order to achieve their goal of prevention, because they are promoting a vile, hateful agenda of anti-civil liberties and prohibition, the good work of their honest researchers and scientists is tainted.

I cannot support any charity or organisation that lies, produces false research, or promotes hate against a group of people in order to achieve some "noble" cause.  While CRUK's intentions to save lives are probably good, they have become the classic arch-villain who is blind or uncaring to the damage he is causing because he can only see the ends.  Undoubtedly, there are many good people within the organisation working towards the very noble goal of curing cancer, and I do not wish to trivialise their fine work.  Despite all of the good they have done or could do, Cancer Research UK has grown into an arch-villain of epic proportions. By creating a legacy of deceptive propaganda and hate, they are undoing all of honest and good work of those who work for them.  They have disrespected each and every one of the good people who have contributed money to them.  They are not superheroes in my opinion.  They are villainous.

The question now is:  how far will they go?