Yet More Proof MPs Are Idiots

A thread on the Bad Science forums has just directed me to this page, a parliamentary early day motion in favour of homeopathic hospitals, along with a list of the MPs who are stupid and/or ignorant enough to have signed it. Here’s the text of the motion:

That this House welcomes the positive contribution made to the health of the nation by the NHS homeopathic hospitals; notes that some six million people use complementary treatments each year; believes that complementary medicine has the potential to offer clinically-effective and cost-effective solutions to common health problems faced by NHS patients, including chronic difficult to treat conditions such as musculoskeletal and other chronic pain, eczema, depression, anxiety and insomnia, allergy, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome; expresses concern that NHS cuts are threatening the future of these hospitals; and calls on the Government actively to support these valuable national assets.

Almost every word of that is wrong. Homeopathic hospitals cost money and don’t work; that is a negative contribution. “Complementary treatments” is a misleading term and does not refer to homeopathy alone and so the number attached to it is irrelevant and misleading. Complementary medicine cannot offer “clinically-effective” (which should not be hyphenated) solutions to any health problems (except possibly for psychosomatic ones). Threats to these hospitals’ futures is not a cause for concern, the government should not support them, and they are not “national assets”. That’s pretty bad for a single sentence.

It also links to this page which tells you who your local MP is and how to contact them, so that if yours is on the list (mine isn’t) you can let them know that the NHS should probably not be spending millions of pounds of your money on hospitals whose stated goal is to prescribe a nice cool glass of water for every known illness.

I shall add this motion to my long list of reasons not to like Ann Widdecombe. The only other name on there I know anything much about it Lembit Opik, and frankly I expect more from him. If he wants me to believe his asteroid science he could start by showing he understands that water cannot cure allergies. If someone who understands science tells me there’s a danger then I’ll worry. If someone who thinks homeopathy is clinically effective tells me there’s a danger then I’ll laugh.