A few months ago, I was chatting to a friend of mine in a pub about a horrific story in the papers at the time about a very young girl who died of septicaemia from untreated eczema. I say “untreated”… her father was a homeopath.
It was around the same time we in the UK were hearing more horror stories, like “Baby P” and Madeleine McCann, so it tied in with a general child abuse theme that seemed to keep cropping up.
My friend and I were talking about how something needed to be done. Something that would get public attention, so that people would be given a balanced view of certain types of healthcare. After all, Simon and I knew that homeopathy doesn’t work beyond the placebo effect, everyone else should have the right to know too. Once the public are aware of different sides of the argument, it would enable them to choose whether they wanted magic water or a medicine that has been scientifically proven to work. In Gloria’s case, a bit of E45 or possibly hydrocortisone would have done the trick – I should know, I get eczema too.
A few weeks later, I was contacted by a lovely bloke called Andy, Simon had passed my details on to him. Andy oop North needed a Londoner to help out with organising a nationwide event to make the public aware of the quack that we call “homeopathy”. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. This is exactly what I had in mind.
Then in December, a major spokesperson for Boots (one of the leading pharmacists in the UK, a bit of an institution really!) announced that it didn’t matter to Boots that they know homeopathy doesn’t work, they were going to keep peddling it anyway! Hang on, yes, that’s right: homeopathic pills turn over a profit, therefore they’re going to keep selling it. And homeopaths accuse *me* of being big pharma shill!
The 10:23 campaign means such a lot to me, not because I’m big pharma (I’m not, incidentally. I’m an admin clerk for a fine arts company!) but because it’s something we should all care about.
Admittedly, I’ve taken Bach’s Remedy and Relief for exam stress and it worked. It worked even better if I took double the recommended dose. But as soon as I googled the ingredients and discovered it was all in my mind (and I’d failed one of my A-Levels) its effect completely stopped. Perhaps by taking away the belief in a dummy-medicine (placebo) I’m doing the world a disservice. Or perhaps you, me, Gloria, and the millions of HIV positive and AIDs sufferers in Africa deserve the right to an informed, evidence based decision about what goes into our bodies.
For more information about 10:23, and to take part, please visit our website.