I have to declare an interest before I dive head first into this particular philosophical bourn – not only was my great aunt the Queen’s homoeopathic Doctor, but I spent a fair part of my childhood being indoctrinated in the dark arts of soya bean consumption and the health giving properties of ‘Liquafruita’, an unspeakable concoction of garlic and onion, as the cure-all for each and every ailment.
‘Catch ‘em young’, as the Marxists would say – we were sent out every day for an early morning cross country run, before being lined up on hard wooden benches before an array of photographs taken in various abattoirs (in case any of us were harbouring indecent thoughts of egg and bacon after our crack of dawn exertions) and fed home made muesli. If we fell sick, the muesli was replaced by Liquafruita; its health giving properties apparently evidenced by a physics master who had been involved in a serious car accident years beforehand, and had taken to his bed for several months with numerous broken bones, armed only with a crate of Liquafruita – et Voila! he survived.
The sight of this poor man attempting to drag his arbitrarily re-positioned arms and legs across the quadrangle in tortuous pursuit of his walking frame every day was enough to convince me that – just perhaps – family loyalty to the homoeopathic movement might best be ditched in favour of a more mundane, but tried and tested method, should I ever have the misfortune to be similarly scattered humpty-dumpty fashion. I unwisely announced my intended conversion to main stream medical practice over a particularly indigestible carrot and lentil hamburger one evening, and was promptly carted off to the in-house version of Room 101, otherwise known as the head-masters study, for re-education.
Re-education consisted of a spirited denunciation of what-would-happen-to-me were I ever unwise enough to place myself in the hands of main stream Doctors. See here. I would be injected with chemicals – Gasp! I could well have the wrong leg cut off – Gasp! (I seem to remember newspaper cuttings being produced in evidence here) Worse, I would be force fed a diet of meat……(cue some idle day dreaming on my part, vegetarianism didn’t come naturally to me, and the carrot and lentil burgers were congealing as we spoke) entire oceans would be denuded of fish in order to poison my body (this light years before the Cod crisis), indeed the world of conventional medicine was one giant conspiracy to keep me sick and keep infernal Doctors in work.
If he did, and I grant you this was 50 years ago, so I may be forgetting the vital justification, if he did offer any scientific evidence that Liquafruita and homoeopathy had any effect beyond placebo and the passage of time, then it didn’t have as much effect on my impressionable mind as the ‘perils of-the-alternative’.
Reading, or rather, not reading, the answers supplied by Neal’s Yard to the Guardian readers who queried the efficacy of their homoeopathic and natural remedies, I was struck by the similarity between the righteous liberal left of 50 years ago, and the righteous liberal left of today.
Gordon Brown is full of fear tactics as to the perils if we sign up to an alternative government , but he never actually says how he is going to make us better. He offers us no proof as to how his economic ‘Liquafruita’ can actually work, like Neal’s Yard, he just grandly refuses to answer questions.
‘Photographs’ are produced every day in the newspapers to keep our impressionable minds occupied – ‘look at the thieving MPs’, ‘hark, there’s a paedophile on every street corner’, ‘the French, the bloody Froggies, have snubbed our Queen’……..
Meanwhile the economy is hobbling along on its zimmer frame, arms and legs akimbo, making tortuous progress on ‘Gordon the Snake-Oil Salesman’s’ medicine, and he seriously believes that we will take his word for it, that ‘Liquacurrency’ actually works.
Moi? I’m off for a good steak, and then I shall gather up my voting card for June 4th and decide what to vote – other than Labour!