Homeopathic Methods Applied as a Case Study.

I recently read ‘What actually gets taught on a homeopathy course: part 1’ revealed by Professor Colquhoun in his website and it got me thinking about application of these ‘scientific’ methods. Since the treatment is often constructed based on the idiosyncrasies of the ailment at the hands of a ‘trained professional’, this leaves the root of the problem often open to interpretation.

‘Like with Like’ is the claim made on The Society of Homoeopaths website. So, for a person suffering with insomnia, ‘coffea’ could be recommended (a thoroughly watered down coffee) – to generalise, a substance that would cause symptoms in an otherwise healthy person is used to create a remedy.

On that note, I’ve imagined that ‘The Economy’ has walked though into my ‘pretend diagnosis’ room (sounds about right). Poorly and unsure of the root of the problem, given the length of time between acknowledgement of a problem and any diagnosis or action, I’m not surprised she sought alternative therapy. Not that I want to propogate a self-fulfilling prophesy, but unless something dramatically alters, we’ll see a Conservative government voted into power within the next year and this probably means that deregulation will be among the diagnoses of the financial woes presided over by The Labour Party in the past 12 years. So if I were a Conservative* Homeopath* I might concoct a remedy based on regulation watered down so much that there appears to be very little substance left. That sounds familiar.

When labour came into power 1997 after the systematic deregulation and privatisation of many public services by a conservative government, they tried to claw back some financial regulation with the introduction the FSA and FSMA 2000. Consolidating 7 regulatory bodies into 1, their watered-down, ambiguous Primary Objectives appear to have, without going into too much detail, errr… failed. Not only that, but they have kept very quiet about their accountability,  allowing blame to lie with individuals who are supposedly authorised, regulated and penalised by themselves. In fact, the Principles of Business are so watered down they leave many of the judgement calls on ethos and even individual trades to the very people that profit from them, and retaining what some may opine to be very little substance themselves. Hmm…

The continued application of such ‘remedies’  with, at best, zero proof of efficacy is commonplace in policy making, displayed by the recent dismissal of Professor Nutt. You’d think that drugs policy would be one of the easiest areas to turn into a near exact science. Legislation could easily be based on scientific results from data collected in studies relating to physical/mental health rather than applying the same old ‘classification rehashing’ to a problem caused by prohibition and characterised by criminalising addicts. Apparently not.

I really hope** that the next government discontinue the use of out-dated methods of applying remedies, we’ve come a long way scientifically in the last 100 years and we don’t really need to still be using the same archaic MO.  Regulation and state-control are not necessarily the enemy; poorly justified, ambiguous, unaccountable, watered-down regulation, however, is.

* I’m not.

** While my hope is rational, it is wasted. So instead I heartily look forward to the ribbing that the main parties get when their ‘science’ is put under scrutiny.

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