over de maatschappij,

politici, de gezondheidszorg,








Gurli Bagnall schreef, naar aanleiding van de rechtszaak tegen de NICE-richtlijnen,

een essay over onafhankelijkheid, marktdenken, politiek en onrechtvaardigheid.







Gurli Bagnall


The Judicial Review decision has been published and once again ME victims have been left on the sharp end of the stick. The anger expressed says it is not over, but before regrouping there are the tears of frustration and disappointment to be dealt with. It has been said many times and in many ways that justice is there for those who can afford it. I for one, need no convincing.


I recently watched whistleblower, Michael Moore's, documentary Sicko concerning the US health system. Reactions on the internet range from the convinced and outraged, to those who laughed at the pain and horror of it as if it were the funniest comedy to have hit the screens in the past decade or so.


The only criticism I have is that, in comparing the US health system with those of other western democracies, Moore tended to see only the good in the latter. However, in general terms, and overlooking preventable medical error and ia­trogenic consequences, one could not argue if the discussion had revolved around well-known, routine illnesses only; but it didn’t. It also covered the plight of those suffering the aftermath of fire fighting at the World Trade Centre in New York, so one might logically have expected comments to have been ma­de about how similar conditions such as GWS and ME are dealt with elsewhere.


Aside from that, the documentary encapsulated many of today’s problems and in particular, those within the two most powerful nations on earth the United States of America and the United Kingdom.


The 15 March, 2009, issue of the New York Times, published a very good example of what is and has been happening in our major western democracies, and while this particular incident may have been bigger and grander in the States, the same thing happens in one form or another elsewhere. I refer to: A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout.


FIRST PARAGRAPH: The American International Group which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.


We might well wonder how those responsible for the certain collapse were entitled to bonuses in the first place. And where were the rules and provisos that must surely have gone with a handout of this magnitude? Why was an independent administrator not appointed to allocate this public funding? The questions are endless and the outrage is blistering but it is met with a So what? shrug of the shoulders.


As they count out neat wads for themselves, the firms lawyers say there is nothing they can do; they are apparently contractually obligated to pay the bonuses. Greed or criminal theft describe the actions in any words you like, they are as water off a ducks back.


Be it in the US, the UK or New Zealand, big business has not been slow to tram­ple on those who are already struggling to get up. What sort of human beings lobby for policies that create mass unemployment and then demand that bene­fits be cut down at best and stopped at worst? Do that, and those layabouts will soon get back to work! they proclaim while ignoring the fact that the climate they created means there IS no work. He’s disabled? some ask with a sneer. Rubbish! He doesn’t HAVE to be a gym instructor! He only needs one leg to be a street sweeper!


And now, without so much as a blush of shame, big business has become the biggest bludger of all time! It stood in line with hands outstretched to become the recipient of what must surely be the largest welfare payout ever. Even so, it continues to wield the big stick that says, Well do as we damn well please and you WILL foot the bill.


Since bonuses are generally meant as a reward for excellence over and above the usual salaries, we might consider that in today’s typical family, both parents work to keep food on the table and a roof over the heads of their children. Some of these bonuses to which they are compelled to contribute through taxes, represent amounts which exceed the family’s combined annual income.


The very people who would prosecute this family and strip them of all posses­sions if they did not pay their taxes, feel free to help themselves to the fruits of their labour - to wallow in it like pigs in muck. This is a protection racket like none other. The ideals of democracy have been trampled into the mire.


Tony Benn, retired British politician, commented on choices in an interview during the making of Sicko:


Choice depends on freedom but if you are shackled by debt, you don’t have the freedom to choose


I think there are two ways to keep people controlled. First, frighten the people and second, demoralize them. An educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to control.


He commented further that 1% of the world’s population owns 80% of the worlds wealth; people put up with it because of the fear engendered by the helplessness of personal circumstances.


The question is, does that 1% also contribute 80% or more of taxes gathered? It is doubtful. If anyone knows how to evade and avoid paying taxes, it is they.


Just as the young family previously mentioned, needs no explanations about the fear of which Benn speaks, so ME victims need no explanations about lack of choices, eroding of confidence and the over-riding fear of how they are going to cope with the coming day.


Will I be strong enough to take a shower? Am I going to be able to prepare a meal? How will I get the laundry done? Have I enough money to pay the electricity bill or should I pay the rent this week instead?


re these the benefits of being sick to which chief puppet, Simon Wessely, refers as he jerks about on the end of his strings?


Is this what previous generations fought for? Is this what we pay our elected representatives in parliament and congress for? Who laid the foundations? Who gave the stamp of approval for the rich to rob those who do not have the means with which to protect themselves?


The world certainly had its share of problems before George W. Bush took over the Oval Office, but the day he triumphantly moved into the White House under very dubious circumstances, was the day the writing on the wall sent an unmistakable message to the rest of the world which, in one way or another, has been sorely affected.


Of particular interest to anyone with health issues, is that there are four times as many health care lobbyists as there are members of Congress ( That goes a long way to explaining why the costs of medicines are outside the reach of many US citizens.


On leaving office, George W. Bush must have felt proud to have played his part in reducing the WHO rating of the US health system to number 37 after France (1st), Italy (2nd), Singapore (6th), Japan (10th), United Kingdom (18th). He must also feel proud that (for example):


(From the documentary, Sicko): A baby born in El Salvador has a better chance of surviving than a baby born in Detroit.


According to the United Nations Statistics Division, Population and Vital Statistics Report, the rate of infant deaths per thousand in El Salvador is 10.5.

"Table 3, Live births, deaths, and infant deaths, latest available year, June 15, 2007."


According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, the rate of infant deaths for Detroit is 15.9 per thousand. "Number of Infant Deaths, Live Births and Infant Death Rates for Selected Cities of Residence, 2005 and 2001 2005 Average," Michigan Department of Community Health Web Site,


More telling facts and figures can be found on:


The last decades represent an era of corruption in the major western democracies such as the world has never seen before.


We are now hearing what many have long suspected Bush, Cheney and Rums­feld approved a policy of torture and humiliation in dealing with prisoners of war. The Geneva Convention, it seemed, was for other nations to obey while the United States did exactly as its president and his supporters pleased. They pursued their policy with an educated refinement that put Idi Amin and Sadam Hussein in the beginners class.


This is not about despots and dictatorships in third world nations. Nor is it about the mafia with its associated murder and mayhem. This is about the two most powerful and wealthy nations on earth. It is about the sick person who the authorities threw from a hospital bed into the streets; it is about innocent people incarcerated in jails and mental institutions because that was convenient for someone with the power to do it. It is about children who are denied proper care and nutrition because drugs are a far more lucrative way of disciplining and controlling the symptoms of malnutrition.


The move to impeach both George W. Bush and Tony Blair for crimes against their countries and humanity says it all.


Even as tortured prisoners screamed, certain members of Congress made private fortunes from the sales of arms and pharmaceuticals. In Britain, Tony Blair gave his support and approval for these and more crimes.


The BBC News on the 27 August, 2004, ran the headline: Blair impeachment campaign starts. At that stage he was being charged with:

  • Misleading Parliament and the country over Iraq.
  • Negligence and incompetence over weapons of mass destruction.
  • Undermining the constitution.
  • Entering into a secret agreement with US president.


See also:

Ten Reasons Congress Must Investigate Bush Administration Crimes.


Bush may have gone, his term completed, but the US and the world are left to deal with his achievements. Blair was finally forced to resign or face impeach­ment, but instead of having to fend for himself in the big, wide world, it was a case of the old boys’ network finding him a cushy number as Middle East envoy. Roy Bremner, British impressionist, comedian and playwright compares the posting to that of a mosquito engaged to find a cure for malaria. Thank God for the British sense of humour!


But where does all this leave those who suffer ME, GWS and other poorly understood conditions? We live in an environment of secrecy; of a public being misled; of blatant lies and criminal behaviour covered up with the approval of governments. Where does the buck stop? Who are the people who are making fortunes out of contrived diseases?


It is not hard to understand why Claire Wilson was chosen to interview Simon Wessely for the New Scientist recently it certainly cannot have been for her journalistic abilities. At least 99.9% of us were brought up to respect the medical profession. The letters after the name were enough to ensure the figurative bowing and scraping that was demanded no matter how incompetent or how lacking some were as doctors and human beings.


medical career afforded and affords sadists the opportunity to abuse their powers and no matter how gross their behaviour, the support has rarely been for the victim the patient. However illogical and unintelligent the doctor; how­ever flawed his diagnosis and treatment, he was never questioned. He did as he pleased and was accountable to no one. If a doctor said it, then it must be so and his word was law.


Then along came Simon Wessely. Where in history has a western doctor engen­dered such public anger and dislike as has he and by extension, his followers?


There has to be a reason yet journalist, Claire Wilson, who interviewed Wessely on behalf of the New Scientist, did not challenge his contention that the hate mail he CLAIMS to receive, goes with the territory. Such public abhorrence does not go with the territory and never has. It seems the editor of the New Scientist has his own place in the ranks of the puppet brigade.


The ME community in the UK was particularly hard hit when the Countess of Mar, long time champion of the cause in the House of Lords, switched sides. The organizers of the recent conference in the US talked of exciting progress with a diagnostic test just around the next corner. All were encouraged to make a donation to the planned research.


When it became apparent that CBT was included in these exciting developments with what appeared to be an endorsement from Nancy Klimas, I put my papers away. Too many puppets, too many puppeteers.


But the worst news of all, was the Judicial Review decision. In their article NICE Guidelines - What’s Next?, Invest in ME stated the following:


Though NICE, with their well-paid lawyers and establishment machine behind them, have won the Judicial Review brought against them by ME patients this is a pyrrhic victory.


The fact that yet another group of patients have forced NICE to have to defend its policies and guidelines - guidelines meant to make the lives of those same patients better - shows how flawed the NICE organisation is and how little trust patients have in its approach and its conclusions.


True to an extent, but also naive. This decision represents something far more serious than even NICE.


NICE we understand. We understand there is political motivation to ignore the suffering of desperately sick people. We have become used to its lack of ethics in pushing the psychiatric barrow and in refusing to acknowledge the masses of physiological and scientific research currently available. By engaging in this behaviour, it joins fellow puppets in shouting to the world that theirs is an agenda that has nothing to do with truth.


In making the following comments, I speak for myself and no one else. I do not accuse. I simply state fact.


If we cannot trust the judiciary to be fair, open and honest, who can we trust?


If presidents and prime ministers can be corrupt, and if they can allow and even encourage corruption to spread throughout the class of society to which they belong, then judges, too, can be corrupt or at the very least, negligent. It has happened in the past and it will certainly happen again in the future.


I know the standard of work the plaintiffs presented as evidence. I know it was factual and meticulously researched, and referenced. I know it was written in clear, concise language with consideration for the readers ease and convenience. I know this because I am familiar with the work of the person who did a great deal of it.


What I don’t know is how any impartial person, judge or otherwise, could dismiss such evidence out of hand. I do not understand how such a person can consider that current psychological opinions and treatments are adequate when many of the victims of this cruel disease have already died and others are dying. Did the judge cover his wig with a black cloth before handing down the death sentence?


I cannot comprehend how an impartial person can disregard the WHOs catego­rization of ME as a neurological disease. We expect that from the psychiatric fraternity who have their own agenda, but the judiciary as well? I fail to see how an impartial person would not find in favour of appropriate tests to be carried out on patients, and recommend that research funding be awarded to disciplines other than psychiatry.


Did the judge even flick through the evidence presented by the plaintiffs? Did he even at any time, intend to read it? Did he think that if the plaintiffs wasted their money on a fruitless review, they would think twice about making another challenge in the future? Was he got at by the puppets and/or the puppeteers? Is he himself a puppet? Is he privy to the cover up surrounding these diseases and was he playing his part in that deception? Did he allow personal prejudices to dictate his decision? Does he have a conflict of interest?


In regard to ME, decisions made in the UK and the US generally affect us in New Zealand in some way and at some time. I do not accuse, but as an ME victim who has been declared terminally ill due to heart complications, I would like an explanation.


Experience has taught me not to hold my breath.


Gurli Bagnall


Patients Rights Campaigner



19 March, 2009