Bad Arguments: Nadine Dorries and IPSA

February 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm (Miscellaneous) (, , )

Everybody’s favourite MP, Nadine Dorries, has written an interesting new blog post on an investigation into her expenses. This is of interest for a couple of reasons. First, it enables us to play the traditional parlour game of spot the fiction. Secondly, it gives us a chance to look at how Nadine argues. Read the rest of this entry »

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Homeopathy-Supporting Hunt as Health Secretary: Cabinet Reshuffle Shows Cameron’s Choices As Bad As Ever

September 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm (Alternative Medicine, Evidence, government, Homeopathy, Politics) (, , , , , , , )

In 2010, I wrote of my surprise on discovering that Nadine Dorries and David Tredinnick had been appointed to the Select Committee on Health. Cameron seems to have gone one better with his cabinet reshuffle, appointing Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nadine Dorries and Abortion

July 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm (Politics) (, )

Nadine Dorries and Frank Field have proposed an amendment to the health and social care bill that would bar charities which provide abortions from also counselling women. The Nothing Special blog has written to the Department of Health (DH), concerned at the lack of a public or parliamentary debate on the amendment and asking for evidence that the proposal would be beneficial to women. This prompted me to read the Guardian’s report on the proposed amendment, and then to contact the DH myself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Health Select Committee – Dorries And Tredinnick

June 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm (Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Evidence, government, Homeopathy, Politics) (, )

I was surprised to see that Nadine Dorries and David Tredinnick were members of the newly-formed Select Committee on Health. So surprised, I half-wondered at first if the announcement was some kind of spoof. Sadly, it appears that Dorries and Tredinnick really are on the Health Select Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

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Politicians and the Skeptical Voter

November 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm (government, Politics) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Some politicians have rather peculiar views. Often, these views are not informed by evidence. While people will probably remember Tony Blair’s stance on faith schools, they may not recall Peter Hain on Alt Med or Ken Livingstone on MMR. There’s also Nadine Dorries and David Tredinnick. Recently, there was also the case of Alan Johnson and Professor Nutt. Elected politicians are vulnerable, as they can be voted out. This may make it worth lobbying MPs who promote pseudoscience and counterknowledge. It may also be worth looking at how MPs approach evidence in the run-up to the next election.# Read the rest of this entry »

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The Promotion of Counterknowledge

March 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm (Alternative Medicine, Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Bloggers, Briffa, Conspiracy, Dangerously Wrong, government, Media, Nutritionism, Patrick Holford, Religion, Supplements, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

[BPSDB] Those promoting Counterknowledge are winning. Possibly because the public actually don’t really care that much*. (Damien Thompson’s book Counterknowledge is available from local libraries in my area, yet I am the first person in the 14 months since it has been in the library catalogue to borrow it.) It is also possible that Counterknowledge is spreading at least partly because people with a measure of influence in society are among those who promote it. Members of the British royal family, politicians, the mainstream media, celebrities, Alternative Medicine practitioners posing as authority figures, members of churches, and even universities have helped to promote Counterknowledge. Not to mention maverick scientists such as Andrew Wakefield. Those with less authority are playing an important part too, though. For example, full-time conspiracy theorists such as the owner of the website are disseminating bullshit that is reproduced on forums such as What Doctors Don’t Tell You, or JABS. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s New?

October 30, 2007 at 3:53 pm (Bad Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

As I don’t have a ‘miniblog’, I thought I’d write a brief post detailing some of the things that have caught my eye over the last few days.

UPDATE: Check this out – MP Nadine Dorries has a Propaganda Page on teh interweb, masquerading as a blog. This feedback site is for rejected comments from her ‘blog’.

Firstly, Nick Cohen has written an article on homeopathy that can be seen on CiF –,,2200815,00.html (and is also available in the October 28th print version of The Observer). Note the comment by LionelRM and the link provided by CommanderKeen to

Secondly, the Quackometer blog has a new post. It’s on homeopathy and (even better) it’s about the Society of Homeopaths – This post has been advertised by Gimpy here (with a wonderful logo) –

Briefly, a note of praise for Jon Ronson – his article in the Guardian Weekend on sick pretend-psychic Sylvia Brown is also here:,,2198928,00.html. My view is that people who go to psychics are very often vulnerable, desparate folk who should not be taken advantage of. Sylvia’s view (according to her ex-husband)? ‘Screw ’em. Anybody who believes this stuff oughtta be taken.’

Next up: Ben Goldacre has recently written about the Quackometer and the SoH – and on Saturday in the Guardian, he moved on to the numbers being bandied around in the abortion debate – This was followed by a blog posting on the use of the 40% figure in the media – I decided to take a quick look at a Google News search for ‘23 weeks +abortion’ and the rest of my post consists of a snapshot of the UK press…

Read the rest of this entry »

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