NEWS

All done!

The 2009 Enigma Tour finished last night with a great night in Glasgow. Aside from one drunken woman who annoyed the audience and performer in the first half, (thankfully she left after security had a chat with her in the interval) the show was a terrific one to end on. I took a photograph of everyone as a memento. Here you all are:

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Look at you, all dressed up and out for the evening. That’s what I look at every night, when the house lights come up. Bless any of you who think I can hit a stooge with a frisbee when it’s pitch black too. 

Thank you to everyone  who came along to see the touring show. Thank you to those who travelled; who spent ludicrous amounts on ebay tickets or more than they could justify on the regular ones; who came as birthday treats; who queued in the cold or rain; who brought sweet and touching gifts. We all enjoyed this tour more than any other, and are very excited to be bringing it to town. I only managed to get about twenty pages of the new book written, which brings me up to nearly a hundred, but I shall persevere during my days in London. 

A final thank you to the excellent bar staff of the Radisson SAS in Glasgow for looking after us so well: Ash, Mirka, the glorious Rebecca and others. 

Please keep the secrets secret and the surprises surprising! Thank you for all being so good so far. I’m heading out for dinner to catch up with my beloved. Much love to the lot of you, and see even more of you in London. 

x


Nearly the end…

There you are.

Having had a look at your comments, I was surprised that people thought I had asked for you to signh the Singh thingh. I re-read the post and realised that the quote at the end, from Simon, sounds like a plea from me. I wanted to raise awareness of the case, but please don’t sign anything unless you want to, and also understand and happen to agree with it. And as several of you have pointed out, this isn’t about whether or not chiropractors’ claims stand up, it’s about the appropriateness of libel as a way of silencing disagreement and avoiding debate. 

I’m now in Glasgow, for the last venue of the tour. It’s coming to an end. I then get a week for radio interviews, a bit of filming, and some discussions about changing anything in the show, and then we’re into dress runs at the Adelphi. Oh – what’s this?

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Now that looks very handsome, doesn’t it? Oh yes it does. Look at those people walking past, all excited about it. They literally cannot believe it! Imagine the faces of their children when they get home and tell them what they’ve seen!

First night in Newcastle was marred by some lights not working right at the end, so you couldn’t quite see what was going on. The audience response to the finale was, understandably, the weakest of the tour. But a fun night nonetheless, and apart from this upset, it was a good show. The following two nights were great – some of the better moments of the tour, in fact. And some lovely people, as ever, hanging around outside, although I didn’t get much signing time. Apologies to anyone disappointed in the fact I had to rush past scribbling so illegibly on programmes, breasts and tickets. 

Glasgow was terrific last night: we have a couple of nights here at the Royal Concert Hall, a night off (the show has to be packed away), and then back up again for the final night on Sunday. A lovely city and venue to be finishing in. An exciting last little run and then we’re all getting geared up for the press night in London. 

Good Morning x


Simon Singh stands up to libel claims

 I have put my name to a petition that feels that libel laws should not be used to silence discussion of medical practice and scientific evidence. This is following the British Chiropractic Association bringing a libel case against Simon Singh for questioning the evidence relating to their claims. It seems to many people, including your blogger, that the response to this should be open debate and defending of claims, not suing the respected author of an article for highlighting such doubts.

Simon has taken the brave move of appealing the pre-trial ruling, and Sense About Science have joined with him to gather support for the freedom of speech issue that underpins this. It can all be read about here. Simon is quoted as saying:

 

“It has been a stressful and frustrating twelve months since I published my article on chiropractors and their attempts to treat children with conditions such as asthma. The British Chiropractic Association’s decision to sue me for libel has been an enormous drain on my time and energy. However, the support that I have received from family, friends, readers, bloggers, scientists, journalists and those who care about free speech has been incredible, and it has played a crucial role in my decision to continue defending my article and fighting the libel action.

More importantly, everyone agrees that there is something fundamentally wrong with the English libel laws, which have a chilling effect on journalists, whether they write about science or anything else, whether they live in Britain or anywhere else. Hence, I am delighted that so many individuals and organisations have come together to launch a campaign with Sense About Science to highlight how the English libel laws clash with the right to discuss science in a frank and fair way. The Keep Libel Laws out of Science Campaign will also raise issues related to my particular libel case, and it will encourage a debate on the reform of the English libel system.

The campaign launch revolves around the statement shown below, and I would urge anyone who cares about science or free speech to show support by signing up.

And I would also encourage you to make your friends and colleagues aware of the issues at stake and ask them to sign up. It is possible that the time is right for major libel reform in England, which will then allow scientists and journalists to write with less fear of being intimidated.”

Let’s hope so. 

x


Homeopathy urgently condemned for serious diseases

More important, desperately-needed work from Sense About Science. The groundless, pseudo-scientific claims of homeopathy are now pushing towards creating a possible public heath disaster. For an honest appraisal of homeopathy, and what testing has shown, look here. And for SAS’s excellent PDF entitled I’ve got nothing to lose by trying it – Weighing up claims about cures and treatments for long-term conditions, go here.
Again, we are reminded of the lucid, simple point that a medicine works or it doesn’t. It can’t be shown to not work but somehow still be said to ‘work’ in some ‘alternative’ sense. Here is the press release, sent to me yesterday:
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