To steal a phrase from Dr Vernon, who calls himself “ an old man in a chair”, this is a note,/comment/ appeal from a contemporary of his, who is currently working out a rebalance between work (the kind that earns dosh) activism ( the compelling kind which demands involvement) just living, (who’d have thought there is more to do every day in ones 80’s, just to keep the show on the road), and since house arrest, a very welcome stream of contacts from friends old and new. Not to mention Pilates classes on line, to keep touching the toes, where did they go?  

I thought I’d have loads of time to sort out new allotment, catch up with neglected garden , a heap of filing and paper pruning, doing a new online masterclass and conference stuff with family, friends and colleagues alike…In short It’s about my attempt to reclaim some space:  for thinking, to clear the inbox as well as the heaps of paper on the office, to get into the forest at sunrise to be in a bluebell patch before the deer go for water, and the hares emerge into their chosen field.

To eat lunch under the rose pergola and listen to the garden birds.Dammit the bluebells have faded the foxgloves are emerging, and the borders are full of weeds.In short an occasional, possibly the only,  such missive from “an old woman with a message”. 

This is THE few minutes I suggest is essential viewing. Dismissing it, “no time, it can’t be that important etc” ,  is to choose eyes wide shut, as well as cutting ourselves off from a source of knowledge, which will support and comfort those who are beginning to despair, and offers hope in action. Very simple easy actions, like a brief email to your MP, asking for an explanation, or simply passing the link above on to others.

Don’t just shunt it aside, with a “ they’d never do that”. Please dispute it, test it, look for contrary evidence, look at his other stuff.

I’ve admired this man since my own beginnings in Natural Medicine, in the 70s and 80s  His was a sane and balanced voice in the early , pre-internet, (we used to read journals and go to conferences)  days of backlash and belittlement from allopathic medicine. He had an authority deriving partly from initially training and practising conventional medicine. This along with several other honest doctors at that time, as they gave up secure well paid, jobs, pensions and status, when they discovered how far patients were being short changed/ exploited in the narrow interests of a profession already choosing alliance with what we now call Big Pharma, and conveniently forgetting their Hippocratic Oath.

It seems a similar thing is happening now, in the spring of 2020. The clear eyed brave doctors, nurses and academics in both the UK and US who are speaking out about what they actually see in hospitals, and their concerns for the other patients they’ve been made to abandon, are now called whistleblowers.

My personal and professional interests coincide here, and I’d like to tell you a little more. This note is going to the people I value, like, admire and care about most, (the email addresses are blindcopied to protect you.)Dr Vernon’s brief clip and any others he issues will also go out to approximately 5000 social media contacts, so my apology if you happen to be with me on any of those platforms. Most of this  address list doesn’t use those methods of communication, so I have to write to you  independently, and there just isn’t the time in the week to write, however briefly to everyone separately.

It includes old and trusted friends and colleagues, my family, people I’ve danced with, sung in pubs, and walked the fells with, fellow activists, mentors and role models going back to CND, the 1968 resurgence of feminism, my studies in firstly the therapies of the 70s, and then in Natural Medicine;  latterly anti fracking, and now, the fast moving existential threat of saturation of the entire planet with  a wide range of EMFs including the deadly 5G and all its’ developments. 

It also includes people I’ve met along the way who I would describe as real scientists. They may be anyone you pass in the street, in overalls, or suit and tie, pushing a toddlers buggy to preschool or shopping: going to the gym or visiting a care home:  they may be committed activists for another cause. They have in common the gift of an enquiring mind. They do not lazily label you and your uncomfortable views with the mindless mantra of conspiracy theory: they will do a bit of work properly to research  your statements, so that an informed debate can happen. They are willing to discuss a different perspective. Without that we may as well still be earlier primates throwing weight about to establish power on the basis of who can shove hardest.  

Exploitation of that tendency in today’s society is an efficient tool for divide and rule. We all need to wake up to that and resist being herded into acquiescence  by fear .I am emphatically not advocating taking to the streets, or burning telecommunications masts, I’m appealing for independence of mind, and the responsibility that carries with it. To spend a few minutes investigation, and therefore to risk adapting one’s view. On the subject of taking your time on this issue, (and grateful thanks for reading this far) I’d like to tell you why.

I’ve been increasingly pressured by events, and sometimes overwhelmed by what I think I need to get through every day. I’m resolved to grow old a bit more gracefully, with time to smell the roses, without a conflict between spending time on a keyboard and phoning a friend. So my starting point is to unload some self inflicted pressures.Don’t, please, stop contacting  and sending messages. As a first step, I will be limiting my keyboard time, so may not respond as quickly as usual, but I will reply if a little later than usual.