Sackcloth punishmentIn this bleak grey winter of political tidings, it is bracing to read a great news story.
Last week I railed against the gullibility of the media in accepting dodgy claims for miracle drugs and treatments. In the cause of cranking up profits, insanely optimistic claims are made for treatments. The technique is to get hold of a beautiful articulate victim of a disease, then parade them through the radio and televison studios.
It’s always the same story. Great cure but the mean Government will not cough the cash. Rarely, if ever, is the story true. The £2,000 Dore "miracle cure" for dyslexia, invented by paint entrepreneur Wynford Dore was personally endorsed by Kenny Logan, who, it turned out, was paid for at least some of his promotional work.
This week the UK arm of Dore went into administration, and US branches are closing too. Parents are out of pocket, and employees are out of work. Will Richard and Judy, You and Yours and dozens of other programme broadcast rebuttal and apologies for acting as snake oil salesmen’s little helpers?
Hope has been falsely raised. A lot of money has been extracted on the basis of very bad science. Guardian journalist Ben Goldacre gives credit to bloggers for undermining the company.
Gimpyblog broke the news internationally of Dore going bust, following up a comment from a Dore employee. Back in January, he published a detailed analysis of the Dore accounts, flagging up serious concerns about their viability even then.
Podblack covered the news of Dore going bust in Australia first and was offering practical rights advice to ex-employees and parents from the start.
Brainduck has been covering Dore's research for a year now, and explaining the methodological flaws. The Daily Mail, Manchester Evening News, Guardian, Times and Telegraph have all been asked to retract the extravagant claims they made for Dore. None appears to have done so yet.
Dore has gone but a hundred other deceptions linger on. The PR lobbyists are still at it and the lazy third class journalist are eager to swallow self-serving junk science. Broadcasters have apologized and paid fines for fixing their audience votes.
The media collaborators in deceit should be paraded in public clad in sackcloth and ashes. Conning families of the sick out of £2,000 is more serious than fiddling the name of the Blue Peter cat.
Credit dueIt was credit unions that offered a safe alternative to the victims of the Farepak scandal. They are the best defence against the loan sharks who mercilessly con people on tiny disposal incomes. Those who have little end up paying the most for credit.
Frequently I get requests from would be volunteers. I know of no better cause that Newport Credit Union. Perhaps I should declare a financial interest because I deposited a modest sum with them a few years ago. It was a thank you for the good value credit they are providing for 1,000 of my constituents.
I again applaud their work. Anyone who can spare a few hours to help in this interesting rewarding work should contact the Secretary Val Delahaye on 01633 214913 or drop in at 5 Market Arcade, High Street Newport.