There's been a lot of attention directed toward the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland this week; a week-long extravaganza of music, food, speakers and general merry-making. The inclusion of the consistently-dodgy Australian Vaccination Network's Meryl Dorey as a speaker this year has caused a bit of stir, motivating many sensible people to express their concern to the festival organisers, sponsors and the world.
Jason Brown has been capably summarising the whole shebang here - worth a read if you want to get up to speed.
My thoughts? The fact that Meryl is speaking at the festival doesn't make me angry in itself - although to be perfectly honest, if she happened to disappear in a puff of smoke in the next five minutes it would save me a lot of time forking myself in the temple. What irritates me is the credulous and non-ironic way she is billed as an expert in the field of vaccination, and promoted as somebody who can provide reliable information about topics such as immunology, toxicity and autism. She isn't. She can't.
I would be much happier about her appearance if she was billed and introduced accurately, citing her lack of qualifications or expertise, her many arguments with the truth and her long history of, shall we say, administrative trouble. I've taken the trouble to jot down an appropriate introduction to her appearance:
Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, please welcome to the stage,
The best-known anti-vaccination fibber of our age.
A practitioner of obfuscation, fear and superstition,
Who’s been called out by the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission,
And the AMA, the ABC, OLGR and more.
She sells non-existent magazine subscriptions in her store.
Folks, the woman who’s about to speak to you in this pavilion
Doesn’t know what “research” means, nor “my mistake” nor “parts per billion”.
She doesn’t know ‘morbidity’ from ‘people being dead’;
And her only real credential is the brain inside her head;
A brain that pleads the Fifth when large donations disappear;
And that thinks “medical journal” means the same as “New Idea”
One that wanes when faced with facts, but faced with Natural News it waxes;
A brain that thinks that homeopathy is prophylaxis.
She’s an expert in the field of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc;
You can bet the farm that everything she says today’s a crock.
It’s my pleasure to present, in all her dazed, downtrodden glory,
The queen of the conspiracy – I give you Meryl Dorey.