I’m no anti-vaxxer, but we should be free to choose - Clive Smith

I love a conspiracy theory. I’m sure one day someone will find me on Portsdown Hill in a tin hat trying to find the alien testing facility or down at Southsea beach pinging laser beams along the sea trying to find any curvature in the Earth.

Friday, 5th April 2019, 3:46 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 3:52 pm
A vaccination being administered

It’s good to research conspiracy theories, in my opinion. It doesn’t hurt to question things. But on the other hand, don’t be delusional. Not everything is a false flag and The Queen isn’t a reptilian. Also, I’m not an anti-vaxxer (someone opposed to vaccinations).

All my children have been vaccinated. There are reasons why infant mortality rates are lower than years gone by and life expectancy increases all the time. Vaccinations are one.

Just look at the third world, where they don’t have some of these ‘jabs.’ People still die from preventable diseases all the time. Vaccinations have probably saved millions from death and disability.

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Hands up if you’ve ever caught Polio?

Much of the hysteria about vaccinations has come from that one study which linked the MMR jab to autism (a study on just 12 people, by the way). And with the rise of social media, these things snowball. The study was later disproved and the person who wrote it struck off the UK Medical Register.

But the seed had been sown.

And now there is a growing community around the world of anti-vaxxers with their Google degrees in medicine.

So then you get a situation like the one now in New York county, where they have just declared a ‘state of emergency’ over a measles outbreak. As a result unvaccinated children have been banned from public spaces.

How would even police that though? It’s not as if the unvaccinated are branded. There’s no way of telling.

It poses a few ethical questions though.

Should the ‘fake news’ anti-vax pages on Facebook and the like be taken down?

Should vaccinations become mandatory?

For me, it’s no to either.

People should be allowed to make up their own minds, taking these sites down is censorship.

And ultimately parents should have the final decision on what happens to their children, not the state.

 

 

There aren’t many times when it’s acceptable to hug a stranger.

Football is one of them – and The Checkatrade Final was just such an occasion.

I’m not going to lie and pretend I had any interest in the competition in any of the previous rounds, because I didn’t.

And that’s maybe why it was such a good day. I think a lot of people saw it as a day out rather than getting uptight about winning or if the ball was simply going to be hoofed upfront all game.

Or maybe it was the drinking on the train at half past six in the morning.

And God knows if the bloke I saw down a bottle of Pinot Grigio at 7am made it to the game!

Fair play to him if he did.

 

 

‘Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too,’ Heinrich Heine, 1821.

Quite an eerie prophecy when you consider the Nazi book burnings in the ’30s and more recently Isis doing the same in Mosul.

And just the other day, in Poland of all places – you’d have thought they’d have learnt from the past – a group of Catholic priests burnt a pile of Twilight and Harry Potter books because they consider them sacrilegious.

Now I can’t really see how someone flying about on a broomstick casting spells is much different to walking on water, parting oceans and virgins giving birth. It’s about as believable. You’d think the Catholic Church had enough to worry about.