British MP Seeks to Incorporate Astrology Into National Healthcare System

July 26th, 2014
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Well at least the US is not alone in having idiots for elected leaders.

Via the BBC:

Astrology-loving MP seeks health answers in the stars
A Conservative MP has spoken of his belief in astrology and his desire to incorporate it into medicine.

David Tredinnick said he had spent 20 years studying astrology and healthcare and was convinced it could work.

The MP for Bosworth, a member of the health committee and the science and technology committee, said he was not afraid of ridicule or abuse.

“There is no logic in attacking something that has a proven track record,” he told BBC News.

He said he had studied the Indian astrological system Iahiri and the way it was used by that country’s government and recalled how Chris Patten, Britain’s last governor of Hong Kong, had an official astrologer, whom Mr Tredinnick had consulted while on a parliamentary delegation there.

The MP recently spoke about his beliefs at the Glastonbury Festival, sharing a platform with Daily Mail astrologer Jonathan Cainer.

Recalling the experience in the House of Commons, he said he had been invited to take part because of his “radical agenda” on complementary medicine – he is vice-chairman of the government’s herbals working group.

He said he had been the subject of much ridicule for his beliefs over the years, including a fake Twitter account entitled “Inside the head of David Tredinnick”, but many of the sceptics who had attacked him were “bullies” who had “never studied the subjects”.

“I am absolutely convinced that those who look at the map of the sky for the day that they were born and receive some professional guidance will find out a lot about themselves and it will make their lives easier,” he told MPs.

Explaining his beliefs to BBC News, Mr Tredinnick said he had been right about herbal remedies and healing, which he said were now becoming accepted in parts of the NHS, and he now wanted to promote astrology, which was not just predicting the future but gaining an insight into personal problems.

I don’t have much more to say to this. I have, however, studied the subject. No, I have not studied the mechanics of astronomical prediction, but I have studied the accuracy, repeatability and social acceptance of astrology. I can say that science undoubtedly shows it does not work. This is no surprise, of course. The basis is arbitrary animals, characters and objects that ancient people say in the patterns of stars, which are themselves many light-years apart in space.

The fact that herbal and “natural” medicine is becoming accepted by NHS is not proof that it works. It’s proof that politicians and the public are ignorant of the subject and demand it. We have the same problem of alternative medicine creeping into the mainstream in the US. In fact, most countries seem to have that issue these days.

It’s also not a huge surprise that the former governor of Hong Kong had an astrologer. Many politicians are prone to believing in astrology or other superstitions.

Of course, when they use these superstitions to govern, that can be a problem. Thankfully for the UK, this one member of parliament is unlikely to be able to do much about getting astrology officially recognized or making it part of the medical system.

It is still unfortunate that this MP sits on science and health committees. Isn’t there someplace else they can put him? What about the Ministry of Silly Walks?

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at 12:38 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Culture, Paranormal, Politics, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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12 Responses to “British MP Seeks to Incorporate Astrology Into National Healthcare System”

  1. 1
    L.Long Says:

    They had homeopathy and Chiropractic in their health care why would astrology be a surprise???

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  2. 2
    Joseph Hertzlinger Says:

    Gait analysis has applications to forensics. Presumably that would include analyzing Silly Walks.

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  3. 3
    DV82XL Says:

            L.Long said:

    They had homeopathy and Chiropractic in their health care why would astrology be a surprise???

    Which only goes to underline why letting this sort of nonsense take root in the first place is so dangerous.

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  4. 4
    drbuzz0 Says:

    As I mentioned there are other politicians who have been belivers in astronomy. Famously, Nancy Reagan supposedly employed an astrologer and used the readings to advise her husband. However, it would seem most astrology-believing politicians keep it on the down low and don’t publicize it, probably because they know they would face ridicule

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  5. 5
    DV82XL Says:

    William Lyon Mackenzie King was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s and was the longest-serving Prime Minister in Canadian history. He was also highly eccentric, with his preference for communing with spirits, including those of Leonardo da Vinci, and his dead mother among others. His occult interests were kept secret during his years in office, and only became publicized later. In 1953, Time stated that he owned—and used—both an Ouija board and a crystal ball. this was the person that led the nation out of the Great Depression and through the Second World War. Go figure.

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  6. 6
    Pedro Says:

    He got in trouble a few years ago when he bought some very expensive astrology software and put it on expenses.

    It’s good to see you’re posting again! ☺

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  7. 7
    Gordon Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    As I mentioned there are other politicians who have been belivers in astronomy. Famously, Nancy Reagan supposedly employed an astrologer and used the readings to advise her husband. However, it would seem most astrology-believing politicians keep it on the down low and don’t publicize it, probably because they know they would face ridicule

    Plenty of elected leaders seek guidance from prayer and openly brag about how they do so. Strange, isn’t it? Maybe not. One is certainly more accepted than the othger

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  8. 8
    BMS Says:

            Gordon said:

    Plenty of elected leaders seek guidance from prayer and openly brag about how they do so.

    But astrology is specifically directive in nature. It purports to indicate that a certain course of action is good or bad based on the alignment of the planets, the stars, or whatever other heavenly bodies are supposed to be involved. That is, the stars specifically tell the user whether some action will be good or not.

    When someone is seeking guidance from prayer, usually he means that he is asking for the wisdom to make good decisions, guided by the system of moral principles of his particular faith. Yes, it’s superstitious, but it’s not in the same league as astrology. Now, if someone says that he is being guided by the voice of Jesus or angels or whatever other voices he says that he hears in his head, then I think that you’d find that this would not be as well accepted.

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  9. 9
    PsihoKekec Says:

    NHS is coming closer and closer to become real life Mitchell and Webb skit

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  10. 10
    ddpalmer Says:

    I don’t know about the specific case in Hong Kong, but I could see a politician having an astrologer (even if he didn’t believe in it) to pander to his constituents.

    If a large percentage of the voters believed in Feng Shui then it might be a good idea (from a political sense) to publicly consult an ‘expert’ to arrange your office.

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  11. 11
    Mikke Says:

    What’s most grotesque about all of this is that “astrology” refers to a variety of mnemotechnic systems that the ancients engraved upon the sky with their minds. That part of it has gotten lost in favor of the fortune-telling aspect.

    I think that we as rational people could get farther with the astrology-woo types if we pointed this out rather than trying to debunk or ridicule.

    For instance, the Zodiac was a perfectly acceptable way for walking and seafaring people to map their activities in time and space. This set of stars rises, then this one, then this one, and move in this and that direction over the seasons. To remember the stars, connect them with lines. To remember all the sets, tell stories about them. That is Oral/Epic Memory 101. It’s how the precession of the equinoxes came to appear in British legend as Uther Pendragon (Draco) giving way to Arthur (Ursa Major) as the locus of the pole star, or in Savo-Karjalan-Sami legend as a series of adventures of Vainamoinen.

    Certain cultural and ritual associations arose over the years and were institutionalized, then represented in shorthand, or even parts of them not told to the uninitiated, given that knowing how to get around for trade or when to plant/harvest crops was a huge source of power in the ancient world.

    I’m thinking about the fact that the climax of the Eleusinian Mysteries was apparently the unveiling for the initiate of a single awn of grain. That’s ancient Greek ag extension if I ever heard of any. I’m basing that on many years in ag extension in the US Midwest, where the grain mysteries included things like Oktoberfest, or other harvest festivals. Countless times I observed undergraduate sustainable/organic ag student females cruising for the chosen Dumuzi/Adonis/Tammuz male to “make them a goddess” through getting them pregnant…after imbibing liberal quantities of fermented grain beverage, of course. Observing this I understood Sumerian culture and myth at a visceral level.

    So this current item is a bit like MP Tredinnick seeking to incorporate Giordano Bruno’s or Giulio Camillo’s or Robert Fludd’s memory theatres into the NHS, on the grounds that, hey, some of their aspects worked for me, so that means they work, right?

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  12. 12
    Darius Brayn-Cole Says:

    So why is this story, which has been clear but buried for decades, being told now???? Is it because of its deep down anti-communist content, supporting not the KKE (who themselves are not the best revolutionaries ) but Syriza, which is a compromising hodge-podge of Trotskyism and reformism which holds back a genuine communist understanding with its ANTI-Sovietism? It slyly does not really explain Stalin’s errors which left the door open to Chyruchill, except to try and rubbish all communism (with its later fudged reference to the Hungarian counter revolution which was actually simply along just the same line as Greece, backing Nazis to try and oust the communists – it failed). And why is no mention made of the role of the “left” Attlee government so beloved of all the pretend revolutionaries and Trotskyists? After all they continued Churchill’s policy in a straight line and much of the horrors described occurred on their watch – giving the lie to the idea of “left reformism” which has always been a monstrous betrayal.
    But if the British media and establishment (which self-admitted here is mired in betrayals) is backing Syriza (to prevent real communism) – then things must be really serious in Greece for the West.

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