Preying on the gullible and vulnerable

Update: A joker on Twitter pretending to be Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg thinks Edzard Ernst should be sent to the Tower. Why? Because Ernst said Prince Charles is a snake-oil salesman. Well he is! I guess saying that makes me fit for the Tower too, or would if I were a subject of the Crown, which I ain’t.

This week Ernst showed how little his critics have dented his confidence. At a press conference to mark his retirement he joined in the name-calling, agreeing with a Daily Mail reporter’s suggestion that the Prince of Wales is a “snake-oil salesman”.

Excuse me, that’s not name-calling – it’s the simple truth. The p of Wales sells a bogus “detox remedy”; he sells it for money. There’s no such thing as “detox” and if there were it wouldn’t be a dab of dandelion and a whiff of artichoke. It’s bogus and expensive; how is it “name-calling” to say he’s a snake-oil salesman?

“He’s a man, he owns a firm that sells this stuff, and I have no qualms at all defending the notion that a tincture of dandelion and artichoke [Duchy Herbals detox remedy] doesn’t do anything to detoxify your body and therefore it is a snake oil.” Far from regretting the choice of words and the controversy it has generated, he appears to relish it.

Goodness, how prissy. Yes Mr Posh and Privileged is flogging a silly hand-waving “remedy” to credulous people; he’s the one who should be regretting something, not Ernst for pointing it out.

it was a complaint from Prince Charles’s principal private secretary five years ago that nearly cost Ernst his job. The letter, sent by Sir Michael Peat in his capacity as chair of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, accused Ernst of violating a confidentiality agreement in relation to the publication of a report. Prince Charles denies having anything to do with the letter personally, and Ernst was cleared by a subsequent inquiry. But Ernst believes the power of the royal family has distorted public policy in relation to complementary medicine, and does not plan to let the subject drop.

Good. It’s an outrage, the royals using their archaic meaningless privilege to push homeopathy and “detox remedies.”

When in 2005 he was asked to comment on a report on the economic benefits of complementary medicine – commissioned by Prince Charles’s complementary health foundation, written by economist Christopher Smallwood and due to be delivered to government ministers – Ernst let rip.Sir Michael Peat’s letter of complaint was the result, and the investigation of his conduct which dragged on for 13 months.

They fight dirty, the royals.

He believes there is a “conflict of interest” for Prince Charles in using his public and charitable activities to promote complementary medicine, and making money from the “Duchy Herbals” range of remedies (Ernst calls them “Dodgy Originals”). The Foundation for Integrated Health was shut last year and its finance director jailed for theft.”I think it’s an abuse of power. It’s not his job to do that. He’s not a politician. He’s the king to be, and that is a very defined role, and it’s not to mingle in health, politics or anything else.

“He would probably argue he doesn’t make money from it, it all goes to good causes and so forth, but it’s still preying on the gullible and vulnerable. And it implies we can all overeat and over-drink and live unhealthy lives and take a few detox tablets and everything is right again. That’s not true.”

He likes the queen though.

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