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Everyone’s laughing at mad ‘Mystic Tred’

Everyone’s laughing at mad ‘Mystic Tred’

Commentators have been having a great deal of fun at the expense of Tory MP, David Tredinnick,  who said this week that the NHS could use astrology to treat its patients.

In addition to publishing a Photoshopped image of the crackpot, dubbed “Mystic Tred”, the Huffington Post carried a piece by Paul Vale who suggested  six other policy ideas David Tredinnick – who sits on both the government’s  Health Select Committee and the Science and Technology Select Committee – might like to champion:

• The Treasury to employ an alchemist to restock Britain’s gold reserves.
 • Foreign policy to be shaped by an analysis of the bumps on Putin’s head.
• Unemployment to be reduced by mapping job centres according to Feng Shui.
• Ukip’s non-immigration policies to be located with divining rods.
• The national debt to be reduced by rubbing it with a potato.
• Russell Grant to be unveiled as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Tredinnick said on Tuesday that divination could have a “role to play in healthcare” and that employing prophecy in 21st century medicine could relieve “pressure” on doctors”. In an interview with the Astrological Journal, the MP for Bosworth in Leicestershire said:

I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors.

He also pointed out that:

Ninety per cent of pregnant French women use homeopathy. And astrology is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart. And, yes, I have helped fellow MPs. I do foresee that one day astrology will have a role to play in healthcare.

The loopy Conservative said that people unconvinced by astrology were “bullies”, adding that his favourite brand of woo is:

Based on thousands of years of observation. I think it is a great pity that so many scientists today are dismissive of right-side brain energy, such as intuition. People such as Professor Brian Cox, who called astrology ‘rubbish’ have simply not studied the subject. The opposition (to astrology) is based on what I call the SIP formula – superstition, ignorance, and prejudice.

Tredinnick said the poo-poohing of astrology:

Tends to be based on superstition, with scientists reacting emotionally, which is always a great irony. They are also ignorant, because they never study the subject and just say that it is all to do with what appears in the newspapers, which it is not, and they are deeply prejudiced, and racially prejudiced, which is troubling.

In response, Liberal Democrat Michael Mullaney, who is opposing Tredinnick in May’s General Election, said:

Will Mr Tredinnick ever stop? With all his talk about astrology he is letting local people down by denying them a voice in Parliament on the big issues. We need an MP who will speak up on the importance of employment, decent wages, pensions, improving the education system, transport issues, saving green spaces.

What we don’t need is an MP who is making our area a laughing stock with his utterly ridiculous obsession with astrology.

In 2010, “Mystic Tred” attempted to claim expenses of £755 for a computer program that uses astrology to diagnose medical conditions.

Tredinnick, then chair of the parliamentary group on complementary healthcare argued that he was pursuing his interest astrology as part of his parliamentary duties, but he later apologised and agreed to repay the money.

Paul Vale concluded:

It is not known whether Tredinnick’s Tuesday horoscope predicted the savage backlash he was about to endure on Twitter.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn, Ivan Bailey & Daz

25 responses to “Everyone’s laughing at mad ‘Mystic Tred’”

  1. barriejohn says:

    I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors.

    I agree; a lot of their patients would then have died!

  2. Har Davids says:

    The opposition (to astrology) is based on what I call the SIP formula – superstition, ignorance, and prejudice. And silly me thinking that those three must form the fundament of astrology.

    What’s next: aroma-therapy to fight Ebola and Aids?

  3. Broga says:

    And this man is an MP on £65,000 plus expenses? I assume the reason he has not been secretive about his dotty ideas is that he is convinced they are true. If he can hang on till loopy Prince Charles is King then Tredinnick has a great career ahead of him.

    Any comments from David “I do religion” Cameron? Or leaders in all things spiritual the Archbishop of Canterbury and the RC and Jewish religious top dogs?

  4. Brian Jordan says:

    That this buffoon is on the Science and Technology Select Committee is a symptom in itself. Of the Tory party’s inability to find any other of its MPs to sit on the Committee. Itself an aspect of the Commons’ deficiency of scientific literacy among its members. Perhaps he can treat it by getting the canteen to feed the members with equations.

  5. Trevor Blake says:

    I confirmed the magazine said he was interviewed but cannot confirm the cotent of that interview.

    http://www.astrologicalassociation.com/pages/publications/ajeditorials/aj_editorial_jan2015.php

  6. barriejohn says:

    Trevor Blake: You’ve lost me there. However, I loved this bit:

    Astrology in politics turned into an unintended focal point, due to a number of unexpected happenings…

    Too funny for words!

  7. Angela_K says:

    I foresee Bosworth having a different MP very soon.

    No matter how much evidence is presented to show religion, Astrology, Homeopathy and other forms of quackery to be wishful thinking, the gullible maintain that they know better than thousand of Scientists.

  8. John says:

    “[Scientists] are also ignorant, because they never study the subject and just say that it is all to do with what appears in the newspapers, which it is not, and they are deeply prejudiced, and racially prejudiced, which is troubling.”

    Slander?

  9. Broga says:

    Astrology: how bonkers can they get? The words they use are gobbledygook with no meaning grounded in fact or practice. They ignore the facts of astronomy with its billions of stars and vast distances. Nor do their forecasts of future events lead to the events coming true. And this man is an MP who can influence how we are governed.

    Does he deserve some sympathy for being so detached with reality?

  10. Trevor Blake says:

    Barriejohn: I try to confirm that people say what they are quoted as having said. So far I cannot confirm MP Tredinnick was quoted accurately. I like the mockery side of atheism but try to proceeded with the logic and evidence side of atheism.

  11. CharlyO says:

    No sympathy for the nutty ones in power.
    We have the same sort of problem in our Congress too.

  12. Alan Carter says:

    David Tredinnick, wow what a ‘thinker’ he is. Unfortunately it appears that the Conservatives are to win the forthcoming Election but hold on, surely David should be able to tell them! Come on David, please let me know the result so that I may have a wee bet, or two. I assume that you have already placed Yours.

  13. Broga says:

    @CharlyO; My feelings as well. I was approaching him as I would someone who is mentally ill.

  14. Daz says:

    Trevor Blake

    Well, he’s certainly listed in the contents of the January issue of the Astrological Journal, though I’ll admit I’m not willing to pay for a copy just to confirm a story. [pdf link] Also his Wikipedia page shows a history of spouting such rubbish.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Trevor Blake/Daz: This would appear to be the interview in question.

    http://www.astrologicalassociation.com/pages/articles/tredinnick.php

    “People who oppose what I say are usually bullies who have never studied astrology. They never look at it. They are absolutely dismissive. Astrology may not be capable of passing double-blind tests but it is based on thousands of years of observation. Hippocrates said, ‘A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician.’ Astrology was until modern times part of the tradition of medicine. I think it is a great pity that so many scientists today are dismissive of right-side brain energy, such as intuition. People such as Professor Brian Cox, who called astrology ‘rubbish’ [in his BBC2 show Stargazing Live], have simply not studied the subject. The BBC is quite dismissive of astrology and seeks to promote the science perspective and seems always keen to broadcast criticisms of astrology.”

  16. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: harsh, very harsh, condemnation of astrology. And that Brian Cox may be a professor but he has his head filled with scientific facts so it is no wonder he cannot appreciate astrology.

    What about forecasting not just the outcome of the election but the number of seats each party will get? Tredinnick can then put his money where his moth is.

  17. Daz says:

    Thanks barriejohn.

    However, since Mars has just been occluded by Uranus, and Sagitarius has just entered Virgo, or summat like that, I’m afraid I must ignore whatever it was you said.

    Your Horoscope For Today.

  18. Trevor Blake says:

    Barriejohn: well done. Let the mockery begin.

    I’ll start by asking for star charts that show all those born on April 20th share some common thread besides being born on April 20th.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_20

  19. John C says:

    Sounds fair enough to me, anyone stupid enough to accept this bullshit as tratment will die , making the world that bit less stupid.

  20. AgentCormac says:

    OT, but this little video made me grin. The BBC actually dares to report that what ‘Frankie Say’ ain’t always good for the behemoth that is the catholic church.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31642386

  21. jay says:

    Not so funny here in US. Our new insurance law requires coverage for homeopathy, naturopathy, accupuncture etc.

  22. Vanity Unfair says:

    Are you really, totally, completely certain that it’s not a truly brilliant piece of satire?
    It might be like Swift’s “Modest Proposal” that got him into so much trouble because some people thought he was serious. (He was, but not in the way they thought.)
    Just because he’s a Conservative it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s stupid. There are exceptions. Those are the ones of whom to be wary.
    So, are you sure? He is on the Health Select Committee and the Science and Technology Select Committee. You wouldn’t expect someone on the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to be a teetotaller, would you?
    Please, let it be satire. The alternative is too distressing.

  23. Brian Jordan says:

    Just as a matter of interest, does this character’s scientific expertise extend to understanding that the precession of the equinoxes invalidates his “star signs”? Has he perhaps updated his methods and caused a schism in the Land of Woo? Sort of like Bigendians vs Littleendians?

  24. barriejohn says:

    Brian Jordan:

    http://youtu.be/oQPFoDkGFrU?list=PLw2peyDgpaA96AfaQSfPCUIuXpr8UztQA

    The “experts” know all this, of course, and have ready-made answers. They’re never fazed!