Sunday, December 20, 2009

Camden: for community facilities not corporate monolithes

I don't know what has got into the Camden New Journal. I've been extremely impressed with it when I've had the chance to read it, but this week they printed a clearly deranged letter from someone protesting against a new development in Somers Town.

Now this development is actually very unpopular and, due to a recent consultation in the area I happen to know a number of local residents wrote in on the subject. However, the CNJ chose to print just one letter on the subject (from NW6, well out of the area) from someone who, from the letter, appears to have mental health problems.

I'm in no way suggesting that the CNJ is obliged to take sides in any way, it's just for a normally very high quality paper it seems to have taken a conscious decision to represent the local opposition to the developers with a single letter that none of them could possibly agree with. I'll show you;

"So London’s lab-land is to get another vivisection laboratory. The “cathedral of science” we are told (December 10) will cost £520million... and what will be the reason for the existence of this exciting project? Bogus medical research, that is, thousands of animals being poisoned and cut up by an army of people pretending they are doing vital life-saving, cures for cancer etc.

"The reality? It’s a job-creation game. The animals will be sacrificed; only rodents will be used. Tell that to the marines.

"Putting a drug into an animal in the pretence that it will tell us how that drug will act in the human body is nonsense. Anyone who believes such a thing is either a criminal or deranged. Also veterinary research does not truly tell us how animal diseases develop in the wild.

"So you want to be healthy? Stop eating meat. Avoid aspartame. Give up cows’ milk and never accept any more vaccines.

"Vaccines do NOT protect against any disease.

"But try to be kind to doctors. They have been conditioned only to prescribe synthetic drugs."
Now, I've the greatest possible respect for people who have specific arguments against the utility of animal testing but the idea that vaccines do not protect against any disease, well, to say it was a fringe idea would be to insult fringe ideas. It's blatant nonsense of the strangest kind and the CNJ knows this. So why print this letter over other, more representative, ones?

Camden Green Party put a far more rational case, for example here, here and here. That case is based on the community concerns that this space should be used for housing and community facilities. The consortium propose building a tower block right next to this residential area that will be far higher than the neighbouring St. Pancras station and British Library, literally blocking out the light for those who live beneath it's shadow.

Now it seems to me that the letters sent to the CNJ that this land should be used for the good of the local community and not to ruin local residents' quality of life seem far stronger arguments to print than some balls about rejecting vaccines. What a curious editorial decision.

No comments: