Federal Election 2019: Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party

Summary

Website: https://imoparty.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IMOParty/
Slogans:
Vote 1 Free Choice
Object to forced meds
Themes: Freedom of choice, especially the choice to be plague-bearers.
Electorate:
Apparently, I’d have to download an unknown web app to my computer to find out about their candidates.  Which I don’t want to do, because I’m concerned about viruses.  Symbolism, anyone?

Update: They’ve fixed their site, but I still find that hilarious.  They are running in NSW, QLD and WA.

Preferences: To be updated when the how to vote cards are declared.

Policies & Commentary

What a difference a day makes!  We have gone from a party that is all about science to one that can be described most politely as pseudoscience.

Let’s start with their title and marketing, which is designed to be as emotive as possible.  The idea of involuntary medication brings to mind images of a drugged and docile population, somewhere between an old-school asylum and something out of Aldous Huxley.  Images of a mother bending over her infant with the caption ‘Hands OFF my baby!’ and of a young girl making a stop sign with her hand and saying ‘Hands OFF choice!’ add to the atmosphere.  The government, IMOP would have you believe, is trying to control you, like some sinister, white-coated scientist in a 1950s horror movie.

(You know, the 1950s, when the diptheria-tetanus-pertusis vaccine was introduced and scientists were working on a polio vaccine culminating in a clinical trial involving 1.8 million children ‘carried out with the co-operation and assistance of hundreds of thousands of lay volunteers, along with medical professionals and local health departments throughout the USA‘.)

Anyway,  IMOP’s rhetoric would have you believe that those sinister white-coated scientists are working hand-in-surgical-glove with the government, to control you.  (Or maybe they control the government?  That would be a twist!)

Lest you think I’m being melodramatic and unfair here, take a look at their preamble:

Australia’s newest political party, Involuntary Medication Objectors Party, is committed to giving a voice to the tens of thousands of Australians who have been ignored by the government and vilified by the press for their informed choice to reject the highly questionable government sponsored Vaccination Program.

Objection is also raised to the mass medication of the population by the Fluoridation of our water supplies…

The party needs your support to turn back this great tide of evil that strikes right at the heart of our hard won freedoms that make us uniquely Australian.

You are invited to join the Party and add your voice against this great travesty of justice and freedom.

Do you hear the people sing / Singing the song of angry men?  It is the music of a people who will not drink fluoridated water again!

Right, well, we might as well deal with the really easy target first, so let’s start by pointing out the inaccuracy in the very first four words of the first line, which is that this is not Australia’s newest political party – believe me, I would know.  There were six registered last week, the last of which was ICAN.  And this one has been around since 2016, which makes it about 90 in Australian Politics years.  I mean, that was a whole Prime Minister ago.  Maybe two.  Maybe six.  I’ve lost count…

As for the rest…

Mandatory vaccination lobbyists have been very successful at shutting down any legitimate conversation or questioning of medical and political practices by labelling such people as being “antivaccine”. We believe that it is appropriate and acceptable to criticise Government policies that are not evidence based.
Well, yes, it is appropriate to criticise policy that isn’t evidence-based.  We’ll come back to that in a bit, but the trouble is, there appears to be absolutely no level of evidence that will ever be accepted by people who have decided that there is ‘genuine scientific uncertainty’ about the benefits and risks of fluoridation and vaccination.
But I’m super happy to avoid using the term ‘anti-vaccine’.  How does ‘pro-epidemic’ sound?

Their candidates, unsurprisingly, all have backgrounds in natural health, holistic health and alternative therapies.  Their most notable candidate is Judy Wilyman, who received a PhD from the University of Wollongong for a thesis titled “A critical analysis of the Australian government’s rationale for its vaccination policy”.  Wilyman claimed that ‘This PhD provides evidence that all vaccines are not safe and effective and that the combined schedule of vaccines is doing more harm than good in the population through the increase in chronic illness’, and is full of strange claims about secret committees at the World Health Organisation.

It is worth noting that Wilyman’s PhD was undertaken through the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, under the supervision of a cultural studies professor and a sociologist, and while I would be the last person to denigrate the value of a Humanities degree (I am the proud holder of an extremely useful degree in Medieval History and French), the tools required for the humanities are not the correct tools for the job of assessing the efficacy of vaccinations.  I’m sorry, but they just aren’t.  It’s a completely different skill set.

Fortunately, there are people who do have that skill set.  These people are called scientists.  And, more specifically, immunologists.  And four of them have written a commentary in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Vaccine, analysing Wilyman’s thesis.  You can read the whole thing here, or a summary of it here.  Spoiler: they aren’t impressed.

I know I’ve spent a lot of time on Wilyman here, given that she is only one candidate, but her PhD lends her a certain credibility, and I think it’s important to draw attention to the issues involved in it.

IMOP doesn’t really have a policy page, which is a great thing for my blood pressure, but they do have a bunch of FAQs.  They answer questions like ‘are you a single issue party on vaccinations?’ and ‘are you against vaccinations?’, with lovely statements like these:
We are against the bullying, blackmail, discrimination created by our media and government and we reject the mainstream hysteria of today that the ‘science is settled’.  Vaccination has been reduced to a ‘for and against’ false separation, for the purpose of suppressing legitimate criticism of taxpayer funded vaccination policies.
In recognition of the scientific uncertainties regarding the safety and effectiveness of mass vaccination, we believe that all decisions about vaccination should be a matter between citizens and their chosen medical practitioner, without intrusion by the state.  We are concerned with compulsion or coercion by the state, a view shared by many medical practitioners and public health experts, who otherwise support the vaccination program.  We are not alone in this regard.
Those poor, oppressed dears, just trying to fight for our freedom. Just not our freedom to not die from communicable diseases.
They argue that many medical practitioners who are pro-vaccination still share their concerns about making vaccination compulsory (ORLY?), and then make claims about how the pharmaceutical industry is clearly corrupt and can’t be trusted, because it’s motivated by money.  (Did you know that all natural therapy consultations and remedies are completely free?  Nor did I…).
Basically, IMOP is big on freedom of choice, and on providing ‘a voice for an ignored and vilified minority of Australians who believe it is their right to make their own health choices based on their experience and research.’
Which is all well and good, but vaccination is a health choice that affects other people.  Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose, and all that.
As for experience and research and above all evidence… look, it feels like I have to write an article about this every single time there is an election (see, for example, my article about the Health Australia Party last November).  And each time, I hunt out a pile of evidence which of course is never going to be enough for someone who genuinely believes that vaccinations are evil and cause autism.
There are *so many* studies on vaccination safety.  It actually drives me a bit crazy that there are so many, because every year, scientists are spending weeks or months on yet more studies to confirm what we already know – that vaccines are the safest way we know to prevent large outbreaks of disease.  This is time they could be spending on other things – like cures for other diseases, or even, who knows, working on more personalised medicine that might provide alternatives to people who actually do have allergies or other risk factors that prevent them getting vaccinated.  It’s a collossal waste of time and money and energy, and it is maddening.
So this time around, I’m just going to stick to articles from 2019.  Because, guess what?  There are so many scientific, peer-reviewed articles demonstrating the safety of vaccinations that I actually can do that.
Here, for example, is an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, that followed 657,461 children for between eight and nineteen years, and found no association between vaccination and autism.
Here’s one on the safety of Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis), including during pregnancy.
This is the result of five minutes on PubMed, incidentally.  There are a lot more articles about vaccine safety, but most of them are about things like what it’s safe to vaccinate cancer patients or other fragile patients with, or are safety studies of new, refined vaccinations.  The science on vaccines is settled, but that doesn’t mean that scientists have stopped working to improve on what we have.
Let’s look at some other things that have happened in 2019.
Here’s an article from the ABC about a child who died of the flu in Victoria last month.  I went to school with a girl who died of flu.  She was twelve.
Whooping cough outbreak in Port Macquarie!  My sister in law had whooping cough a few years ago.  Thankfully, she recovered – healthy adults generally do – but she was sick for months.  Also, woohoo, apparently whooping cough is evolving to resist antibiotics.
Measles outbreak in Australia!  Probably caused by travellers and not antivaxxers, but measles is *really* infectious, so you need good herd immunity if you don’t want an epidemic.  Also, measles is evil – for one thing, it re-sets your immune system to zero, making your memory T-cells forget every bacteria and virus they’ve seen before, so if you recover from the measles, you will spend the next 2-3 years catching every other bug that comes your way.  And for another, it can kill you, either directly, or via a form of encephalitis that occurs years after the disease.  One of my mother’s friends lost a son to that one, back in the 80s.
And my favourite – a prominent anti-vaxxer in Italy was hospitalised for chicken pox.  Thankfully, he has apparently recovered and is doing well.
These infectious diseases are making a comeback, and a big part of that is people who are too irresponsible and selfish to vaccinate themselves and their children.  And maybe your child is healthy enough – and lucky enough – to survive a preventable, infectious disease, but someone else’s child might not be.  People who are immunocompromised rely on the herd immunity of those around them, and I’ve been reading so many Facebook posts from oncologist friends this year who are terrified and angry for their leukemia patients, whose immune systems are suppressed by their cancer treatment, and who are highly likely to die if they are exposed to one of these diseases.  Like this poor kid, back in 2017.

I have no patience for IMOP.  Their talk of personal freedom masks an extreme level of selfishness.  Their choices have the potential to kill other people.  Diseases like measles, whooping cough, even chicken pox are not trivial.  Fortunately, they are trivially easy to prevent.

Don’t vote for IMOP.  And please, make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations – this is looking like a really nasty flu season, apart from anything else…

Eurovision Theme Song as determined by me, very objectively

OK, after all that, I think we deserve some light relief, and this rather… special… song by Switzerland seems to fit the bill on so many levels.

I mean, anyone who has been following the pro-epidemic movement for a while will notice that every time scientists manage to put one theory to rest, another one rises, as if from the grave.  Vaccines are full of mercury!  No they aren’t, but there are too many of them at once, and they overwhelm the immune system!  Nope, it’s not that, but they are full of aborted fetus material!  Well, OK, maybe not that, but hey, you just know that Big Pharma is hiding something…

Like a nightmare, neverending
Let me change your world

Also, vampires definitely like fluoride.  How else will they keep their teeth all nice and white and pointy?

 

14 thoughts on “Federal Election 2019: Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party

  1. Hello Cate, you must be one of the vampires who love their blood full of neurotoxins like fluoride and aluminium, with a hint of fetal monkey DNA residue, spiced with formaldehyde and emulsified in polysorbate? Not all of us are fast asleep. Not all of us are willing to sell their integrity for a paycheck like you. Some of us can still read and process the information contained in a medical study, an insert, a policy. Fluoride is a poison, so are vaccines. Like it or not, truth is truth. Just sad your paycheck comes straight from big pharma, so you can’t afford to be a proper journalist. I’m sure you had higher aspirations when you first started. Do you have to take the flu-shot annually to keep your job? Not yet? Don’t worry, thanks to people like you the mandatory inoculation agenda is progressing swiftly, it will be at your own doorstep soon. You don’t mind getting vaccinated? Good for you, it will be much less upsetting then. Maybe you won’t mind the end-of-life injection either, once you have outlived your usefulness for your masters? I, for one, prefer to live and die free, make my own decisions, and, most of all, protect my children from your sort of slander. I will vote for IMOP! Best party in Australia!

    • Hello Iris! Lovely to hear from you, and thank you for your sympathy on my thwarted career as a journalist. (Fun fact: I did once aspire to be a journalist, but I flunked the final interview because I thought politics was boring… oh, how times change…)

      I’m afraid you have your vampiric taxonomy slightly wrong: I’m actually the sort of vampire who is inclined to trust the research of the scientists she actually works with (and who are not paid by big pharma, I’m afraid – they wouldn’t spend nearly so much time writing applications for government funding if they did) over the research of random people on the internet.

      I’m also the sort of vampire who has a lot of friends who are immunosuppressed and therefore particularly at risk from infectious diseases. I don’t want them to die, since alas, I am apparently a rather defective sort of vampire who can’t actually create other vampires. (Now, that would be a research breakthrough…)

      In all seriousness, I have no idea where you got that ingredients list, and I don’t want to know. But even if everything on it were true, it would still be worth it if it stopped people dying of polio. Vaccines have been a victim of their own success – we have forgotten what an epidemic really looks like, and so it’s easier to look at a scary list of ingredients and think ‘I don’t want to put that in my body’ than it is to really visualise the effects of the disease vaccines prevent.

      (Did you know that when the polio vaccine was first being tested, literally millions of people volunteered to be involved, even not being sure it would work, because any chance of avoiding the disease was better than just waiting to see if it struck? They used to close swimming pools and cinemas in the summer because of fear of infection – people weren’t sure how it spread, just that it seemed to get around more in the hot weather. Can you imagine that fear?)

      Anyway, I hope I have assisted you in your efforts at vampire classification. I do think you should re-think your philosophy, however. Vaccination isn’t just about the individual vampire, it’s about protecting the entire community, be they vampire, werewolf, zombie, or internet troll.

      (OK, that’s not fair – I don’t think you are a troll, I just think you are dangerously wrong, but then you probably think the same about me. But I’m afraid this whole vampire scenario has just taken over my reply…)

  2. Who ever said yes to Switzerland’s hairstyles and random mannequins is almost as insane as these guys!

  3. You seem to be confusing ‘evidence based policy’ from ‘vaccination science’. You have critiqued this particular statement and inferred that it was talking about vaccination science:
    “We believe that it is appropriate and acceptable to criticise Government policies that are not evidence based.”

    However, there is substantial evidence the the current ‘No Jab’ policies are not evidence based including the Government’s own documents obtained via FOI, like this one https://avn.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/20161213_RG1571-PIA-Immunisation-Status-Reporting_Redacted.pdf

    Then there is this report by NSW Health and this quote from page 47:
    https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/la/papers/DBAssets/tabledpaper/webAttachments/69962/Final%20Report%20on%20the%20Statutory%20Review%20of%20the%20Public%20Health%20Act%202010.pdf

    “The majority of submissions received on this issue, in particular those from educational peak bodies, did not support removal of the vaccination objection exemption, citing the potential educational and social disadvantage to children of vaccination objectors. The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance also raised concern over the potential for unregistered child care facilities to be established to cater for unvaccinated children, with an increased risk of transmission of vaccine preventable diseases.”

    Despite this, NSW politicians decided to IGNORE this evidence.

    I’m not personally involved with this party, but I would recommend that you try and avoid being WRONG when you criticise the party. Although it seems when it comes to the ‘V’ word, you don’t actually have to be honest if you’re pushing the ‘V’ agenda.

    • Just a quick reply, because I’m flat out, but I do, in fact, share your concern that the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ policy is problematic, because it unfairly discriminates against low-income parents, when there are a fair number of high-income parents who also avoid vaccinating their kids on the grounds that enough other children are vaccinated that they can avoid any slight risk to their own.

      I am, however, 100% on board with requiring vaccinations for people participating in daycare and kindergarten, because of the risk unvaccinated kids pose to other children who may have genuine medical reasons for being unable to vaccinate, or who might be immune suppressed. (I also 100% percent support requiring childcare and healthcare workers to be up-to-date with their jabs. My generation is by and large the one that forgot or were never told about boosters, so we are a big part of the problem.)

      (and… your quote from NSW Health actually rather bears out my first point: “The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance also raised concern over the potential for unregistered child care facilities to be established to cater for unvaccinated children, with an increased risk of transmission of vaccine preventable diseases.” Where were these other unvaccinated children previously? Why, at childcare centres where they were protected from these diseases by children who had received their vaccinations.)

      So I agree No Jab, No Pay, No Play is inequitable in its impact… but I honestly don’t know how we balance the absolute public health need to have a sufficiently-vaccinated population with the fact that some people just aren’t susceptible to financial penalties. I mean, I suppose we could financially incentivise poor parents for making sure they and their kids are up to date on their shots, but again, if you are wealthy enough, you don’t need the incentive.

      As for evidence-based… well, there is evidence that financial incentives and disincentives work for modifying behaviour on a population scale. Consider how many more people started wearing seatbelts or bicycle helmets once there was a penalty for not doing so. And, as it turns out, thousands of parents *did* in fact vaccinate their kids after these laws came in. In other words, whatever you think of using financial penalties as an incentive for vaccination, it actually is evidence-based and effective as a strategy.

    • Thankyou for your reasoned response. I notice that your opinion is very much in line with mandatory vaccination zealot groups, but as I previously highlighted, this is not in line with the actual body of evidence when it comes to increasing vaccination rates.

      Obviously the links I provided you are just a small piece of evidence for what is a complicated topic. You refer to there being a “public health need to have a sufficiently-vaccinated population.” However, vaccination rates are the highest they’ve ever been in history in Australia. There’s not a shred of evidence that more disease occurs in areas with incompletely vaccinated children, unless you point to diseases such as pertussis, where there is extensive, uncontroversial evidence of vaccine failure and diagnostic bias.

      So why do you feel the urgent need for draconian policies in the absence of evidence? You feel that there is evidence that financial incentives work, but there is also evidence that such measures taken by the Government erode “trust, legitimacy and fairness.” This one is a good discussion on such matters of behaviour conditionality.

      https://www.themandarin.com.au/106738-how-much-behavioural-conditionality-is-too-much/?fbclid=IwAR2f6M39-vymJIM35dew2_xQIMy1hKQhNAfk7Y24VxCS8kQqGvqL9YVnmPI

      This is obviously a nuanced discussion, but what is clear is that this has become a politically driven discourse and has little to do with the actual health or wellbeing of children.

  4. A quick note for any more lovely commenters who come here to educate me about vaccination. All comments on all my posts automatically go into moderation until I can get them out, and I’m going to be working and singing non-stop from now until Easter is over. If your comment does not appear for a few days, I’m not censoring you, I’m just too busy to deal with it.

    (Having said that, if this starts attracting too many comments, I probably will switch them off at some point, just because I don’t have time to moderate this debate, do my actual job, and write about other political parties. I suspect you can find versions of this conversation in hundreds of other places on the internet – there’s no reason why we have to have it here. Especially as I very much doubt that any minds are going to be changed either by this post or in this comment thread!)

    • Hahaha, you are worn out already? Easy catch, this one! Our work takes years, you probably don’t have the stamina. Do you suffer from chronic tiredness since receiving Gardasil? Lack of concentration? It’s very common… the doctors call it “normal”… go figure!

      • Hi Iris,

        I think it probably has more to do with the fact that in the past seven days, I’ve worked a full week of work, written approximately 25,000 words analysing the policies of seven political parties, and sung in six church services.

        But I do appreciate your sincere concern for my health.

        Best wishes

        Catherine

        PS – I’m not publishing your other comment because it adds nothing substantial or new to the conversation and your insults aren’t even entertaining. You are very welcome to interpret this as a moral victory if that makes you happy.

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