Before the PACE-gate opened…

I co-wrote this with a sufferer of myalgic encephalomyelitis whom I have come to accept as a comrade in arms, but any excesses, missteps, or typos are entirely my own.

Did you notice previous to the release of the Special Issue of Journal of Health Psychology,  there were two  banal articles on ME in UK  press?

One about a person who paints to cope with ME 

woman who paints


….and another who sends letters to strangers as a therapy for ME.  

letter writer

Is it me or is this a deliberate method of undermining the shocking truth about the real ME sufferers and their abuse by the NHS?

And then  the special issue of Journal of Health Psychology got PACE-gate on the newsstands.

No, not Journal of Health Psychology on the newsstands.

Our feisty little journal is not yet ready for that.

But we saw that Boy George was fading from public view, reduced to sweeping streets for his community service. Our community needed his services. So we gave him a gig as our publicist. He was so grateful for the chance to get back in the limelight, he did not even charge us.

I highly recommend George’s services, but now with his renewed fame, I am afraid he might become pricey.


Update (August 3, 2017 12:16 PM). Apparently my references to Boy George created some puzzlement, and so I’m appending the following statement: 

As I’ve recounted elsewhere, the Journal of Health Psychology editorial board experienced fierce resistance to our putting together the special issue. There were a number of threats made, and three members of the editorial board who are more loyal to the PACE investigators then to the Journal, resigned, after quite a fuss.

We had a lot of nasty emails going back and forth, particularly between myself and George Davey Smith. Somebody, I assume George passed the emails to the media the UK, and we got a lot of attention, not so much for the Special Issue, but for the nastiness of our exchange. Yet, in the end it ended up attracting tremendous attention to the special issue. A quantification of this attention, altmetrics, showed that within a couple of days, Keith Geraghty’s target article was among the top 5% of articles being tracked.

The Daily Mail found some old photographs of George Davey Smith and myself. The loose link between all of this and Boy George, is  that I was poking fun at George Davey Smith’s ending up promoting us in the media, when he thought he was damaging the launch. I hope this clarifies things.