LETTERS 19.8.17

Waldorf story backlash
THE story regarding the resignation of a Steiner school principal involved a single case of measles that led to ‘near-hysteria’ on social media (‘Waldorf resignation’, Herald, August 12, 2017).
The article implies that the principal resigned because of his ‘anti-vaccination views’ and it does not discuss the scientific evidence that is showing there is a causal link between vaccines and autism.
This evidence is being presented in the film Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe.
Millions of parents globally are now living with autistic children and this disease has escalated since the triple antigen MMR vaccine was introduced in 1988.
It was not a significant issue when the single measles vaccine was used from 1970-1988.
At this time the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000 children.
Now the risk is approximately 1 in 60 children-a risk that far outweighs any risk from measles in a developed country.
Yet the Australian media becomes hysterical over one case of measles that was not described as serious?
Why is the media not hysterical over the millions of children who are now autistic since 1990?
If the health department wants parents to vaccinate against measles then it should offer parents a single measles vaccine.
Parents should not be expected to accept the significant risk of autism that is plausibly linked to the MMR vaccine simply because the government is ignoring this science and labelling it ‘anti-vaccination’.
Judy Wilyman PhD
Address supplied
The Ed says: We were careful not to imply that the resignation and measles were linked, however the timing of the two issues, and because the school hadn’t elaborated on the reasons behind Mr David’s resignation obviously made that a bit more tricky.

Rethink homeless strategy
GOOD on the Herald for running articles about the situations of homeless people.
Stories from the affected people themselves are important, reminding the rest of us that the divides between those lucky enough to have a roof over their head and those without are both large but also not so large.
We are, after all, just people, all of us.
I was also heartened to hear the comments from Dr Amanda Stafford, a compassionate doctor who leads the homelessness team at Royal Perth Hospital, a place that has become a focus of people needing love and care—just because there are few other places to go.
She is right. There needs to be a considerable rethink, based on the kind of evidence she can bring to the table, about how to improve the lives of the poor and save money at the same time.
I hope we can hear more from her.
Chris Haynes
Howard St, Fremantle

Terrible date
I CAN’T imagine why WA agreed to January 26 as Australia Day.
Either the WA reps didn’t know their history or their geography or they just acquiesced.  January 26 has no relevance to WA.
When Governor Phillip planted the Union Jack he laid claim to the country to longitude 135 east (changed to longitude 129 in 1825).
Furthermore, that date, ‘named’ as Australia Day in 1935, was not celebrated as such until 1994.
So what are the alternatives?
The logical option, but probably not acceptable given our love for public holidays, would be January 1, the date in 1901 we became one nation.
The first elections on March 29 and 30 were the first time we, as a country, voted for our representatives for the national parliament giving two more options.
Or May 9, the opening of first parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. Too close to Anzac Day.
My final suggestion, and my preference—May 27, the referendum day in which Australians voted to include Aboriginal people in the census.
So a day of celebration for all Australians
Anne Mead
Ellen St, Fremantle

Lost his roar 
I FIND it terribly annoying that all the sports press are talking about Nathan Buckley being sacked—what about Ross Lyon?
His team is continually being beaten by huge margins year after year but nobody talks about him.
I think his type of coaching is Freo’s main problem and he should definitely be given the boot.
The Pies in my opinion are a much stronger team than Freo this year.
Melanie Bourke
Cary Green, Bateman

Measles truth
WHY should a principal of a school be forced to resign over one measles case (“Waldorf resignation”, Herald August 12, 2017)?
This has been implied in the article.
An unvaccinated 10-year-old child from the school contracted measles while holidaying in Europe and the health department, along with mainstream media, goes into meltdown.
It should be noted that between 1950-1970 there was no measles vaccine and measles was not considered a serious risk in developed countries like Australia from this time.
Measles used to be an almost universal rite of passage of an Australian childhood, however, many children now miss out on having a natural measles infection during childhood because they are either vaccinated themselves, or are in an area where high vaccination rates, combined with quarantining of children who do develop the measles reduces the opportunities for children to contract measles in childhood.
Infection in childhood usually confers lifelong immunity.
Parents at this school are free to choose whether to vaccinate their children or not, and that decision should have nothing to do with the principal.
There are potential side effects from the MMR vaccine according to its manufacturer (Merck & Co/MSD).
Where there is risk there must be freedom of choice.
Marie Zuidwind
High Street, Fremantle
The Ed says: We were careful not to link his resignation to the measles case (now two), which happened in other media. A second parent rang us this week to say Mr David’s resignation was linked to a relationship he developed with another staff member.

Good chaps
THIS is another action of our could not care less Melville council (“Chaplain funds axed,Herald, July 29, 2017).
We have growing figures of suicides in our youth, yet the small amount of $10,000 is removed from the schools. I understand that other agencies help, but my experience has shown me the hub of the problems can be well met in schools.
I know many chaplains and even worked for a short time with one and was amazed at the need of the youth today.
Suicides are devastating to both family and student friends. We should reach out in all avenues, for the sake of our youth today. After all how much is a life worth, $10,000!
Yet a state of the art bowls club is worth over $9million! People should come before property; what example is the council setting the youth of today.
Patricia Tarrant
Canning Highway, Alfred Cove

2 responses to “LETTERS 19.8.17

  1. To Judy Wilyman PhD: How sad that someone with a PhD using the “scientific method” represented by the widely panned and false movie Vaxxed didn’t use the scientific method herself to discover that the link between vaccines and autism has been disproved time and time again. In fact her whole argument is full of errors that have disproved. There is a simple reason why rates of autism have increased – it is now recognised as a SPECTRUM of conditions and more people are being identified in this range. In years gone by they may have been identified as a little odd, or eccentric, or distant. If you claim to be a scientist to make a point, then please look at ALL the evidence objectively.

  2. To Anne Mead: I don’t know what country you think that WA belongs too, but I always thought it was AUSTRALIA, so naming Australia Day on January 26th is totally appropriate as the day that Terra Australis was settled by the British. Now, if you’re argument is to change to a more inclusive day, I can understand that but you letter doesn’t communicate that very well. Also, I was born in 1967 and I’m very sure we celebrated Australia Day before 1994!

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