The same thing the Yanks ought to do with their vapid celebrities: time to build the ‘B’ Ark. I have an aversion to those horrible little puff pieces about the Royals that come out of the British press, but I get a lot of my news out of the UK, and every once in a while one of those stories comes wafting by on the data stream, like a giant flocculent, spongy turd packaged in candy floss — and I get an unpleasant splat in my face. So I found myself reading with horror some noise about Prince Charles and homeopathy. Because I love you all so much, I figured I’d share.
After a plodding long prologue somberly discussing the history of Charles’s doddering brain encountering 16th century alchemical balderdash and haranguing the British Medical Association with it, and with his founding of various money sinks for bunkum, we get to his toxic effects on the citizenry.
Nevertheless, Charles’s support has, in no small part, led to a surge in the number of patients seeking such treatments. Nearly six million Britons now see complementary practitioners each year, and one in four would like access to be universally available on the NHS. (Currently, treatments are accessible only in some areas, including Bristol and Lothian.) Over-the-counter remedies, such as arnica cream, have seen a 24 per cent growth in sales in the past decade.
Rachel Roberts, chief executive of the Homeopathy Research Institute, admits that she was once sceptical about holistic medicine but was won over by Charles’s endorsement of the practice. The royal physician is Dr Peter Fisher, clinical director at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine and an accredited homeopath.
“The Royal family have huge resources and access to everything medicine has to offer, yet they choose homeopathy,” explains Roberts. “I thought, ‘Why would they use it if it doesn’t work?’”
She sees Charles as a revolutionary. “He’s outspoken about his beliefs and doesn’t appear to care that he’s going against the tide of opinion,” she says. “He gives homeopathy a voice. Now we’re seeing a U-turn in how it is being received, and the rest of the world is catching up to where Prince Charles has been for decades.”
Oooh! A bunch of filthy rich people are promoting something insanely stupid, but surely they couldn’t have got to where they are now without being clever and wise and all that, surely? Do I really need to inform the British public that your prince achieved his status in the world entirely by virtue of being born to the right parents, and he didn’t have to earn a bit of it?
Just a suggestion: go read The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain’s Favourite Fetish by Christopher Hitchens. It’s short, it’s cheap, it gets right to the point.