Cherie Blair, the wife of the former UK Prime Minister, suspended the sentence of a guy who assaulted another guy and consequently broke his jaw on the grounds of the assaulting guy being religious, which clearly means that he knows what he did was wrong.
I must say, LOL.
AC Grayling has some awesome commentary about it here, but what I’d like to write about is Why It Doesn’t Surprise Me At All.
1. Cherie and her houseboi are completely, totally into anti-vaccine stuff:
In 2002 he [Tony Blair] refused to say whether his son Leo had received the MMR vaccine. From survey data, this was the fact the public remembered best about the vaccine, and it was this move that drove the story away from the specialist health journalists, and into the rabid hands of the generalists. (source)
And while most other politicians were happy to clarify whether their children had had the vaccine, you could see how people might believe the Blairs were the kind of family not to have their children immunised: essentially, they had surrounded themselves with health cranks. There was Cherie Blair’s closest friend and aide, Carole Caplin, a new age guru and “life coach”. Cherie was reported to visit Carole’s mum, Sylvia Caplin, a spiritual guru who was viciously anti-MMR (“for a tiny child, the MMR is a ridiculous thing to do. It has definitely caused autism,” she told the Mail). They were also prominently associated with a new age healer called Jack Temple, who offered crystal dowsing, homeopathy, neolithic-circle healing in his suburban back garden, and some special breastfeeding technique which he reckoned made vaccines unnecessary. (source)
2. They’re both into some crazy New Agey woo:
We don’t know whether baby Leo eventually received the MMR jab. But what is more interesting is what the Blairs may have done instead. You might remember Carole Caplin, the intuitive people person and life coach who was taken in by convicted fraudster Peter Foster. He did the Blairs’ property deals, of course, and he also says that they took Leo to a New Age healer, Jack Temple, who offered crystal dowsing, homoeopathy, herbalism, and neolithic circle healing in his back garden.
Apparently, says Foster, the prime minister agreed to this bloke waving a crystal pendulum over his son to protect him (and therefore his classmates, of course) from measles, mumps and rubella. And Foster also reckoned that Tony let Cherie give Temple some of his own hair and nail clippings. Temple, who died in 2004, preserved these cuttings in jars of alcohol and said that he only needed to swing his pendulum over the jar to know if the owner was healthy or ill. (source)
3. Carole Caplin, Cherie’s personal guru life trainer, is completely batshit insane:
It’s possible you don’t know just how bad science Caplin’s world is. Here is a brief tour. When Cherie was suffering with swollen ankles, Caplin introduced her to “Jack Temple, Homeopathic Dowser Healer”, as his website says. Here is Jack on cramp: “For years many people have suffered with cramp. By dowsing, I discovered that this is due to the fact that the body is not absorbing the element ’scandium’ which is linked to and controls the absorption of magnesium phosphate.”
Caplin also once worked for the 5,000-strong cult Exegesis, who were accused of brainwashing, and who recruited people by saying that its therapy methods could solve personal problems.
(Source – somehow the link won’t load properly; it’s the third article)
4. Moar New Agey craziness from the Grauniad:
Cherie has never hidden her interest in alternative, some would say oddball, therapies though how seriously she takes them is open to question. Her adviser Carole Caplin reportedly introduced her to spiritual healing crystals. On holiday in Mexico the Blairs are supposed to have smeared themselves in mud during a rebirthing ceremony. Rumours that Downing Street was a focus for a feng shui session were denied. But Cherie sported an acupuncture ear stud.
5. Finally, this article is a brilliant chronicle of the pair’s wootastic escapades, and absolutely deserves to be read in full. I’ll only quote the sweet sweet description of the Magickal BioShit!Amulet:
Cherie wears a ‘magic pendant’ known as the BioElectric Shield, which is filled with ‘a matrix of specially cut quartz crystals’ that surround the wearer with ‘a cocoon of energy’ and ward off evil forces. (It was given to her by Hillary Clinton, another political spouse who combines the characteristic Third Way vices of sharp prac tice and bone-headedness.) Then there have been inflatable Flowtron trousers, auricular therapy and acupuncture pins in the ear.
Also, this tiny bit:
New Age Labour has spilled out of Downing Street and blighted public policy. In January 1999, for instance, the Government recruited a feng shui consultant, Renuka Wickmaratne, to discover a magical way to improve inner-city estates without raising taxes.
‘Red and orange flowers would reduce crime,’ she concluded, ‘and introducing a water feature would reduce poverty. I was brought up with this ancient knowledge.’
SPORFLE. RED AND ORANGE FLOWERS REDUCE CRIME, ALL RIGHT?
6. Therefore, WHY would anybody expect her views on religion to be, like, sane?