Welcome back gentle readers. I am pleased to report that the One of the Four dropped me a line, via his secretary, today. Apparently he mislaid my last reply amidst the chaos that is his busy desk... Anyway, I replied, copied to Gordon Brown (texture like sun), Johnson and Vara:
You are very kind to apologize: I am regrettably well-acquainted with complete ignorance, as Mr Vara will attest.
As it happens, I was not desperate for the MHRA to pursue GSK through the criminal justice system, on the issue of the Russian vaccines, although I do think it would be more appropriate for the relationship between regulator and regulated to be rather more "edgy" than it is. I regret that the MHRA has already demonstrated its incompetence to me and my colleagues on other matters and, as such, there is precious little likelihood of it scrutinizing this incident, when apparently it is unable to see the significance of the Worshipful Company withholding negative data from a scientific perspective, let alone a regulatory one. I was greatly amused by its failure to have even the most basic information about efficacy, which is hardly surprising, given the seemingly routine suppression of negative data.
In any case, I have made all these points and more to Brown, and have been deafened by the ensuing silence. I will draw my own inferences, as is the fashion these days, I believe.
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2007 16:46:28 +0100
Dear Mr Holford,
Thank you for your further e-mail of 26 July. I must first of all apologise for not having responded sooner but I am afraid it was overlooked on my desk.
I understand the points that you raise. It seems to me, however, that in terms of my frontbench role as Shadow [something-or-other] the legal issues are fairly clear. I can see no possiblility of a criminal investigation from this country. So far as your concern that the MHRA is not investigating the activities of GSK whether it is endangering patients or others by its activities in this country, then this is a matter which should be raised through your local constituency MP as it is outside my departmental remit.