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Gillian McCarthy Interview on Westcountry Live News
A page "Zoom" of 125% is recommended for the visually impaired

Under a Banner of "Fair Use"

Note 1: Information Requested on Permission to "Make Public"
Permission was sought many weeks ago by MCS International - via Mr Bob Cruwys of Westcountry Live News - to make this public news broadcast about Gillian McCarthy, and my own participation in it, permanently available to the public via MCS-International.Org. Unfortunately no response was received to that email - even after many weeks of waiting.

Given Gillian's rapidly deteriorating situation, her growing desperation and MCS-International.Org's strong desire to help her in any way that it can, we felt compelled to take the view that "no news" from Westcountry Live was in fact "good news" and, consequently, decided to re-release this TV coverage of Gillian's scandalous situation into the public domain in the sure knowledge that it will now reach an even greater audience. Also, in the hope that this resulting increase in public MCS awareness will act as a rapid catalyst for positive change regarding not only Gillian and her impossible situation, but for the many "silent others" who also suffer greatly, in isolation, with the nightmare illness of severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity ( MCS ) or - as it is sometimes known - Environmental Illness, or even just plain Chemical Injury ( CI ).

Important Background Information on "The Stop Gap" Section

Note 2: The Directors Cut?
While the prime-time TV coverage was greatly appreciated it has to be said here that some very important material presented by both Gillian McCarthy and myself ( Gordon D McHendry ) was edited out of the final broadcast material ( as offered above in its entirety ).  Some notable examples of this are, of necessity, given below.

Note 2 - Example 1: One or Two Short Sentences was Really Not Enough
Gillian, like myself, has difficulty now in remembering exactly what was asked by TV journalist Adrian Lane and what exactly was said by Gillian in reply in the "through the window" interview shown in the broadcast. However, we both know that she said much more than was actually shown. On asking her by telephone about that (while this web page was being put together) she told me she felt reasonably sure that she had brought up the following important issues and, since they did not appear in the actual TV broadcast, she wanted those important issues to be included here now:

* That she was sick and tired of being "lied to - and lied about".

* That she had always "bent over backwards" to cooperate in getting her safe housing built - but to no avail.

* That she was/is convinced that her medical notes are very inaccurate and have been substantially "tampered with".

Note - 2 Example 2: Less Care Than an Abused Dog - And All Mention of MCS International Gets Left Out
When TV journalist Adrian Lane and his cameraman were filming at Gillian's tumble-down shack "The Stop Gap" I was asked for - and gave - a "garden seat" interview. I was asked various questions by Adrian which, having the memory capacity of a goldfish these days, I can't now remember accurately. I can, however, distinctly remember two of the more important things that came up:

Firstly, I compared Gillian's situation to an animal cruelty case saying that if a domestic pet was found to be kept in such abysmal living conditions - with no access to clean drinking water and no lighting or heating right through winter time - then the animal welfare people would be rapidly kicking "The Stop Gap" door down to rescue the cat or dog suffering within - then calling vigorously, and rightly so, for the responsible parties to be prosecuted with the full weight of the law.

Secondly, as invited, I briefly covered my own experience with severe MCS including my six years sleeping in a garden shed. I talked about the need for organisations like MCS International (they already had our business card). The "garden seat" interview ended with me explaining what the MCS International web site had to offer to needy and often desperate MCS sufferers. The web site was also expected to function as a vital contact point between concerned viewers and Gillian.

Nothing at all from that substantial "garden seat" interview - which went just fine I was told - made it into the actual news broadcast.

Note 2 - Example 3: The Missing Tractor
Gillian McCarthy at The Stop Gap shack I arrived at "The Stop Gap" some time before the Westcountry Live News team. Climbed into the specially laundered white overalls that had been laid out for me before sitting gratefully down in the long enclosed porch attached to the shack living areas. Gillian and I then started talking face to face for the first time - albeit 10/12 feet apart. She looked very weak and pale.

Soon, as previously agreed, I began filming her with a small, handheld analogue camcorder. The idea was simply to give her the time and opportunity to talk about whatever she herself felt the need to talk about free from the constrictions of 'outside' questions and goals. That video footage - some 30 minutes or so - will also be made available here. And the Gillian you will see and hear in it is a very different Gillian from the one you saw in the TV News video above. Why? Because my video footage was shot before the farm tractor started repeatedly passing right by her shed during the course of its legitimate work - and the TV News video was shot during its working passes. The exhaust fumes - on top of everything else - were just too much for her.  I too was badly affected by them but, thankfully, not nearly as severely.

Earlier I had noted the tractor slowly working its way nearer and nearer to Gillian's shack and grew worried for her. A little later, whenGillian McCarthy subjected to farm tractor exhaust fumes it had worked its way even nearer, Gillian started complaining about the fumes from it and I could see she was being badly affected by them.

I pointed this out to Adrian and his cameraman when we were outside in the garden and the cameraman, to his credit, instantly took what seemed to be a video shot of the tractor and the field. However, this important "tractor footage" never made it into the final video cut either. This was a great pity as it was an ideal opportunity to capture some rare, real-life "Environmental-Cause" and "Rapid-MCS-Effect" video footage; depriving the viewer of the "real world" reason for Gillian's extremely distressed behaviour on camera. As "The Stop Gap" footage ends however, the freshly ploughed field can be clearly seen stretching into the distance and running very close to Gillian's shack. Alas, no tractor here either.

Note - 2 Example 4: The Missing "Stinking Black Swamp" Outside the Bedroom Window
Another unfortunate omission from this TV news coverage is the fact that Gillian's shack has a filthy, smelly black swamp running under it. I filmed this myself before the TV crew arrived and I made sure I pointed it out to the cameraman prior to the "shack window interview" with Gillian.

Just before this interview begins we get to see a long shot of the back of Gillian's shed where the interview will take place. What we don't get to see however is the deep, smelly back mud right at TV reporter Adrian Lane's toe-tips (and immediately below Gillian's bedroom window). This mud had been covered at some point with what looked like an old carpet - now in a state a rotting decay. I stood on it shortly before the shed window interview began when the cameraman was standing there with me (wisely a little higher on the sloping embankment) and said to him "look at that - absolutely disgusting". As the stinking black mud oozed up over the toe of my shoe the cameraman bent forward with his camera and, without comment, recorded the event - just a few seconds long.

I would have thought that this "stinking black swamp" issue, particularly as it ran some way under Gillian's bedroom floorboards, would have been deemed worthy of broadcasting. Especially so in that showing it would only have taken up some 2/3 seconds of air time which could easily have been trimmed - if necessary - from footage of lesser importance.

Note 3: Genetic Make-Up and MCS
After witnessing the distressing effect that farm tractor fumes were having on Gillian McCarthy, Audrey Adcock, a friend and helpful supporter of Gillian for quite some time - and a long-term respected M.E. colleague of mine - is shown talking about Gillian's condition, in a general sense, as being a matter of..."genetic lottery". I would like to make it quite clear here that MCS International does not share the view that MCS is generally caused by genetic predisposition.

It is my view that the "primary" causal factors in MCS include the following:

*  A massive single exposure to a toxic chemical - or chemicals - of varying degrees of toxicity (eg;  like a farmer falling into a vat of sheep dip).

*  The accumulated effects of repeated small exposures to toxic chemicals.

*  The "synergistic effects", in our bodies (body burden), of chemicals "officially" reckoned to be safe individually - at officially allowed levels.

*  Prolonged exposures to strong electric fields, and/or magnetic fields, and/or radio waves, and/or microwave radiation, causing damage to cell permeability and/or damage to the "blood-brain barrier".

*  Repeated small exposures over long periods of time to strong electric fields, and/or magnetic fields, and/or radio waves, and/or microwave radiation, causing damage to cell health and permeability and/or damage to the "blood-brain barrier".

*  The synergistic effects of electric fields, and/or magnetic fields, and or radio waves, and/or microwave radiation on cellular health and permeability and the blood-brain barrier.

*  A big sliding scale of "double-whammy's" on cellular health/permeability and the blood-brain barrier - generated by the synergistic effects of electric fields, and/or magnetic fields, and or radio waves, and/or microwave radiation with the various chemical based scenarios given above.

( Note:  Especially so when the synergistic effects of said electromagnetic, and radio/microwave radiations on the body and brain COMBINE with the myriad of possible synergistic effects generated by the ever widening range of health-hostile chemicals. Creating a devastating doomsday-like "synergy of synergy's" not just on physical health, but also on the health/balance of the whole spectrum of human experience - emotional, psychological and spiritual. )

*  Various permutations - and accumulations - of all of the above.

Coming back to the "genetic lottery" issue:  I do accept the strong likelihood that, for a small percentage of unfortunate individuals, genetic predisposition probably does indeed play a significant contributory role in manifesting the political "hot-potato illness" called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity ( MCS ).

To leap from there however, to the view that a "genetic lottery" of "genetic predisposition" is "the primary cause" of MCS (and other forms of Chemical Injury), is to land us all on very dangerous ground indeed in my opinion. But ground that is also undeniably very useful as a giant "get-out-of-jail-free" card, for both the giant multi-national corporations that are poisoning the whole planet and everything on it - land, sea, and air - and our governments too that, for a whole raft of reasons (not least of which are vast tax revenues), have allowed this situation to develop and - much, much worse - have allowed it to continue spiraling apocalyptically "way-out-of-control".

So, to keep the lids from flying all the way open on the world-changing Pandora's boxes of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity ( MCS ) and its partner in crime Electromagnetic Sensitivity ( ES ), the guilty parties in industry, government, science and medicine, stand wobbling about atop them, waving their arms wildly in two opposite directions.

One arm pointing vigorously past the ever growing armies of the chemically injured, towards the eager, outstretched arms of the outdated, and increasingly discredited, pseudo-science of psychiatry. And the other arm, for those who, knowing better, refuse to listen to their endless psychiatric mantra of "its all in their heads", points in hopeful desperation to the most mystical and amorphous realm of "physical cause" - the gene pool, and the scapegoat idea of a "genetic lottery".

Anything, in fact, but admit the simple albeit terrible truth; that those we trust the most in science, government, industry, and even that most sacred of cows "conventional medicine", are actually poisoning us daily with a staggering array of toxic chemicals and a planet-wide spectrum of hazardous radiations, the synergistic effects of which - on our environment, our wildlife, our health, and our most precious sense of "inner well being" - quite literally beggars belief.

Note 4: Questions on Statements Expressed by Westcountry Live and Cllr Ric Pallister
Some of the statements made during the course of this TV news footage need to be elaborated on, and a few challenged, in order to present a more balanced and humane view of the events that the TV video coverage purports to portray. Below is an issue-by-issue attempt to do that.

Note 4:1  Duty of Care
TV reporter Adrian Lane quotes South Somerset District Council (SSDC) as saying that " was fulfilling its 'Duty of Care' to Gillian..".

My God!  What an outrageous cop-out!  I simply refuse to believe that these people are stupid. On the contrary, to hold down the positions of responsibility that they do they must, in fact, be very intelligent and capable people. I am forced to wonder, therefore, just how willfully blind and deaf you have to be in order to be able to sleep comfortably with that one at night?

I have no doubt that the SSDC have indeed fulfilled its "Duty of Care" to Gillian in the "normal procedural sense" of that legal obligation - on paper. I also have no doubt that, in recognition of Gillian's unusual health needs, the SSDC have also been prepared to "go some way beyond the normal" in order to try and meet its "Duty of Care" in Gillian's case as a severe MCS sufferer - but again, on paper only. This of course, as one look at Gillian's health and housing situation at "The Stop Gap" shack will convince you, is not even remotely near good enough. As I write these words right now the last of Gillian McCarthy's health is being destroyed through the continued lack of the basic things she needs in order to survive. The fundamental "life or death" questions here are these:

*  How far beyond "normal procedures and standards" in regard to medical care and housing needs should these social services be obliged to go in dealing with cases of such exceptional, long-term suffering and need - like Gillian McCarthy's?

*  Should the line EVER be allowed to be drawn so short that it effectively becomes a sure death sentence for the exceptionally sick and needy involved?

If you look beyond the paperwork exercises 'involved' with Gillian's health and housing needs (and there is now a small rain forest worth of that), to the actual "on-the-ground" day-to-day realities of Gillian's existence, I think that even with the most generous of dispositions would be extremely hard pushed to view the "Duty of Care" issue here as even remotely "fulfilled" as officially claimed.

Note 4:2  Assessment of Medical Needs
Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) are quoted by TV reporter Adrian lane as saying that an "assessment of medical needs" is "dependent on the persons agreement". However, the fundamental questions being completely (and repeatedly) overlooked in that seemingly reasonable PCT statement are:

*  How can ANY person be expected to agree to a "medical assessment" when the very people who would carry out that assessment would,  in themselves,  constitute a serious - possibly life threatening - risk to the person to be medically assessed? (via personal care products, chemical residues on clothing, other chemical contaminants picked up in transit, etc, etc - to say nothing of possible biological infections for which Gillian would have little or no immunological defence or MCS safe treatment to fall back on).

*  Additionally, even if the above question was rendered a safe non-issue, how could the severe MCS/allergy inflicted person reasonably be expected to give their agreement for "medical assessment" when even the standard medical equipment, that would typically be used during such an assessment, would itself constitute a serious - possibly lethal - health risk?

Would it be acceptable for a medical assessment team chewing on packets of peanuts to visit a patient with a severe allergy to peanuts? Of course not. Why? Because such a criminally irresponsible visit could quite easily result in the death of the patient; we all know and accept that. Gillian is in a very similar but much more wide ranging situation. Should the safety of her health, her life, be treated with any less respect? Somerset PCT seem to think so.

In the case of the severe peanut allergy sufferer, stringent precautionary measures for their protection would certainly be employed (and firmly advocated) by the medical profession.  Surely, at the very least, severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity ( MCS ) sufferer Gillian McCarthy deserves a similar degree of compassionate consideration.

To Somerset PCT I would say this:  Leave your peanuts (in whatever form) at home for this one;  guarantee to take whatever precautions are necessary to respect the legitimate and absolutely essential needs of Gillian's chemically damaged health and, with those fundamentals in place, ask again for your "medical assessment" requirements. I am sure you will then find nothing but the most willing "agreement" coming from Gillian - for in truth she is desperately crying out for appropriate medical care, and has been, to deaf ears, for a long and incredibly cruel time now.

Note 4:3  "No Longer Duty Bound to Help"

Note 4:4  The "3 Alternative Sites to which Gillian could Move"

Note 4:5  Cllr Ric Pallister on:  " what degree..."

Note 4:6  TV Reporter Adrian Lane on:  Gillian's "...wish to leave..."

The Maidstone TV Studio Interview

Note 5: The Brand New Courtesy Car and the Journey from Chemical Hell

In the Hot Seat with a Brain Full of Treacle

Clarification on the "No Help Out There" Statement

Gillian McCarthy Archived Campaign News Page

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