Gordon Brown’s suicide mission as he distances himself from public opinion
1. Brown on stem cells
Given all the other problems he has to face in his precarious leadership of the Labour Party one can almost understand why Gordon Brown hasn’t got his head around the science of stem cells and has simply swallowed the utilitarian hype of his scientific advisers. He has certainly not grasped much if his statement in The Observer today is the extent of his understanding of the state of play in this field.
Here’s a fact for the Prime Minister which might tempt him to look a little closer into the claims of his advisers and put him more in tune with reality and the wishes of the people of this country.
In March 2008, the US National Institute of Health counted 1987 clinical trials using adult stem cells and 106 using cord blood stem cells; none using embryonic stem cells. www.clinicaltrials.gov
But even if he is still reluctant to assess the scientific facts, for the very reason that his position as leader of the Labour Party is under threat, Brown would do well to at least monitor and respond to public opinion on the controversial issues associated with interspecies embryos.
CORE conducted an opinion poll (*) on 7/8 May of 1018 randomly selected adults, 70% of whom think that one of the Prime Minister’s biggest problems is that he doesn’t listen to the public. And 70% went on to agree that changing the law to allow controversial laboratory experiments on mixed human-animal embryos should only be considered after all uncontroversial methods using adults stem cells have been exhausted.
In the light of such results one has to wonder if Gordon Brown, given his current unpopularity, is on some kind of suicide mission.
2. Brown on abortion
Whilst the science of stem cells may be difficult to grasp, it is impossible for anybody not to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn child. The PM’s resistance to lowering the upper limit for abortion might please the pro-choice feminists in his Party but not the people of Great Britain. The two/third statistic of the public against him surfaces again in recent opinion polls on abortion. More than 70% of women in the UK are in favour of bringing down the upper limit but not Gordon Brown.
To assume a bulldog stance of rigidity in the face of public concern about abortion and refuse to give in one inch in favour of the rights of the unborn child, will surely be another nail in his coffin.
Josephine Quintavalle : 07968 167 323
*For inquiries relating to opinion poll contact Andrew Hawkins at ComRes on 07971 209995