When the health select committee member and pro-homeopathy campaigner David Tredinnick, prefaces a question with “this may sound a little bit odd”, you know you’re in for a treat.
Mr Tredinnick somehow managed steer several minutes of a recent committee evidence session, which was supposed to be about the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act, onto his favourite topic.
“This may sound a little bit odd, but would you be prepared to look at the evidence of the homeopathic vets?” he asked health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
“Part of the problem is the fact that we no longer take sufficient notice… of what happens in patients. We are relying too much on trials. If you look at animals, you can see how they can benefit from this system of medicine.”
In other words, who needs evidence when you have anecdotes?
Mr Tredinnick was joined in deeming the homeopathy lobby not too left field for a health committee hearing by none other than the health secretary. Jeremy Hunt raised a few eyebrows when he compared it to bona fide whistleblower Kay Sheldon as an example of being “prepared to argue against the prevailing wisdom”.
Ms Sheldon’s own eyebrows were among those which ascended. She tweeted: “OMG! I have my reputation to think of…”
Anyway Mr Hunt said such courage was “incredibly important in democracies,” congratulating Mr Tredinnick for “being prepared to take up a lone cause”.
It’s not quite a lone cause, though. Regular HSJ readers will remember that Mr Hunt himself is another such voice in the wilderness, having signed an early day motion in favour of homeopathic hospitals before he became health secretary.