Oh Dear – David Tredinnick, MP for Hinckley and Bosworth has been quoted as saying that the use of an astrology chart could take the pressure of the NHS. I am really pleased that someone in his position is supporting astrology and acknowledging his belief in it. However, I wonder if sometimes it does more harm than good.
The quote comes from an interview for the Astrological Associations Journal; sadly I am no longer a member so I am unable to see the full article, and neither I suspect, can any of his detractors so here is the sound bite, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/25/astrology-help-nhs-claim-conservative-mp-david-tredinnick probably taken out of context, the consequence of which is that the twittersphere and the online comments threads are rank with quite insulting language and no understanding of real astrology. But then he doesn’t do himself or his beliefs any favours.
As an astrologer I get where he is coming from about how knowing yourself better can help you prevent stress and therefore certain illnesses, but then he goes on to mention homeopathy etc and accuses astrology’s detractors as being bullies and ‘racists’. Again, I know where he is coming from because I believe that most know nothing about astrology, have never studied it and are not likely to and their comments come from the fact that if astrology (as they imagine it) is true it undermines their own personal view of the universe. However, I think that he could have chosen his words more carefully, especially as there is an election coming up.
The way this is put and inevitably reported does no one any service because it plays right into the hands of the ‘OOh look how rational I am’ brigade and brings out the smugness in all those detractors.
I don’t suppose for a second he was advocating chucking out modern medicine and using snake oil and astrology instead, in fact he says that it wouldn’t be for the NHS to fund it. If using tools and techniques to help you take control of your life lessens your stress and if simple herbal remedies help you treat the things that people nowadays are running to A&E for because the GP or pharmacy has gone home, then it will relieve the pressure on the NHS. I am no medical astrologer and I don’t believe that astrology itself is enough to treat a person. Even as an astrologer I don’t believe that traditional medical astrology is appropriate and is more of an archaic interest than a useful tool.
I just sometimes wish that those who would support my art were more self-aware, media savvy and eloquent so they didn’t fall into the traps of the media sound bite. Saying that I bet I would fall for it too but then I am not an experienced politician.