The Times devoted a whole page to homeopathy in France. For many years France has afforded homeopathy great respect. Visitors to Paris will not have failed to notice that every pharmacy advertises that it carries homeopathic remedies on the front window, something unheard of on these shores.

Now homeopathy is being threatened by proposed new governmental laws. Ever since Samuel Hahnemann, the German founder of homeopathy, died in Paris in 1856, homeopathy has been well-thought of and respected in France. Now it is being challenged by the establishment. The French medical academy, known there as Academie Nationale de Medecine want to end the government subsidy of 35% of the cost of homeopathic prescriptions made by doctors for the French people. In France, 70% of general practitioners at least occasionally prescribe homeopathic medicines. And every time they do, it saves the government money because homeopathic medicines are invariably cheaper than orthodox drugs. It’s a long battle that’s been going on for some time, and not only in France.

Supporters and users of homeopathy include: the Queen, the Prince of Wales and other Royals. In fact the Royal Family have been supporters ever since the great homeopathic physician, Frederick Foster Hervey Quin brought homeopathy to this country. If anyone is very rude about homoeopathy I love watching their face when I tell them this. You really shouldn’t be rude about the monarch, should you. Bill Clinton and David Beckham also use homeopathy. Interestingly the right of the British people to receive professional homeopathic treatment is protected by a by-law and Britain has several NHS homeopathic hospitals in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool and Tonbridge Wells. The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital is being completely refurbished and the much-awaited re-opening should happen early next year. Homeopathy continues to flourish in this country because the people believe in it and want it. ‘Should alternative medicine be banned?’ asks The Times and invites you to reply to debate@thetimes.co.uk. Do so and tell The Times what you think of the ‘nanny state’.

Hopefully we will keep our common sense on this side of the channel. Otherwise we should ban everything that the experts think are duping us. Ready for the chop would be: all advertisements, tobacco, fatty foods (especially fish and chips) and sex on television. Actually let’s ban television completely. People who don’t exercise should pay higher income tax as should obese people. Let’s make freedom of choice a thing of the past – not.

The people want homeopathy and clearly benefit from it. We don’t know how it works but no charlatanism in medicine tends to be short-lived. Homeopathy has been around for nearly 200 years. Scientific studies have been done and on the whole they tend to find that it does actually work. We homeopaths treat people rather than just diseases and this can make studies difficult to do. Nevertheless, a scientific enquiry into homeopathy is possible. Good studies do tend to be expensive though and homeopathic institutions and medicine makers are not super-rich like the pharmaceutical giants who have no interest in spending money on finding out whether homeopathy, a cost-effective humane form of medicine actually works. This is a big issue involving science, governments and big money. Let’s all hope that what we the people actually want, however stupid the men in white coats think we are, prevails in the end.