The BMJ publishes Rapid Responses at its own discretion and has do far failed to publish my response. This is puzzling editorial decision considering that I am the author of the original piece and I was only writing to correct factual inaccuracies in a reader's comment. The BMJ moves in mysterious ways.
So, for the record, here is Chapman's Rapid Response followed my (unpublished) reply. I've had to write it from memory but it is essentially the same as the original.
Chris Snowdon's call for civility ("This exceeds the limits of civilised discourse. We trust that in the cold light of day the BMJ recognises that smearing opponents of price fixing as Fascists is disgraceful. An apology and retraction would be welcome.") will surely have no competitors this decade for the most unctuously nauseating piece of hypocrisy to appear in the BMJ's pages.
Snowdon's blog is little more than a foaming sewer of schoolyard invective. He has no economic qualifications and to my knowledge has never published a single piece of research in any peer reviewed journal.
Here are some choice examples he has fired at me in recent years: 23 May 2011: “His insane wibblings are worrying yes, but still bloody funny to read. It's quite incredible that such a retard has achieved so high a profile since he must take 10 minutes every morning figuring out how his trouser zip works.” http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2011/05/glorious-idiocy-of-simon...
“that sad old sociologist Simon Chapman”; “the irksome, omnipresent über-wowser Simon Chapman”; “Anti-smoking dinosaurs like Simon Chapman”; “the creepy sociologist Simon Chapman”; “scrotum-faced head-banger Simon Chapman” “reptilian sociologist” “wizened quackademic Simon Chapman” “wrinkly rocker Simon Chapman” “that twisted old narcissist Simon Chapman” “Coffin-dodging sociologist Simon Chapman” http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com.au/search?q=Simon+Chapman
I note he declares no competing interests. I have a screen shot from his blog dated 12 March 2008 where he says "he has no affiliation of financial ties with the tobacco industry or any anti-smoking group." That declaration was later quietly removed. Snowdon has many ties with tobacco interests (see http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php/Christopher_Snowdon). Will the BMJ be asking Snowdon to elaborate on his declaration about alcohol?
While I am happy to take the credit for colourful adjectives regarding Prof. Chapman's advancing years, his killer example of my 'invective' ('insane wibblings' etc.) was not written by me but by one of my blog's readers. As Chapman provides a link to the post in question, it is surprising that he did not read it more thoroughly. My words appear in the main text of the post under my name whereas comments appear below the post under the heading 'comments'. This is how blogs typically work.
Contrary to Prof Chapman's claim, I have had articles published in peer-reviewed journals and I have also reviewed articles for peer-reviewed journals. However, considering the amount of nonsense that has passed peer review over the years - including deliberate gibberish such as the Sokal hoax - I prefer to look at the merits of research rather than relying on its source.
I am happy to expand on my declaration by reproducing verbatim what I originally sent the BMJ:
"The author has occasionally spoken at meetings organised by the alcohol industry and the government. He has received a fee in neither instance, but has sometimes received travel and accommodation expenses."
If the BMJ chose not to include this when it published my article in the print edition, I assume it is because they consider such "ties" - as Chapman would doubtless describe them - too trivial to be a competing interest.