put the knife down

I was trying for a bit of cheap election snark by comparing what we’ve heard so far from Brown, Cameron and to a lesser extent Clegg to the speech patterns of schizophrenics. It doesn’t really hold up. Schizophrenic speech is free in the most fundamental way, full of random association, stuffed with neologism, repetition and the bizarre juxtapositions generated from crossed synapses and odd biochemical combinations.

I got the wrong end of the stick. Current political speech is more like that adopted by people talking to schizophrenics, and, in particular, trying to get them to co-operate in some way. There’s nothing internal about it. It’s concocted rather than originated. The aim is basically negative: to close down neural pathways and opportunities for mental association and to shepherd the listener down the desired pathway – to a future fair for all, for instance, where we are all in it together. Just get down from the ledge and get into the ambulance…that’s right…one step at a time…this way. Don’t worry. We have plans for you. We are in the future business.