The Plastic Hippo

May 7, 2017

Stockton-on-Tees syndrome

Patty Hearst

After being forcibly abducted, illegally deprived of liberty, brutalised and threatened with violence and death, it is beyond belief that a hostage would regard a hostage-taker with anything other than complete contempt and utter loathing.

However, since the 1970s, the kidnapping of a wealthy heiress and a six day armed siege at the Kreditbanken in Norrmalmstorg Square in the centre of the Swedish capital allowed psychologists to invent a brand new syndrome to describe how hostages bond with their captors as a strategy for survival and what happens when poor little girls begin to get their kicks by holding up banks with a machine gun. Sadly, like most monthly flavours in questionable psychology, this syndrome rapidly became tasteless when it was used to explain away domestic violence and child abuse in a world where blaming the victims for the crimes committed against them is somehow fashionable as well as being profoundly unfathomable.

It is far too simplistic to dismiss local authority and mayoral elections as meaningless or irrelevant or to point to woefully low turnouts. Crowing about victories in Manchester, Liverpool or the West Midlands when the turnouts are between 26 and 29 per cent is, however, not an indication of the imminent coronation of Theresa May. What is astonishing is that of the 21 per cent who voted in Tees Valley, the majority of people in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar formerly known for its steel works before being abandoned by a Conservative government voted for a Conservative metropolitan mayor. In the east end of Glasgow and across the industrial belt of the Scottish central lowlands, Conservative councillors were elected.

It is both wrong and offensive to suggest that the electorate are stupid. Of all the mature industrial democracies, Britain can boast of the wisest and best informed voting public who are experts at rational political debate. They realise that only through strong and stable leadership can Mrs May strengthen her hand and single-handedly win a brilliant deal for the UK as we leave Europe. Her presidential authority in clearly stating that no deal is better than a bad deal is reflected by the public who know that not being treated by a doctor or a nurse is better than being treated by a doctor or a nurse who was not born in England and although they might try to fool us, they are still bloody foreigners coming over here and saving our lives.

It is delusional to suggest that mainstream media is anything other than fair, impartial, unbiased and scrupulous in reporting the Labour Party`s every move. Indeed, Labour MPs are regularly interviewed and asked to give a number of the votes they will be defeated by if Jeremy Corbyn remains as party leader. Almost every member of the public spoken to is a life-long Labour voter keen to be heard. One exchange went like this:
BBC News reporter;
“We`ve come to Clacton to look for Labour supports who dislike Jeremy Corbyn. As a life-long Labour voter, what do you think of Jeremy Corbyn?
Life-long Labour voter;
“He`s an idiot.”
A few nights later, the BBC took a ferry across the Mersey for another voxpop;
“As a life-long Labour voter, I`m voting Conservative this time. You can`t trust Jeremy Corbyn.” This allowed John Pienaar to observe;
“There you have it. Talk to anyone and support for Labour in Liverpool is crumbling.”
The next evening in Wolverhampton;
“I`m a life-long Labour voter but only Theresa will get us out of the common market.”
It is odd that the BBC cannot locate any life-long Conservative voters deeply unsettled by the divisive tactics of Mrs May or her increasingly worrying descent into megalomania. At last, the silent majority are not being listened to.

Perhaps someone has spiked the water supply with L.S.D.

Perhaps extraterrestrials are aiming brainwashing ray guns at us from the safety of outer space.

Perhaps UKIP has taken control of the Conservative Party.

Perhaps the new five pound note contains mind-warping pigment designed to induce collective insanity throughout the nation or at least those lucky enough to know what a new fiver looks like.

Perhaps our European enemies are refusing to speak English and perhaps the Russians are hacking our elections. Perhaps Donald Trump is actually President of the United States of America.

Every inquiry into disasters both natural and disasters by design or incompetence conclude that there is never one single cause of catastrophe. Instead, misery, hardship, suffering and grief are caused by a combination of sometimes small unrelated events that coincide, expand and interact with bigger episodes and then woven into a fabric of panic, fear, ineptitude and self-preservation above the general good or possible crisis resolution. Perhaps we are being held hostage to fortune but, contrary to myth and legend, one of the hostages in the Kreditbanken siege did not become engaged to marry her captor and Bill Clinton granted a presidential pardon to Patty Hearst.

As for the cliff we are about to fall off – my money is on L.S.D. in the water supply.

1 Comment »

  1. So, turkeys do vote for Christmas. Or at least 20% did. They are now food for the May Day media picnic.

    The rest just stayed very quiet. Still in the hope that Bernard Matthews would have by now re-housed them in a derelict mansion, banned the clubs and allowed an occasional view of the outside world, they dream, forage gobble and complain as only turkeys can.

    Bernard called it the ‘Stockhold’ Syndrome. Unfortunately, the 80% of turkeys who thought that doing nothing was a good idea are mistaken.

    Bernard is long gone. His ideas are busted flushes and the company is bankrupt. The mansion has been sequestered and the land re-possessed for another mansion and estate.

    As for the 80% of turkeys who did nothing, they can always look forward to next Christmas.

    Comment by The Realist — May 8, 2017 @ 11:05 am | Reply

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