Don’t blame Brussels

Mr Edmunds of Pontnewydd questions why the political elite take things on history literally and he offensively claims that this means they have Asperger’s syndrome (Letters, Nov 5).

I’m sure if they took things literally from history, then instead of free healthy school meals, children from low income backgrounds would be eating cake, and they would probably, like in 1 Corinthians 13, put their childish ways behind them and read their order papers instead of waving them in the air!

Far from having Asperger’s syndrome as he claims, the political elite lack the genius people with this form of high functioning autism like myself have, meaning they do not have the capacity to look further than their nose (Sorry Mr Edmunds, I am allowed to use an idiom even if I’m autistic, aren’t I?) I have a Masters in European Union Law – and as the people I bored for hours will tell you, the most fascinating part of this course to me was learning about “proportionality”, which means laws must be interpreted on the basis of what they were intended to achieve, not literally, and not used for any purpose beyond what they were intended for.

I suspect, if like the French, the British politicians were to use “proportionality” when transposing EU directives, then as the French would say, they could “literally rip the heart out” of EU law. Instead of using Europe to further the dominance of the cartel of parties (ie Conservatives and Labour) by them misleading the public so one of them is always in power, then they would no longer be able to blame Brussels, when the fault truly lies with them.

One comment

  1. D P Edmunds says:

    I would like to apologise to anyone who was offended by my description of the literal-minded fools who act as cheerleaders for referendums as, “suffering from a collective Asperger’s syndrome”.

    I did not mean to cause offence and my comments should be taken by those with an ASC as a back-handed compliment.

    There are times in history when autistic thinking goes mainstream and such ideas become dominant memes. Sometimes these ideas can be useful, like Newtonian physics. They can also be less than useful, like John Forbes Nash’s Game Theory, which still appears to be dictating far too much stupid and selfish thinking in public policy.

    At other times autistic memes that are stupid, imagination-free and downright egregious, seem to make a great impact on thinking, particularly in the world of politics. It is my contention that those advocating referendums and those still prattling on about the so-called West Lothian Question have fallen victim to crude autistic memes. The only saving grace of the WLQ folly is that it is unlikely to ever do as much damage as Game Theory.

    However, the referendum brigade with their black and white thinking and one-plus-one, self-evident axioms, is capable of causing great harm. If you want to know why such logic is often inappropriate to the world in which we live, Google Zeno’s paradoxes and see what you get. The WLQ is something Zeno or Parmenides would have come up with when they had bad hangovers.

    Humans often think and act in poetry and when they have to write things down they look to aphorism, imagery and metaphor to express the soul’s version of the truth, rather than literal reality. Humans do not want a charm-free, autistic description of reality, that way leads to madness, tedium and bureaucracy.

    But I would suggest that, at times, we need to think like an atypical autistic, it brings reality into much sharper focus.

    Finally, may I say that as far as respect for autistic cognition goes, I agree with Temple Grandin, a scholar with autism, when she implied that the whole of the history of ideas is bunk because we haven’t yet fully appreciated how what she calls “techies” and “auties” have constructed our world: “Without ’em, we’d still be living in mud huts,” the great woman declared in her Texan drawl.

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