Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Don't be late!
Sorry I’m a bit late today, but it’s not my fault. I have a medical condition that makes it literally impossible for me to meet deadlines. Yes it was diagnosed by a doctor. At least I assume it was a doctor; I was twenty minutes late for the appointment. What’s the condition called, you ask? Hang on while I find the paperwork… Yes, here it is, it’s just called ‘Chronic Lateness’. I know, you couldn’t make it up… although my ‘doctor’ appears to have done just that
Reported in the Daily Mail today is the strange case of Jim Dunbar, who has been late for everything in his life; work, holidays, first-dates, funerals – you name it, he’s been late for it. His chronic tardiness has been diagnosed as a medical condition, related to that other well-known imaginary ailment, ADHD, which is, of course, brilliant news. At last I know that my poor result in that crucial exam was simply because I was late to finish the paper; it wasn't my fault I ran out of time. It was medical, see? Not my fault at all.
In this world where we routinely refuse to condemn and correct what was formerly seen as aberrant behaviour this should come as no surprise at all. Thus a steady decline in rigorous educational outcomes can be dismissed by a whole series of lengthy, acronymic disorders and treated with suitable drugs, relegating teachers to junior nurses in the national lunatic asylums we used to refer to as ‘schools’.
Thus parental failings, antisocial behaviour, repeated offending, drug addiction, welfare dependency, wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony can all be chalked up not to individual or collective failings, but regarded as the inevitable outcome of some sort of syndrome. And the list of such crippling diseases is ever added-to by an army of selfless practitioners, ready to diagnose yet another acronym on, if necessary, an individual basis.
Thus my chronic idleness is different from your chronic idleness because it has different letters in it and pity the poor worker with no label because he or she will have no excuse come the day they dare to throw a sickie because of some piffling excuse, such as a broken leg. Who wouldn't want to have a prescription that says they stay at home watching Jeremy Kyle and drinking White Ace cider not because they are worthless but because they are a bit poorly?
This explains so much. It explains New Labour’s inability to recognise the unaffordability of the welfare state and its failure to prevent major failings in some NHS Trusts. It explains why it took so long for Ed Miliband to grudgingly confess that its open door immigration policy had been incompletely thought through. Maybe the labels, inter alia of racist, sexist, Europhobe, homophobe, bigot and misogynist are actually not meant to be pejorative at all, but are simply the collective medical terms for an inability to recognise when a politician is right and you, little person, are wrong?
Tony Blair displays his horrific injuries
So relax, fellow sufferers, it really is not your fault. It’s a disease, plain and simple and such diseases affect not just the masses, but the great and the good. When Tony Blair says, from a billionaire’s yacht, that we should intervene in Syria, he is not being a war monger. Neither is he protecting his own not inconsiderable financial interest out of any form of greed. No, not at all. You see, dear Tony suffers from a terrible affliction which makes it impossible for him not to recommend the annihilation of thousands of foreigners on a regular and predictable basis. His syndrome is called Middle East Peace Envoy.