Wednesday, 29 December 2010


There was an interesting debate on the radio this morning about the discovery of a political gene.  At least, researchers have found, using MRI scans, that the more right wing you are the more likely you are to have a larger amygdala, and the more left wing, a larger anterior cingulate cortex.  I’ve no idea what these parts of the brain are, but in practice this means that we have no control over our political views.  Or, put another way, we are what we vote. 

Do you realise what this means?  We each fall into one part of a divided circle, rather like those wheels they produce in management training courses to show who was going to be a leader and who a follower.  So one semi-circle (presumably the right) is for those with Conservative cerebral construction; and the other is for Socialists. 

But there is more to it than that.  Since we know that gays for example exhibit genetic differences from straights, we can sub-divide the semi-circles into gay Conservatives, gay Labour, straight Conservative and straight Labour.  I’m not sure where the Lib Dems fit into this spectrum, but presumably we can add in all other views in the same way that the European Parliament is divided up – Lib-Dems in a slightly right of middle orange segment; Greens here; Independents in a pink bit up there; Nazis in one extreme segment of the right-hand semi-circle, Communists to the left; and so on.

There are probably further cerebral/genetic subdivisions - burglars, muggers, ladies who like red dresses, men who like football, curry and real ale, etc.  Clearly at some stage we can then stop ‘coming out’, since we will each have our genetic/cerebral make-up and can do nothing about the way we are.  Every time there is a revelation about a Minister of famous personality, they can just say, ‘yes, I know, been trying to avoid that for years, but it’s my genetic make-up you know.’  Maybe we can all simply carry a card saying ‘gay Labour footballer’ or ‘Christian wine-drinking non-voting straight lady supporting Gillingham Football Club and collecting china frogs’.

It’s not clear whether we are born with these traits or whether they are acquired features.  But, whether it be through indoctrination or not, the worrying thing is that governments will be able to manipulate the size of these divisions through policies designed to encourage those with certain favourable political traits to have children together.  You will remember there has already been a Tory debate about policies which seemed to encourage ‘the poor to breed’ (thus risking increases in future numbers of Labour supporters).  And of course we open the way to genetic modification or embryo selection or brain surgery to add or remove qualities in order to guarantee a surplus of political supporters for the next few years. 

However, the good thing is that there is no need now for me to come out about my thing with handbags in wardrobes; it’s all in my anterior cingulate cortex.  In fact, all my friends in the Wardrobe Handbag (Southern Counties) Society will be pleased too, since this can only prevent further discrimination and harassment when we meet down the Purse and Pocket every month.  Actually, I can see this heralding the end to all discrimination, perceived slights and inclusivity issues, since it is now clear that we are all different and society’s present labels are far too simplistic.  It will be impossible to insult someone by calling them a fat Tory bastard or a left-leaning shirt-lifter; the only insults now will be ‘you’ve got such a small amygdala’ or ‘hey, you fat anterior cingulate cortex with the green allele’.  I look forward to enjoying such exchanges without the spectre of litigation or compensation.

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