Monday, September 11, 2006


Do you know anyone under 21, who has had the awful misfortune to lose one of their parents? I suppose, if each of us casts around, we can come up with one, maybe two people we know who fall into this category. Apparently, if you delve into the official Government statistics on this, (and I found these figures in a very large newspaper, so they must be right!) the average figure for the whole of the country is around 1%. So 1 in 100 people are in this situation – that seems to match my own personal experience.

Now, if you make the sample a little tighter, what happens? Let’s take British Prime Ministers, for instance. If you do the same investigation on all the UK’s Prime Ministers since records began, the figure comes out differently.

It’s 61% - that’s 60 times as high as the average person.

Don’t you think that’s very odd? What is it about the top job in the country that attracts people (well, men really) who have had to live through the most formative parts of their lives not with a Single Parent, but with the thoughts, impact and effects of one of the two parents they originally had, dying?

I’m also told that if you do the same investigation on US Presidents, you get a similar result. Extraordinary! I’m not a psychologist, so this is very much “Answers on a Postcard”, please.

Now, let’s look at the current bun fight in the Government’s internal spat for its next leader after the impending “Blaircrash”. The man coming through strongly at the moment is Alan Johnson, with my other pick, “Old Jug-Ears”, ridden by Charles Clarke, still hanging back on the rails. What all of the non-Brown contenders – Alan Milburn, Alan Johnson, Charles Clarke, John Reid, John Prescott (actually, one in that list was a jape, can you guess which one?) need is time to get their faces and images in front of the British public. Even we are not likely to vote for someone we can’t actually recognise.

But the real issue here is anthropological. You can’t change history, it’s all in the genes, and, if the 61% figure above is right, all you have to do is to delve into the parental history of each of them, and Hey presto, we have the winner.

I’m still looking into a couple of them so this is still Work in Progress. What is clear is that Brown does not fit into the 61%, and to date, my sleuthing indicates that Alan Johnson does. He’s currently 5 to 1 against as a bet, with Brown at 5 to 1 on.

If you lean towards History creating the Future, and you’re a betting man, it strikes me that a Tenner on Johnson (Alan not Boris) would be a savvy move right now.

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