A crisis of recollection, but why?

A startling report from our medicine and astrology correspondent, Victoria Newt

John Key is fast becoming famous for his memory lapses. These include forgetting where he stood on the 1981 Springbok tour, failing to remember how he voted on the drinking age, forgetting about important phone calls, forgetting about GCSB briefings, and forgetting how many Tranz Rail shares he owned.

But this crisis in recollection is not confined to the prime minister, and poor memory problems have begun to strike others. Epsom MP and Act Party leader John Banks has been hit been particularly hard, to the point where he cannot remember taking helicopter rides to the mansions of eccentric millionaires, or receiving fat cheques from wealthy donors.

Nor is this affliction limited to politicians on the right. Labour Party leader David Shearer has also fallen victim to the disease, after forgetting to disclose the existence of an offshore bank account holding a large sum of money.

It would be all too easy to put these lapses down to the natural ageing process, because we all know that as people get older their memory begins to deteriorate. But can all of these failings be put down to old age? They appear to have accelerated dramatically over the last eighteen months, and this acceleration suggests that something else may be going on.

It is widely recognised within the medical profession that stress and depression can cause memory loss. In my own medical practice in the years before I was exposed as a fraud and imprisoned, I saw many cases of forgetful patients labouring under intense stress or suffering all the classic symptoms of depression. In my detailed research on Wikipedia on behalf of these patients, and in dealing with my own enormous mental health issues (which range from hysteria and panic attacks, to speaking in tongues, bedwetting, and intense psychotic episodes) I established a clear and compelling link between memory loss and depression, and my paper on the subject was published in the prestigious American Journal of Aromatherapy, Crystals and Pool Maintenance.

So it could be stress or depression causing these incidents of memory loss. Indeed, it is almost impossible to imagine being the leader of Act or the Labour Party and not being clinically depressed.

But an onset of sudden depression does not explain entirely these incidents. Why now? Was there ever a time when an Act leader was not swirling in a sea of hopelessness, self-loathing and despair?

The other major triggers for memory loss are chemically induced ones: prescription or illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. However, it is unlikely that we can blame booze or drugs on John Banks’ lapses, given his well-known teetotaling and violent abhorrence of drugs.

Another possibility that cannot be ruled out is head trauma. A sudden blow to the head can affect those parts of the brain responsible for memory retention. But there have been no reports of head injuries within our political classes, even if things did get feisty in Labour’s caucus room in recent months. It is also hard to imagine too much head-banging within Act’s caucus; although in the interests of head-trauma prevention, Act’s three remaining party members are advised to stay well away from desks.

Lead poisoning is another credible explanation for our politicians’ forgetfulness. It may be that some of the many official gifts handed over to our party leaders by visiting Chinese delegations have been coated with lead-based paint. A campaign of deliberate poisoning of our leaders by China would certainly go some way towards explaining the anti-Chinese sentiment being expressed in many political circles.

My own considered medical opinion is that lead poisoning is the most likely cause, and not just because it would explain the decline in our leaders’ mental faculties. It would also explain a lot of the other behaviours we see regularly from our politicians: the abuse, the tantrums, the childish and unpleasant behaviour we see in Parliament almost every sitting day.

If it turns out that China is behind this poisoning then it may mean war, so medical authorities need to be certain of the facts. It goes without saying that a full investigation into these issues needs to be undertaken, and on an urgent basis. These dramatic memory lapses do not just threaten the health of our politicians; they also imperil our democracy. Our politicians are all decent people, and we can be sure that they would tell the truth if only they could remember it.