You don’t have to be mad to work in parliament . . .

If anyone had a case for saying their job made them mad it would be MPs.

They work long hours in an unnatural environment surrounded by Alpha personality types knowing every misstep is likely to end up in the media. Most have to live away from their families and when they go home they have to deal with electorate duties. Even Wellington based MPs spend a lot of time travelling round the rest of the country – and further afield.

To make matters worse they’re surrounded by people who are may be as much rivals as allies and not all your enemies are on the other side.

It’s a high pressured and unnatural life and it would be understandable if that had an detrimental impact on their mental health.

If it did, it wouldn’t be helpful if colleagues started publicly questioning your state of mind.

I agree with Inventory 2 who said:

 The personal attacks on Carter and the innuendo around his mental health reflect very poorly on Labour in our humble opinion.

This isn’t the first time Labour, which prides iteslf on its sensitivity, has been less than sensitive over mental illness. Regardless of  my state of mind, that strategy  would definitely make me mad – at least in the sense of being furious.

UPDATE: Apropos of attacks  getting personal, Kiwiblog has a post on the post deleted from Red Alert.

6 Responses to You don’t have to be mad to work in parliament . . .

  1. Andrei says:

    If anyone had a case for saying their job made them mad it would be MPs. Hurrumph

    Just about every thing you say about MPs could apply to a lessor or greater extent to most peoples occupations and lives.

    A lot of pressures on front line policemen – no? Dealing with low lives and no-hopers every day, working family unfriendly hours, subject to violence and if someone gets hurt or killed subject to Monday morning quarter-backing which may see your life irreparably ruined. Sheesh.

    The people in Parliament choose to and fight to get their positions. Power, prestige and financial rewards follow.

    Its no different from the way the Mafia operate except for the physical violence aspect. Its the way human affairs have always operated.

    As for Chris Carter – he has self destructed in spectacular fashion and damaged his erstwhile colleagues in the process and probably intends to continue so doing.

    Not so long ago he would have lost his head – in these enlightened times he will get a generous pension and 90% subsidized international travel for life.


  2. homepaddock says:

    Andrei, you’re right a lot of people have a lot of pressure in their work and police would be at or near the top of the list.

    I harbour a belief though that some, possibly many and maybe most, MPs are motivated at least in part because they want to make positive changes which benefit the people they serve.

    Yes, Carter has damaged his collaeagues and for that they have a right to be mad – as in angry. But suggesting he’s mad – as in mentally ill – was a low blow.

    Being stupid, blind to your faults and suffering from entitilitis doesn’t make you mentally ill.


  3. Andrei says:

    According to the DSM V it probably does – mind you the DSM V has been criticized because under its criteria virtually everyone is mentally ill and everything is a mental illness, including apparently being fat.

    Years ago Governor Earl Long of Louisiana was committed to a mental hospital in Texas by his opponants. In Texas because he was boss of the mental hospitals in Louisiana. He claimed he had been kidnapped to Texas by his enemies, a Federal crime which attracted the Death Penalty and thus he was quickly uncommitted.

    He is well regarded in Louisiana to this day but here is a press conference he gave when he was released and got back to Louisiana. Do you reckon he was mad looking at this?


  4. homepaddock says:

    I thought someone once said, In a crazy world, only the mad are sane.

    I couldn’t find a reference those exact words to verify who it was but did find several variations on the theme:


  5. Gravedodger says:

    Mr Carter’s public personna as portrayed in the media in my layman’s view, shows signs of narcissism, paranoia, with a liberal dose of a persecution complex along with delusions of grandeur. He brought most of his “troubles” on himself and I think it is legitimate for the people he challenges to question his state of mind. Charles Chauvel and Chris Finlayson among any number of mps who make no secret of their sexual orientation and others who raise questions about theirs without any confirmation one way or the other, properly get on with the job in hand whereas Mr Carter seems to have to be in the public’s face with his domestic lifestyle. Openly challenging the electorate and when called complaining that the public are only going after him as he is gay.
    A lot of the actions of this man give rise to a genuine reasons to raise doubts as to his state of mind when he has held high office as a representative of us all, been very close to the power center of those who governed us in the last administration and had the very important job of representing the voters of Te Atatu.
    It may not be politically correct to publicly question anyones sanity but I see this as a legitimate pursuit as the mans behavior seems to continue unabated in a headlong dive to self destruction. If he was charged with a criminal matter his state of mind would be questioned by professionals and laymen alike and possibly used as a defense to his actions.
    I concur with the expressed view he needs help and could have used his “gardening leave” far more effectively rather than using it to launch his self destructive drive to disaster.
    Yes it seems harsh but IMHO completely legitimate as he could have jumped out of the goldfish bowl anytime he chose.


  6. peterlepaysan says:

    Carter’s very very deliberately public attacks on Goff do not display much in the way of sanity, rationality or logic.

    Certainly no political savvy has been displayed.

    It is perfectly rational and reasonable to question his mental health.

    To be caught out in a childish petty incompetent vindictive publicity stunt, and initially deny it, is the behaviour of a person with sound mental judgement?

    C’mon Homepaddock, I get more rational behaviour from lambs than that.

    Who the hell is Inventory 2 anyway?


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