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Book Cover for: A Humanist in the Age of Psychopaths, Daniel Swinrow

A Humanist in the Age of Psychopaths

Daniel Swinrow

A Humanist in the Age of Psychopaths is a political satire set in post-Brexit Britain.

It documents the rise of a cross-party group of humanist Members of Parliament in response to a viral [?] epidemic.

A Labour MP, Karel Glik, is witness to an alarming breakdown by one of his constituents, Andy Laws, during a meeting when Glik suggests that the best way for the man to deal with the problem he has is to gather facts, produce evidence and talk to an expert.

Soon after, Glik finds out that an academic, Nesrine Al Biah, has already experienced a similar phenomenon with some of her students and is beginning to uncover many other cases. Her investigations suggest that difficulties arise in conversation due to the mention or just the presence of concrete evidence and facts. A significant minority are affected.

Its symptoms, including expressionless eyes, a complete loss of focus, disorientation and involuntary movements, are later likened to zombie-ism

Al Biah calls it Neuro-Linguistic Dysfunction. NLD.

She identifies the way that NLD can be passed on to vulnerable individuals or groups by those around them turning it on and off with a series of, largely, unconscious cues.

Realising that NLD can be induced Karel Glik sees an opportunity to make a political name for himself. He anticipates that with enough exposure to irrefutable facts this could lead to a wipe-out for his Conservative opponents.

Glik gives an evidence-packed speech in Parliament which causes uproar. It is made during a debate on the Maynard Report, published following a public inquiry into Brexit. A significant number of MPs - on all sides - suffer breakdowns.

Suddenly brought to international public attention, NLD is soon running rampant, especially in the anglosphere. In America NLD is given the popular name of The Confusion.

From the beginning there are doubts whether NLD is a genuine illness or a hoax

Thanks to people with NLD, anxious that the condition shouldn't be treated as real, the popularity of the Prime Minister, Ernie Cook-Cooper, increases significantly as he promises not to do anything about it. Doing nothing is what he does best. Commentators begin to wonder whether the PM is himself a victim of NLD.

Effective government grinds to a halt.

Dealing with the crisis is also made difficult because those with Confusion have no idea what the fuss is all about and therefore don't want to be helped. It leads to a considerable backlash against the rational public.

It is this which leads to the emergence of the Humanists, the only group in the House of Commons whose rationality has given them some protection against NLD.

They are urged on by the humanist writer Sunil Wandru, author of Humanism in the Age of Psychopaths, who sees NLD as accelerating the rise of national populism.

He asks the question:

What should be their response as liberal humanists to the rise of forces which are nationalist, authoritarian and anti-rational, punching a hole in our democratic norms - legal and journalistic independence, a respect for other human beings and rational thinking?

Another key figure in pushing back is one former Labour leadership contender, Iain Bredridge who, before his career was ended by a stroke, had acted as mentor to many in the humanist group. It is his wife, Flic Ziwa, the only independent MP, who is chosen to lead the humanists in parliament.

Meanwhile, a backbench Tory MP, Connor Twining, forms his own group made up of ordinary people, unaware that they are victims of NLD, called Thinking and Freedom, determined to show that NLD doesn't exist.

And if it does exist, it isn't real.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Daniel Swinrow
  • Publish Date: Jun 16th, 2024
  • Pages: 364
  • Language: English
  • Edition: undefined - undefined
  • Dimensions: 8.50in - 5.50in - 0.81in - 1.02lb
  • EAN: 9798227421463
  • Categories: PoliticalSatireWorld Literature - England - 21st Century