Scientists and neurologists have been drafted into Westminster this week to investigate an alarming rise in amnesia amongst politicians. Although the problem is not a new one, the last few weeks have seen a wave of memory loss wash over MPs from all parties.
Westminster Amnesia, or ‘WestmiNesia’ as it has been named, has been an underlying problem in the House of Commons since the days of Tony Blair. ‘The then Prime Minister suffered from WestmiNesia on many occasions’ political historian, Peter Hennessey told us ‘The signs were there early on, most notably when he declared a ‘war on terror’ whilst making Martin McGuiness a politician.’
However, recent cases have been appearing with much more regularity. David Cameron held a press conference to tell the assembled media the last pasty he bought was from West Cornwall Pasty Co. ‘I seem to remember I was in Leeds station at the time and the choice was whether to have one of their small ones or large ones’ he said. It was later revealed he was actually recalling some ‘Caviar Hors d'oeuvres’ enjoyed with a £250,000 worse off party donor, that he couldn't remember.
‘We are testing the water, air, and taking ‘stool samples’ from recent speeches to try and find out the cause this location specific disease’ Dr Bob Adams, the lead scientist on the case told us. ‘Early signs are that WestmiNesia is caused by a dangerous mixture of confusion and convenience, but we have not ruled out that those affected are just idiots.’
More recent cases show that the problem crosses party lines. Jack Straw has struggled to remember authorising the extradition of a suspect to the UK’s then friend Colonel Gadaffi, Nick Clegg has completely lost the memory of his election promises, and Ed Miliband has had 13 years of Labour governance completely wiped from his memory. We had arranged for an interview with the Home Secretary Theresa May to discuss WestmiNesia, but discovered she arrived yesterday for the interview after forgetting the dates.
‘We have given advice to the Prime Minister to help improve memory and recommended he look towards the animal kingdom for help. They say an elephant never forgets’ Dr Adams told us. David Cameron has since given the new position of Minister of Memory to Eric Pickles. The first task for Mr Pickles was to arrange a parliamentary discussion on the issue, however he was the only MP to show up for the debate as parliament could not be recalled.