Friday, October 10, 2008

A Tale of Two Videos: The Daily Politics on Brown

There's this one, a soliloquy from Anne Alexander on the theme of the current crisis suiting Brown. And there's a studio discussion led by jolly Anita Anand and featuring a "Psychologist" name of Lucy Beresford, plus Jackie Ashley and Chris Bryant MP. This has attracted a good deal of bloggiage.

Loopy Lu includes the idea that bringing Mandy back is "almost bordering" (yes, almost bordering, not that close then) "on self mutilating behaviour". Ashley meanwhile suggests more reasonably that Mandy is simply back performing his historic role as an able synthesist to GB's eye for analytical detail.

Generally on the web Ms Beresford is described as a psychotherapist - like Derek Draper then - media commenter and writer, also like Derek Draper. Who incidentally has a degree in Clinical Psychology, and other stuff too.

Most references to her as a "Psychologist" link back to this Daily Politics item. Her summary biography says she works at The Priory, Roehampton with this broken link. But The Priory website search engine denies any knowledge of this extraordinary woman.

But, tell me this, who is this Lucy Beresford anyway? Psychotherapist, fiction reviewer, people watcher, bunny boiler. Could she perchance have any party political leanings at all? I genuinely don't know. Perhaps any and all pundits should reveal any allegiance ahead of their pseudo scientific appraisal. Or in this case wild-eyed head-emptying psycho-babble.

Beresford's own body language and insistence on extreme negativity almost bordered on a partisan idée fixée. Take a look. Her latest book is called simply: "Something I'm Not".

UPDATE Sat 09:34: View the whole thing on your own desktop, about 20 minutes in here (launches media player). Not much sign of anyone else spitting out the full SP on this charlatan bunny boiler but Gimpyblog calls her quack and this a knowledgable comment there:

# ben goldacre (of Bad Science fame) Says:
October 11, 2008 at 7:47 am
it’s interesting that they had to go so low down the pundit food chain to find someone who was willing to say these things. testament, i guess, to how eager journalists are to have “experts” speculate in a superficially technical way on the mental health of someone they’ve never met.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, Chris. Don't worry, there's no punchline.

I saw the piece with this Lucy Beresford oddity and found it very spooky.

At first I thought it was real and then for a couple of minutes I honestly thought it was a spoof in a sort of Chris Morris or Pamela Stephenson sort of way.

Where the bloody hell did they find her?

The assertion that Brown bringing Mandelson back into frontline politics was sub-consciously repeating patterns from his past which are normally very painful patterns or scenarios or situations is bizarre.

I thought the whole point was that in the past Brown didn't want to be in the same hemisphere as Mandelson let alone round the same Cabinet table. He isn't repeating his own actions but those of Tony Blair. It must be something to do with potty training.

This psychobabble shows that she is no Freudian or Jungian but a fully-fledged Draperian.

Anonymous said...

Yes, covered this myself, bit of a cock up by the BBC to get this quack on. What next homeopaths debating the future of the NHS on Newsnight?

I will be submitting a complaint.

Anonymous said...

Stigmatising mental illness and the PM is a great thing for a psychologist to do. Well done.
This just looks like a psychologist who uses her skills to insult people.
So what if he has an inferiority complex it could be something to do with losing an eye.

Chris Paul said...

So is it an inferiority complex or hubris he's got then? This was bollocks. Some good eyebrow work from Ashley on the QT and AA was clearly wondering what the bag of frogs was doing testifying. All the screen grabs I did had the swivel eyes on them ... Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?

(She's not a real psychologist DE, but she may be a Tory ...)

tory boys never grow up said...

Clear any psychologist who tries to make such diagnoses on the basis of public appearances and what is in the press is a quack.

It is worth looking at her website - the qualification she mentions is given by a body which gives its memebership to anyone who is a member of a very large number of other bodies some of which are distinctly fruitcaky - just follow the links.

She seems to spend most of her time doing book reviews and writing chick lit.

Chris Paul said...

She's a bunny boiling noodle.

Anonymous said...

i'm really glad to see this being flagged up elsewhere. i'm fairly sure that most professional bodies for psychiatrists and psychologists forbid speculating in an offensive way on the mental health of public figures. apart from anything else, in my view, the world needs less psychiatry rather than more, and medicalising personality in this utterly specious way is just pathetic and lazy.

PoliticalHackUK said...

I find it hard to believe that any professional would dare to make comments like that solely on the basis of media coverage. In technical terms, she's a loon.