Dr David Southall was famously found guilty of professional misconduct after he claimed that it was 'beyond reasonable doubt' that he could identify Steven Clarke as being a 'child abuser' by watching him on TV.
Will David Owen be found guilty of professional misconduct for claiming that Gordon Brown is an 'electorate abuser' by watching him? I doubt it.
David Owen, in the Oxford journal Brain, identifies a mental disorder, 'hubris syndrome', in several past prime ministers, but subtly falls short of a direct diagnosis of our current Prime Minister. The symptoms he identifies make interesting reading
A narcissistic propensity to see one's world primarily as an arena in which to exercise power and seek glory.
A disproportionate concern with image and presentation
A messianic manner
Excessive confidence in own judgment and contempt for advice
Exaggerated self-belief, bordering on omnipotence
A belief that one is accountable solely to history or god
Loss of contact with reality; often associated with progressive isolation
Restlessness, recklessness and impulsiveness
Alastair Campbell was believed to be the source of the 'psychologically flawed' slur on the Prime Ministers mental health, or lack of; that was but a cheap jibe from the master of sound bites. David Owen, writing in conjunction with another psychiatrist, Jonathon Davidson, in an ultra respectable academic journal, is a pointing finger that will be far more difficult to ignore.
He says there is no drug treatment, but that cabinet government should block messianic tendencies. Unfortunately, he says, "we haven't had cabinet government now since 1997" apart from an interlude when Brown first took over. Democracy is the best treatment. The four prime ministers he directly identifies with hubris syndrome were brought down by backbench pressure.
Let us hope that back benchers read academic Oxford journals. In case they don't, and this article was published February 12th, so perhaps they don't, I shall be doing everything I can to give it more publicity.
Hat tip to Sarah Boseley.