God, I’ve worked beside a few, so this Freedom of Information request intrigues me but as Hard Brexit looms, you hear people saying in the streets:
We need someone to take charge and to sort this mess out?
What like Hitler did?
No, I didn’t say that, Churchill!
Wasn’t he a war criminal?
Maybe but, oh, OK, Thatcher?
Ah, send those two aircraft carriers and any of the functioning frigates, to Brussels?
Here’s the actual request from a Mr McNab. I haven’t tried to get any info on him because I care for his future. I’m empathetic. I’m not a psychopath!
Dear Standards Commission for Scotland,
In order to ensure that integrity in public life is maintained – as well as being overseers of ethical standards of those employed in a professional capacity, within your remit (Councillors Code of Conduct) – is it also deemed necessary that those within your administrative scope, realise how important the basic human civil moral of understanding right from wrong, is?
Stop, for a second and think who that reminds you of. It doesn’t have to be a Scottish Tory.
With the above question in mind, do you take measures to ensure that psychopaths are either forbidden from influencing the lives of right thinking citizens; or at the very least, that the professional work-load of any known psychopath, who you are aware of in political life, is monitored to ensure both ethical and moral standards are maintained?
Needless to say, the poor soul expected to write the answer is not, by definition, a psychopath, and so too scared to ask his boss, who may well. Intelligent, non-violent psychopaths rise to the top. They have the skills and often the charisma.
Consequently, we get the usual legal position. Psychopaths would not be so evolutionary adaptive if it was that easy to prevent their success with social organisations.
Question 1: The individuals who fall within the Standards Commission’s remit (being local government councillors and members of devolved public bodies in Scotland) are required to comply with Codes of Conduct. The Codes of Conduct are available on our website at http://www.standardscommissionscotland.o…. The Codes of Conduct are issued by the Scottish Government and are based on nine key principles of public life. The Standards Commission does not have any statutory right or remit to consider the behaviour, conduct or understanding of any local government councillors and members of devolved public bodies that falls outwith the scope of the Codes. In any event, the question of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ may be subjective. Any conduct or behaviour that has been deemed to be illegal either in common law or statute would be a matter for the police to investigate.
Question 2: The Standards Commission has no right or remit in respect of who is appointed to public life. Local government councillors are elected by the public and members of devolved public bodies are appointed by Scottish Ministers. The Standards Commission works to ensure ethical standards are maintained by promoting adherence to the Codes of Conduct and by adjudicating, at public Hearings, on alleged breaches of the Codes. The Standards Commission has the power to suspend or disqualify local government councillors and members of devolved public bodies in Scotland if it is found, at a Hearing, that they have breached a Code of Conduct.
Readers requiring a quick, if admittedly not too scientifically reliable, way of identifying psychopaths and then avoiding them in a personal and professional, setting, might like to try these quick tests:
- Yawn showily in the face of the suspect. Yawning is empathetic. If they are a psychopath, they will not reciprocate nor indeed will any cat, but a dog will.
- Ask the suspect to imagine that they are still looking for a partner and that at their mother/father’s funeral, of all places, they meet someone and plan to keep in touch. There’s a downpour, they scatter and have no contact details. Two weeks later they kill their sister/brother. Why? Non-psychopaths struggle to answer or suggest jealousy and accidental killing. Psychopaths suggest quickly, to arrange another funeral so that the person will be there again!
Watching Westminster politics, I feel psychopaths have been all-too-apparent. In Holyrood?
What about other occupations? I see TV presenters come third in this report: