Good afternoon. You join me here in the blasted wastes of the remote Northern territory of Unthink, a place so doggedly one-dimensional that it is being studied by research teams and think tanks from twenty countries.
The people of Unthink have lost the power of individual thought and can only act collectively, following each other sheep-like in herds, their mouths hanging open and their eyes blank.
Unthinkers have, it seems, lost control of their personal faculties under the brain-washing of a powerful tribal sect that has captured their government.
‘We’ve haven’t seen anything like this in any other modern society’, said Rob McAlbyn, Professor of Neurological Existentialism at Common Place University. ‘North Korea gets close but then they don’t have any political choices available to them. In Unthink people can actually select a different option for one of their votes but choose not to do so.’
That part is true. All the evidence is that in Unthink one party dominates the voting and some academics think that may be because it’s very popular. ‘It’s the only explanation we can think of,’ said one researcher. ‘We really haven’t come across this phenomenon before. Normally people rely on being told by experts what to think and get confused by media reporting. Here they just get on with it and that threatens the jobs of academics and journalists.’
Particularly frustrated are a newly emerging minor tribe, the RISEN, who are trying to prod the Unthinkers into life by offering them radical new ideas. So far hardly anyone has heard of them and those who have complain of bitter in-fighting and internecine conflict in which some members are expelled and tribal laws are overturned without a vote. They are also often overshadowed by yet another tiny but noisy group who drown them out with beating drums and an ominous repetitive chant of ‘Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.’
Recently discovered papyrus documents known as the Panelbase Scrolls show that since ancient times the people of Unthink have roundly rejected the ideas of RISEN and are suspicious that they are using them to leapfrog to prominence.
The result is that Unthink will again cast all its votes for the same leaders for no better reason than they like their policies and trust them to get on with the job. ‘This is the real tragedy,’ said the professor. ‘Just because they want them in power, they refuse to be deflected from their chosen course instead of thinking it through carefully and then agreeing with me.’ Asked if Unthink wouldn’t judge that he himself was being ‘unthinking’ in patronising the citizens by suggesting they couldn’t think for themselves, he said: “That hadn’t occurred to me.’
Next week I’ll be reporting from the intellectually frozen bogland of the long-forgotten and fast-disappearing Tory tribe. Join me then.by