Yesterday, the discovery, by researchers at the University of Twente, that people with full bladders make better decisions was reported. I must admit that I would have anticipated quite the opposite, expecting such folk to make the fastest decision possible so that they can then rush off to the nearest (suitable) porcelain to obtain some relief.
But, the findings are clear and, in particular, say that such desperate folk are much better at controlling important or expensive decisions – rather than just making snap judgements. The Dutch suggest that the restraint required to prevent accidents “leaks” over into other areas of the brain. Given the very poor decision-making and judgement exercised by many in authority in this sceptred isle – Parliament springs instantly to mind – I wonder if this research could find an immediate beneficial application.
I’ve always found Newcastle Brown Ale is very effective at filling my bladder – but I suppose the alcohol may tend to counteract the improvement in judgement (to be honest, I never tested myself on the sort of occasions when I was consuming Dog in any quantity) – so perhaps the use of water would be a safer bet in any practical application of the research.
Could this (uri)nation be returned to greatness – and could we “slash” the amount of our money being pointlessly wasted – by the simple of expedient of removing all the WCs from the Houses of Parliament? To boost the effect, the Palace of Westminster could also dispense free water to members and have the sound of running water playing very quietly in the background of the chamber. Not only would the standard of decision-making improve, but the length of debates would tend to be curtailed quite effectively as well – though there might be a small rise in the cleaning costs associated with running parliamentary democracy on this basis.
Could this be extended to the voting process as well? On arrival at the Polling Station each voter is required to drink a litre of water (or other suitable beverage – some choices could well increase voter turn-out) and then wait 40 minutes (to allow nature to take its course) before exercising their franchise. We could see a small increase in spoiled ballot papers – but it would give new meaning to the P in PR!