How often can you call a politician an arse before he realises he is one?

After Boris Johnson was labelled an arse on national TV by another member of the public, scientists began to wonder how many times someone can be called an arse before they realise it’s them.

Psychologists at Credulous College became intrigued by the phenomena when they noted the remarkable number of politicians being called an arse by random members of the public.

Professor Ian Napton, “Our study looked at the effect of name-calling on narcissists, egotists and the undeservedly over-confident. We first noticed the effect during Nigel Farage’s Brexit campaign. Everywhere he went he was repeatedly called an arse but to little or no effect. In fact, it seemed to work in reverse, he became more arseish.”

“After studying coverage of our elected officials, the team found that there is no shortage of people who are prepared to call politicians an arse. However, in every case it seemed to act as a power-up, a bit like a health pack in a video game.”

The team were hoping to establish a Napton Number, whereby they could define how many times you called someone an arse before self-realisation set in and they changed their behaviour. Unfortunately, the magic number has remained elusive.

It seems the effect is not confined to politics, similar examples abound in the world of entertainment. Despite Jim Davidson, Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan’s being insulted on a daily basis, the team were unable to find any evidence they had undertaken any positive behavioural change.

Meanwhile Brexit continues