Sunday, July 02, 2017

Kensington and Chelsea needed Rock Feilding-Mellen like it needed a hole in the head



It wasn't just Nicholas Paget-Brown , the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council, who resigned on Friday. So did his deputy Rock Feilding-Mellen.

And a reader sent me a link to a fascinating article that sheds light on Feilding-Mellen's background. It shows him as a curly-headed small boy on his father's shoulders.

It dates from 1984 and is written by the late John Michell. The author of The View Over Atlantis, Michell was one of the most compelling voices of the counter-culture in the 1960s.

The article talks about Rock's parents Amanda Feilding and Joey Mellen. It begins:
Amanda Feilding lives in a charming flat looking over London's river with her companion, Joey Mellen, and their infant son, Rock. She is a successful painter, and she and Joey have an art gallery in a fashionable street of the King's Road. Another of her talents is for politics. 
At the last two General Elections she stood for Parliament in Chelsea, more than doubling her vote on the second occasion from 49 to 139. It does not sound much, but the cause for which she stands is unfamiliar and lacks obvious appeal. Feilding and her voters demand that trepanning operations be made freely available on the National Health. Trepanation means cutting a hole in your skull.
Joey Mellon was a disciple of Bart Hughes, an advocate of trepanning, And both Rock's parents perfomed the operation on themselves - or at least tried to.

Amanda Fielding provides a political angle to this tale. She twice (in 1979 and 1983) stood as a candidate in the old Chelsea constituency to promote the benefits of trepanning. In 1979 she gained 49 votes and in 1983 139, so maybe she was on to something.

These days she is Countess of Wemyss and March - the New Statesman says the Count has had the operation too. It also says that she is now a campaigner for reform of the drug laws, while the Daily Mail thought it worth having a go at her recently.

Finally, a piece of self-analysis...

I am interested in the ideas of the counter-culture, but that does not mean I believe they are true.

It is fascinating, for instance, that we all seem capable of producing memories of earlier lives under hypnosis, but that does not mean that they are genuine memories.

You can be sure, however, that the rational explanation of how we are able to do so will be hugely interesting in its own right.

As a psychology professor said recently at an event I attended, just as perceptual illusions teach us a lot about perception, so illusory thinking can teach us a lot about thinking.

But all this means that I should not make fun of these ideas, as I tend to do. See the headline of this article for an example.

In fact I would not be surprised if I gave up political posts one day and went off to look for ley lines in the upper Welland valley.

1 comment:

Patrick Colemm said...

if only there were a suitably distinguished family of Paper-Stones for Rock to marry into