The website's back online. And now that people are flying home through the diminishing ash cloud, perhaps I'm allowed a smirk? Politicians doing their thing in realtime, and volcanic ash in the skies - sounds like a book called EDGE to me.

So for everyone following the election debates in the UK... No, I'm not going to get all political here. Having seen only the first one, though, I can tell you on a neurolinguistic basis exactly why Nick Clegg leaped from obscurity to stardom.

Every hypnotist uses tonal marking. It's powerful, because emphasis by change of tonality normally bypasses conscious awareness. For example, when a therapist is getting a client settled, she might say (as part of an extended process): "Before you go into trance just take a deep breath and...."

The first clause contains an inbuilt assumption that the client will enter trance, plus the subtle frequency shift marks out "go into trance" as an instruction.

Some people refer to these as embedded commands, but the truth is you can use the same technique to emphasise any statement, not just instructions.

Here's a near-verbatim example from Nick Clegg during the TV debate: "It seems as if I'm the only leader here who has a policy of..."

He demonstrated such expertise throughout the debate. So you might ask, does this qualify him to be prime minister, or at least hold the balance of power in a hung Parliament? Well, these abilities mean that he's bound to be good at negotiating and persuading.

Or you might just want to vote according to the parties' policies...


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