Dalrymple looks at a recent study reported in the British Medical Journal that attempts to examine whether successful political candidates live shorter lives as a result of wielding political power.
The authors found that, allowing for life-expectancy at election, those who were successful and therefore achieved office had a reduced life span. They lived, on average, 2.7 years fewer than their unsuccessful opponents. Of course, one should not make the elementary mistake of supposing that a statistical association implies causation; but it is nonetheless tempting to say that power not only corrupts, it kills. It is not necessary to add that absolute power kills absolutely.