British Cycling’s psychiatrist, Steve Peters, wrote a book called The Chimp Paradox. The basic premise is that the emotional, impulsive parts of your brain can almost be considered a separate being – the inner chimp. We respond to things emotionally, but it’s often better to suppress these reactions and first apply logic before deciding on a course of action.
David Warner strikes us as being someone who doesn’t have a real grip on his chimp. There have been a whole series of events involving him which smack of a bloke getting het up about something and then acting without engaging the higher part of the brain.
The verdict from many is that there is no higher part to Warner’s brain, but whenever he’s interviewed in a calm state of mind, he seems to us to be a bright, self-aware kind of bloke. We actually quite like him. He appears to see the crowd’s treatment of him for what it truly is – pantomime – which is easier said than done when you’re the target. He also managed to joke about being caught by Joe Root, which was kind of endearing.
Warner’s the kind of guy who will do something completely moronic in the heat of the moment and then be genuinely remorseful, only to again react stupidly the next time he’s in an emotionally-charged situation. It’s not really about learning from his mistakes, because he knows when he’s an idiot. It’s more a question of whether he can keep his inner chimp from shrieking and flinging excrement when his blood’s up.