Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
If anyone doubted the complete destruction of British bourgeois civilisation, he could not find more convincing evidence of it than by travelling from Calais to Folkestone on the Eurostar. The vast majority of people taking it with their cars are British, of course; and they are not a pretty sight or ...Read More...
Posted on 10/16/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Like politicians, doctors are inclined to believe that doing something (especially when it is them doing it) is better than doing nothing. They mistake benevolent intentions for good results, believing that the first guarantee the second. How can philanthropy go wrong?
Besides, doing something stimulates ...Read More...
Posted on 10/15/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 11 October 2013
The six days of riots in Sweden last May, led by immigrant youth, were greeted in the rest of Europe with a certain quiet satisfaction. No one likes to have a moral exemplar held up constantly before him, and the riots suggested that the exemplar was not so exemplary after all.
Not without a certain ...Read More...
Posted on 10/11/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Not long ago the New England Journal of Medicine ran an article on the vexed question of physician-assisted suicide in the case of the terminally ill, and doctors were asked to vote, for or against, online. The results of the poll have just been published.
As the editors are at pains to point out, ...Read More...
Posted on 10/08/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 7 October 2013
Edward Miliband and I have something (not much) in common: we both had Marxist fathers. In my case, however, it turned me against all that my father stood, or pretended to stand, for. I saw that his concern for the fate of humanity in general was inconsistent with his contempt for the actual people ...Read More...
Posted on 10/07/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 5 October 2013
I have reached an age when only irritation prevents me from sinking into somnolence or mental torpor but fortunately there is no shortage of stimuli in the modern world to irritate me. Fortunately also, I enjoy the state of irritation almost as much as that of resentment or righteous indignation. ...Read More...
Posted on 10/05/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 28 September 2013
"Revenge is a kind of wild justice," said Francis Bacon, "which the more a man's heart runs to, the more ought law to weed it out." But what if that law, far from weeding it out, fertilizes and irrigates it by excessive leniency towards criminals?
In France the current minister ...Read More...
Posted on 09/28/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 21 September 2013
I am hardly the first person to notice the tendency of the modern state constantly to expand its responsibilities and therefore the proportion of the population dependent upon it for its subsistence. I noticed yet another small instance of this tendency in the French press recently.
According to a ...Read More...
Posted on 09/21/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 20 September 2013
A recent case in Derby, an industrial city in the English Midlands, has ignited controversy. An unemployed man, Michael Philpott (now 56), fathered 17 children by four women, all of whom he treated violently. For ten years, he lived in one house with two of these women: his wife, Mairead, with whom ...Read More...
Posted on 09/20/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 19 September 2013
In Samuel Butler's satire, Erewhon, crime was illness and illness was criminal. In at least one small respect we have taken the book as a model and put it into practice. While in our hospitals nurses are enjoined to address patients, however old and venerable, by their first names, or even by diminutives ...Read More...
Posted on 09/19/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 14 September 2013
Schopenhauer would have enjoyed the spectacle of grand rounds in academic hospitals: his theory that people argue for victory more than for truth would have found confirmation there.
In grand rounds a physician presents a complex or enigmatic case to the other physicians of the hospital, who then discuss ...Read More...
Posted on 09/14/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 10 September 2013
The habitual silence and tranquillity of my household was shattered recently by the arrival of two small children aged 3 and 4. As was only to be expected they brought their toys with them and at once began to make a terrible noise with them, by comparison with which a thunderstorm is grateful on the ...Read More...
Posted on 09/10/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 9 September 2013
For once the House of Commons has performed its function of restraining the executive branch of government. Such is the intellectual probity of our political class that if Mr Brown had been re-elected most of the Labour MPs would have voted for intervention in Syria and most of the Tories against, but ...Read More...
Posted on 09/09/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 7 September 2013
Even non-hypochondriacs such as I sometimes worry fleetingly about their health when, having reached a certain age, some of their friends and acquaintances fall foul of a disease, namely (in this case) cancer of the prostate. But my anxiety does not last long and so far I have managed successfully to ...Read More...
Posted on 09/07/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 5 September 2013
The human urge to punish is probably more or less a constant, and if it does not attach to one kind of behaviour it will attach to another. Even the Guardian, in general an enemy to severe punishment for most crimes, calls for harsh retribution for conduct that it most strongly reprehends. A retired ...Read More...
Posted on 09/05/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
The major medical journals of the world receive far more papers than they can ever publish, and so it is rather surprising when dull, trivial or bad work appears in them. This must mean either that the editors of the journals, like Homer, sometimes nod, or that the general standard of the work submitted ...Read More...
Posted on 09/03/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 1 September 2013
Research has shown that those who attend to the news in the morning are more miserable for the rest of the day than those who don’t. Nevertheless, I remain partial to my morning newspapers and feel bereft without them. When for some reason I am deprived of them (as recently I was for a week because ...Read More...
Posted on 09/01/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 29 August 2013
For most of my life I have had no difficulty in sleeping, rather in staying awake. But whether because of a physiological ageing process, or of a guilty conscience aware of a life of cumulative sin, I now experience periods of insomnia. Occasionally I do what I once swore as a young man never to do: ...Read More...
Posted on 08/29/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
We do not know what Shakespeare really believed, save that he liked money and feared the mob: for he was a stern creditor, and whenever a mob appeared in his plays it was sure to be foolish, fickle and stinking, at the mercy of the last orator it heard. So it is in Julius Caesar: the mob first believes ...Read More...
Posted on 08/27/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 26 August 2013
I never see the International Herald Tribune except in airport lounges or in the lobbies of hotel where it seems to be given away like improving literature or left as missionaries were once said to leave tracts on trains in the hope of converts. And thus it was, the other day, that I happened upon a ...Read More...
Posted on 08/26/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 25 August 2013
I write this on the deck of a boat that has pulled into Stavanger harbour in Norway. The contemplation of the city gives me satisfaction of a kind.
Norway, as everyone knows, is the richest country in Europe (as well as the most expensive). Its sovereign fund has invested something like $100,000 per ...Read More...
Posted on 08/25/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 24 August 2013
When doctors knew nothing and could do even less (if actively harming patients with their treatment counts as doing less than nothing), they hid their ignorance and therapeutic impotence by the use of impressive-sounding Latin terminology. Even when they spoke in the vernacular, they did their best ...Read More...
Posted on 08/24/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 23 August 2013
In private health-care systems, rationing of health care is by price; in public health care it is by waiting lists and administrative fiat. Both have their defenders, usually ferocious and bitterly opposed, but the fact remains that there are some treatments that have to be rationed however much money ...Read More...
Posted on 08/23/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 22 August 2013
The only emotion that can last a lifetime, that is impervious to all experience, and never fails in its function, is resentment. Few of us, I suppose, have never savoured its sour satisfactions, but most have us mature beyond it to a certain point of equanimity. Not everyone, though; and maturity has ...Read More...
Posted on 08/22/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 18 August 2013
There are some names that do not seem suited to ring down the ages with literary fame, however worthily their possessors write, and Percy Robinson probably is one of them. But his play, To What Red Hell, first performed in 1926, was successful and twice made into a silent film, one of them with Sibyl ...Read More...
Posted on 08/18/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple