Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 16 November 2015
One has to pity—a little—politicians obliged to react publicly to events such as those on November 13 in Paris. They can’t pass over them in silence: but what can they say that does not sound banal, hollow, and obvious? They can only get it wrong, not right.
That does not excuse inexactitude and ...Read More...
Posted on 11/16/2015 6:28 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 13 November 2015
Like many other people, I have a sneaking admiration for those who commit forgery or fraud (provided the latter is not on me), especially if in the process they make authorities look foolish and thereby expose their pretensions or incompetence. For a time the notorious forger of Vermeer, Han Van Meegeren, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/13/2015 6:49 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Sometimes I think that British popular culture is a little like North Korean propaganda. It is crude, unpleasant and inescapable. If you criticise it, you are taken for an enemy of the people. One should not exaggerate, of course: by inescapable, I mean in certain circumstances. North Korean propaganda, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/12/2015 5:22 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
We often forget - or at least, I often forget - on just how many ordinary, decent people the comfort of our lives depends. I was reminded of this the other day when a man from the water company called to check the quality of the water supply. Our house had been selected at random by a computer for a ...Read More...
Posted on 11/10/2015 5:01 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 7 November 2015
Last week a political magazine asked me to comment on an angry man's Facebook comments that a certain prisoner had been released from prison on appeal. They were as follows:
I’d go inside [prison] just to wrap a quilt round his neck
and stab the …. in his skull until his head is drained, no
remorse, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/07/2015 4:42 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 6 November 2015
The Reverend Thomas Malthus was an English clergyman at the end of the 18th Century and the beginning of the 19th Century who put forward an idea that was to have a profound influence on Charles Darwin in developing his theory of evolution. Malthus claimed that the human population has a tendency to ...Read More...
Posted on 11/06/2015 4:47 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Facebook and the internet are certainly bringing the intrinsic decency and sense of fair play of the British into prominence, as well as their refined use of language.
In response to the news that a man was stabbed to death in Basildon, apparently by a gang of young people, the internet commentators ...Read More...
Posted on 11/05/2015 12:18 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 5 November 2015
The nearest large town to where I live when I am in France is called Alès. Having once been a centre of coal-mining, it is not very beautiful, unlike most of the towns in the region. It is rarely in the news, though occasionally it is the scene of a minor riot among the unemployed youth.
Recently, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/05/2015 4:59 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
When two Englishmen meet, said Doctor Johnson, their first talk is of the weather. This may have been so in his day, but I suspect that these days they are more likely to talk of the Premier League, a much less stimulating and interesting subject. As for Englishwomen, I suspect their first talk is of ...Read More...
Posted on 11/04/2015 5:12 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so it is said. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that politicians should seek to increase their popularity by sharing the tastes of their electorates, or at least claiming to do so. The British chancellor of the exchequer (as Britain’s finance minister is ...Read More...
Posted on 11/03/2015 7:24 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 1 November 2015
The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the opposition Labour Party in Britain was conducted in a rather peculiar fashion. All one had to do to obtain a vote in it was to declare on-line that one supported the aims of the party and pay £3 ($4.60). It was rumoured that a number of Conservatives ...Read More...
Posted on 11/01/2015 5:35 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 22 October 2015
A novelist may have bad opinions but write good books. I haven’t read any of the detective stories of Henning Mankell, the Swedish world best-selling author who died recently, but I’m perfectly prepared to believe that they were good (my wife tells me that they were). I did, however, read his obituary ...Read More...
Posted on 10/22/2015 9:29 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
The following headline on the website of the Guardian, said to be the third most-visited newspaper site in the world, caught my attention: US GOVERNMENT DEPORTING CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS TO THEIR DEATHS. The following was printed in large letters: “Guardian investigation into consequences of Obama’s ...Read More...
Posted on 10/20/2015 8:05 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 15 October 2015
The Pope’s recent address to a joint session of Congress was greeted ecstatically, though (or perhaps because) it was notable mainly for its secular rather than for its religious pieties. It was the speech of a politician seeking re-election rather than that of the spiritual leader of a considerable ...Read More...
Posted on 10/15/2015 5:30 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Mr Corbyn is scruffy in a social worker kind of way, but whether this is natural to him or a matter of calculation I do not know. I suspect that it comes to him naturally, or at least is now second nature to him (no one, after all, is born to be scruffy, or can do nothing about it), and that in effect ...Read More...
Posted on 10/14/2015 5:23 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 12 October 2015
In 1963, James Baldwin, aged thirty-nine, published the open letter to his nephew, aged fifteen, that forms the first part of The Fire Next Time. In 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates, aged thirty-nine, published an open letter to his son, aged fifteen, titled Between the World and Me.1 The book is Coates’s The ...Read More...
Posted on 10/12/2015 5:48 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 9 October 2015
Passing a kiosk in France recently, I noticed a magazine on the rack that promised to reveal to the multitude the secrets of the One Percent. The One Percent in question was, of course, that small and now infamous proportion of humanity that is separated from the 99 Percent by its wealth and, presumably, ...Read More...
Posted on 10/09/2015 7:12 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 5 October 2015
People always like to talk about their dogs: it is one subject about which they can be frank and unaffected, for no one enters a conversation about dogs who does not love them.
My wife and I were walking the other day in Paris - down the Avenue Gambetta, to be precise - when we saw a man coming ...Read More...
Posted on 10/05/2015 6:02 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 27 September 2015
The purpose of research is to discover what was previously unknown. Research wouldn’t be necessary if we knew everything there was to know, but that will never be the case so research will always be a necessity, so long as knowledge remains preferable to ignorance. And while wisdom may be folly where ...Read More...
Posted on 09/27/2015 5:33 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 26 September 2015
There seems to be a lot of fraud these days, but perhaps there always was; maybe it was just that we more naïve in those days. As soon as the Volkswagen scandal broke, the personal injury lawyers were out in force — a group whose activities are usually morally fraudulent if not illegal.
Research ...Read More...
Posted on 09/26/2015 7:21 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 13 September 2015
Nothing is more tempting, or intellectually hazardous, than to draw broad conclusions from a single isolated case. Indeed, whole clusters of unusual incidents may mislead people into thinking that they represent a serious trend, when in fact they represent nothing more than the operation of chance in ...Read More...
Posted on 09/13/2015 5:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 10 September 2015
A friend of mine, David Fraser, who is writing a book about our criminal justice system soon to be published, recently pointed out to me a startling, but by no means unusual, discrepancy in the statistics provided by the Orwellianly-renamed Ministry of Justice.
In the Criminal Justice Statistics ...Read More...
Posted on 09/10/2015 5:14 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 4 September 2015
Do politics come before economics, or economics before politics? The question is probably not susceptible to a definitive answer, but this doesn’t prevent us from wondering.
Recently, I saw Tunisian olive oil on the shelves of my local supermarket in France for the first time in more than ten years. ...Read More...
Posted on 09/04/2015 8:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
A well-known religious figure is reported to have said: “For ye have the poor with you always.” This is even more the case if economic inequality persists (as the history of the world suggests it might) and poverty is defined in relative terms. The same well-known figure added, however, that “whensoever ...Read More...
Posted on 09/02/2015 6:05 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 28 August 2015
Perfection is not of this world, and indeed we have difficulty even in conceiving of what it could be. We suspect that it might be boring and therefore, paradoxically, imperfect. Our natures are contradictory; we desire incompatible things and pursue incompatible ends, often at the same time; and we ...Read More...
Posted on 08/28/2015 7:48 AM by Theodore Dalrymple