Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 18 November 2013
Not long after I suggested satirically that money might be the cure for the terrible disease of burglary, experiments were performed to bribe drug addicts into remaining abstinent. I had suggested that money was a genuine pharmacological treatment of burglary because there would be a dose-response relationship ...Read More...
Posted on 11/18/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 17 November 2013
Members of our political class believe in elections as peasants believe in saintly relics, though with rather less reason. Perhaps they cannot believe that a method that brought them to the top of the national pile, to fame and fortune, is not of universal human application, nor is it the solution to ...Read More...
Posted on 11/17/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 16 November 2013
From afar, the defeat of the Republicans in Congress on the matter of the debt ceiling seemed fore-ordained and the inevitable consequence of political ineptitude on an almost heroic scale. Perhaps (and this is the best that might be said) they were staking their future claim to be able ...Read More...
Posted on 11/16/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 14 November 2013
One of the reasons I preferred Mr Brown to Mr Blair was that he never tried to make himself known by a diminutive of his first name. Admittedly Gordon does not lend itself to a diminutive as easily as Anthony, but I am sure that with the aid of the queen of the sciences - public relations - he could ...Read More...
Posted on 11/14/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Public transport is the great theatre of the world, which is why I always take it (whenever I can) in preference to that frightful contraption, my motor car. You learn so much on public transport; in a car you just lose your temper.
This morning at the bus stop, for example, there was an elderly man ...Read More...
Posted on 11/09/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 8 November 2013
Nothing I ever wrote provoked quite as many hostile responses as my suggestion in an article in Belgium that rock music of all kinds was a terrible environmental pollutant and ought to be strictly controlled, like car exhaust or industrial effluent. I also suggested that its agitating effect upon youth ...Read More...
Posted on 11/08/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 7 November 2013
At last I have irrefutable evidence of successful racial integration in Britain. My wife, who is French but speaks better English than 99 per cent of natives, though with an accent, was on a train ride recently when a black man, middle class, began to speak on his mobile phone. Like all businessmen ...Read More...
Posted on 11/07/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Although by no stretch of the imagination an academic, I gave a talk recently at a university. At the entrance to the building in which I was to speak were security gates which the staff and students opened with their electronic keys, despite the fact that there was also a gate wide open that required ...Read More...
Posted on 11/06/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 4 November 2013
When I was a student, a trauma surgeon described how, in the early days of transplants, he had to physically restrain the transplant surgeons from “harvesting” the kidneys of potential donors. So enthusiastic were surgeons about this exhilarating technology that they were willing to sacrifice ...Read More...
Posted on 11/04/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 3 November 2013
I am travelling on a train as I write this. I have just been asked over the public address system to read the safety information so that I will know what to do in the event of an emergency evacuation. I have been asked to keep my belongings with me at all times, presumably even when I go to the lavatory, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/03/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 2 November 2013
What we find shocking depends largely upon what we are daily exposed to and what we come to experience as normal. In a world in which everything is not only showable but shown, nothing shocks – and where nothing shocks, everything is permissible.
So Facebook’s decision to permit, in ...Read More...
Posted on 11/02/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 1 November 2013
Men go mad in crowds, said Charles Mackay, author of Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, but they recover their senses one by one. As if to bear him out, New Yorkers have been rushing to see a small piece of graffiti by Banksy, the famous British street artist who, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/01/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 26 October 2013
Perhaps it is a sign of levity, or of what the French call a professional deformation, but the first thing to strike me about the Leveson Report was how badly it was written: an irony, no doubt, in view of its subject. We can only hope that, in this case, the style is not the man himself.
Actually, ...Read More...
Posted on 10/26/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 24 October 2013
Sir Winston Churchill was an inveterate enemy to all physical exertion that went by the name of exercise. He attributed his productivity in life to his physical indolence and once gave the advice that you should never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lie. He did much of his work in ...Read More...
Posted on 10/24/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Diseases that have no objective tests to distinguish them from normality have a tendency to spread like fungus: for example, it is years since I heard anyone say that he was unhappy rather than depressed, and it cannot be a coincidence that 10 percent of the populations of most western countries are ...Read More...
Posted on 10/23/2013 12:00 AM by 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