Having the courage of your fortune

31st December 2014 0

Men are like sheep, especially leaders. I saw a photograph of the heads of government of the G7 recently and all of the men among them were dressed the same: dark suits but open short collars and no tie. Not coincidentally, perhaps, there wasn’t a strong face among them. The fashion for wearing suits with no ties is one that … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple hires a Black Maria?

18th December 2014 0

In one of those many English towns that, like Betjeman’s Slough, is not fit for humans now, I took a taxi from the station to the court in which I was to appear as a witness. If I had been the type, I would have been panic-struck by the notices inside it directed at the poor passenger. I was taking … [Read on]

The Good Old Days; Curing piles with red hot poker.

15th December 2014 0

Conservatives are fond of harking back to the good old days when ‘medicine was an art not a science,’ it was also nasty. Save for sawing off limbs, curing piles with a red-hot poker or a knife in the groin to relieve bladder stones, there were few cures. The bewigged physician rode up to the house, the relatives assembled around … [Read on]

More Christmas Cheer

14th December 2014 0

We should pay closer attention to the words people use, for they often reveal hinterlands of thought, or at least of assumptions. Reading my local paper recently, I noticed what a policeman said about an attack carried out by a man with a hammer on a garage mechanic. The man was annoyed, apparently, that the owner of a local garage … [Read on]

White Van Man

9th December 2014 1

The apparel oft proclaims the man, said Polonius, full of the wisdom of the obvious. But these days the vehicle just as oft proclaims the driver: bright red, for example, for the aggressive, apple green for the tasteless, black for the serious or the depressed. As for the drivers of white vans, they have become a political category, white van … [Read on]

The Windmills of Kim Jong il

25th November 2014 0

In case I should be misunderstood, I think the environment is a proper cause for concern. Anyone who has seen the mauvish-grey pall that overhangs large tracts of the country even on a fine day, or has breathed the air of an Indian or Chinese industrial city, will not lightly assert that the state of the atmosphere is of no … [Read on]

Eating people is wrong?

10th November 2014 0

The cannibal killer of Caerphilly, Matthew Williams, was shocked by police taser and died shortly thereafter. Whether he died of the shock by taser we do not yet know; but if he had lived no doubt he would by now have been in prison. That, of course, would have been completely illogical. Had he not been released from prison only … [Read on]

The Order of the Politically Correct

5th November 2014 0

In his great book, Russia in 1839, the Marquis de Custine described the Tsar as having been ‘eagle and insect.’ He was eagle because he soared over society, viewing it from on high; he was insect because he burrowed, like a termite, into every nook and cranny of it. Nothing was too small to be beneath his notice, for the … [Read on]

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