Theodore Dalrymple; ‘I had that drunken student in my taxi’

13th January 2017 2

Taxi drivers are among the best sociologists I know, and even in war-torn countries they are usually better-informed about the military situation than the generals, or at least the military spokesmen. For me they are oracles: I believe everything they say. I arrived in Loughborough the other day. It was the first time I had ever been there and I … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Keening

28th December 2016 2

I usually give a few coins to beggars in the street. I know that some people think that this encourages beggary and even fraud, but I would rather be duped sometimes than never to trust anyone. And even the beggar who asks for alms when he could perfectly well earn his living some other way is pitiable, as a day … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Misappropriating mistruths.

21st December 2016 0

A single word – there will be no prizes for guessing which – caught my eye in the following headline, published by the news service of one of my internet servers: ‘Katie Hopkins makes statement after writing series of mistruths in Mail.’ Mistruths? What is a mistruth? A lie, an untruth, an error? The word is a neologism invented or used … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Have you packed your own suitcase?

11th December 2016 5

No time or society, I imagine, is entirely without its ironies or contradictions. For example, we are horrified by the sexual abuse of children but all our social policy over the last fifty years has been to maximise it. We would, in practice, be far more horrified by attempts to reverse that policy than any amount of such abuse. We … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Gender Benders

5th December 2016 3

My computer tries to improve my style by automatically underlining in blue what it believes to be clichés or redundant phrases. If I type in order to, for example, the blue wavy line appears unbidden under the three words. In so far as is another phrase that, schoolmarm-like, my computer underlines as if to correct me.[pullquote]The December paper edition of … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Europhobia

10th November 2016 2

As every foreign correspondent knows, taxi drivers are the font of all information – and of wisdom too. My driver from the airport to the centre of Paris was from Guinea and he was starting a business in Senegal: a chicken farm to supply a grocery and a restaurant that he wold also own. He showed me a picture on … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Who is my neighbour?

10th November 2016 3

There is a difference between fairness and justice, though many do not make the distinction. A just world (more or less) is perhaps possible; a fair world is not. I was recently in a car on my way to Sao Paulo airport. You have to leave a wide margin of time to get there because it can take three hours … [Read on]

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