Forgiving Criminals – Punishing the Sick

In the Salisbury Review Dalrymple notes something very interesting: employees of British hospitals are now taught to call patients by their first names, while prison officials are told to call criminals by their last names as a sign of respect. Read on to find out what it all means.

Note: This piece has since been renamed “Erewhon”.

5 thoughts on “Forgiving Criminals – Punishing the Sick

  1. Cane

    Take a look at this:

    At the beginning Richard Kuklinski, Mafia hitman extraordinaire, is referred to as Mr. Kuklinski. Now, scroll to the end and you’ll hear some eminent psychiatrist attribute his actions to, not one, but two major personality disorders and the fact that his daddy was mean to him back when he was a kid in New Jersey. These people should be locked up before they do any more damage – the psychiatrists, I mean, not Mafia hit men.

  2. David

    Dalrymple is deliberately distorting what happens in prisons. Prisoners are not addressed as “Mr. Jones” or “Mrs. Smith” – they are addressed as “Jones” or “Smith”, as they always have been.

    The prisoners in these links make it clear that “Mr.” isn’t used and see it as about keeping prisoners in their place as inferiors, not at all about respect:

    The only change that has happened is that nurses in hospitals are encouraged to use patients’ first names, and Dalrymple has tried to use that to make a dishonest comparison.

  3. Jaxon

    “I believe that authorities know this very well. If this is indeed the case, what does it mean? I think it means that there has been a complete reversal in our official scale of values and the adoption of a mirror-image morality.”

    Roger Waters, one time member of Pink Floyd, is currently touring with The Wall. There has been a bit of a stir from a fairly prominent Jew because in the concert there is an inflatable pig sporting, among other symbols of power and oppression (according to waters anyway), the Star of David
    I suppose it is kind if fitting that the show is an epic projection spectacle for the pig is sacrificial, the audience who are without sin get to project their impotence and frustration in the face of the injustices of this world on to the pig that is lowered into the audience at the end of the concert whereby they destroy it, and feel good about themselves.

    In other words, whilst I confess I think The Wall is very impressive, the concerts, I think, have much in common with the ‘dignifying’ of prisoners. It’s so easy to appeal to the ‘we’re all in this together’ mentality.. Well, all with the exception of the powers that be of course.

    Waters used Orwell’s Animal Farm for the theme of the 1970’s album Animals, in which he maligns Mary Whitehouse. In an interview (within the last ten years I think) he allegedly explained his contempt for people who try to interfere with people’s “sexual destiny”.

    He had massive hang-ups in this area. When interviewed by Kirsty Young on Desert Island discs she enquired about whether he’d lived out the ‘sex, drugs and R’n’R’ lifestyle, he confessed that that area of his life had really been somewhat uneventful, a failure.
    She affected astonishment and rubbed it in, as if it were every rock star’s entitlement, perhaps even their duty.
    Waters responded with a regret filled “I know, I know”.

    Young was not interested in sober reflection on the ugly side of the Rock lifestyle (TD would perhaps say that is ugly period, I do often wonder).
    Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, for instance, once recalled how vicious Groupies could be toward each other, one girl putting razor blades in another girls sandwich for example.

    But that’s what happens when sex becomes the foundation of ones destiny.

  4. Chrispin

    Whilst David may be correct I should like to point out that there is still something slightly sinister is going on regarding the use of patients titles. I work at an NHS Hospital in the south east and in the ‘equality and diversity’ sessions we are required to attend the use of the title ‘Mrs’ (and subsequently all others) are forbidden because “it could be offensive to the unmarried”. Similarly in infertility where consultants are required to investigate the male half of the sketch as well the term ‘partner’ is mandated to gloss over the difference between couples “to avoid apparent judgement”.


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