Category Archives: Essays

Newly-Minted Mission Statements

In the April edition of The Critic, our skeptical doctor calls into question the wisdom of minting a commemorative Brexit 50 pence coin by the British Royal Mint.

On the other hand, since no one pays close attention to anything other than their smartphones, perhaps the striking of the coin didn’t really matter: but still I don’t much care for the obvious untruth of the slogan.

Pure Victims

In his The Epoch Times column, the good doctor points to the American Medical Association’s appalling latest diktat urging doctors to use the word ‘inequity’ in the place of the appropriate ‘disparity.’

But the secularized version of these ethics omits one important aspect, namely that we are all sinners in need of mercy. In the secularized version of Christian ethics, there’s no notion of sin, at least not in victims: Only perpetrators, such as commercial interests and governments, can sin in the new revised version.

Profane and Profound

In his weekly Takimag column, Theodore Dalrymple covers his family history during World War II, children using foul language in public, police tactics in Barcelona, and watching Russian tanks blown to smithereens. In other words, classic Dalrymple.

With this in mind, for there were children present in the garden, I sought out the source of this expletive, with a view to getting him to control himself, but of course it turned out to be a child. It is more probable that adults these days have to stop their ears from overhearing obscenities from children than the other way round.

Myths, Equality, and the NHS

Dr. Dalrymple revisits one of his favorite topics—flogging the overrated NHS idol—over at The Epoch Times.

Thus, a supposedly egalitarian service grows more and more unequal. The reality is that health inequality has increased under the NHS, not decreased: though of course other factors than health care might also account for this. But the very least that can be said for this socialist-inspired service is that it has not resulted in equalization of life chances.

Strolling through the Turning World

In the April edition of New English Review, our favorite doctor takes a pleasant stroll through his English town’s public gardens and contemplates the lives of those whose names he sees inscribed on park benches.

I myself have been a wanderer rather than rooted and have both admired and envied those who are rooted: though no doubt had I been rooted by family pressure or tradition, I should have kicked against the traces and gone wandering all the same. I wanted both rootedness and freedom from the restrictions and limitations that rootedness entails; in other words I had contradictory and irreconcilable desires.

A New Age of Hardship?

In this week’s Takimag, our pensive doctor covers a variety of topics related to food, ageing, and material hardship.

Never has the contrast between the scale of world events and my own little personal concerns been so great. While millions flee bombardment, and the world economy faces implosion, with all the hardship that such an implosion will inevitably bring in its wake, I do my exercises, twice a day for twenty minutes, to avoid the muscular stiffness and joint pains that a certain minor illness from which I have begun to suffer would otherwise cause.

Dangerous, If Alluring, Nonsense

Our brave doctor makes his way to a nearby pub for a meeting of the local chapter of the radical green outfit, Extinction Rebellion.

I left early, knowing that their nonsense is dangerous but strangely enough, feeling some affection for them. They wanted, as perhaps we all do—though most of us understand it is not possible—a world in which no trade-offs are necessary for the things that they desire.

Deep Demonstrations of Private Charity

Our bibliophile doctor makes a journey to the Welsh countryside to scour second-hand bookstores and is astounded at the number of Ukrainian flags on display everywhere. Read about it over at The Epoch Times.

Incidentally, Poland and Hungary have reacted—so far at least, things may yet change—with exemplary humanity toward Ukrainian refugees, thus showing the hollowness of the charge against them that they are xenophobic. Their governments, unlike some others I could name, can tell the difference between refugees from war seeking immediate safety and economic migrants who have paid people smugglers large sums of money to get them not into the first safe country, but into the country of their dreams.

Weighing Our Losses

In the Winter 2022 edition of City Journal, Dr. Dalrymple reflects on the last two years of our Covid-19 pandemic era with his usual captivating insights and delectable observations.

Then came Covid. I was not sure what to think of the pandemic when it struck, and am still not quite sure. Like many, I suspect, I find myself veering, or careening, from one opinion to another. Sometimes, I think that it is not so much the illness but the response to it that is the more damaging. At other times, I think that governments had little choice but to act as they did. On this subject, I lack fixed convictions.

Institutionalized Institutional Racism

Over at The Epoch Times, the skeptical doctor informs us of what can happen in England when someone dares to go against the official, leftist narrative on “institutional racism.”

One would hardly have to be a Marxist who believed that all opinion was but a pale reflection of the opinion-holder’s economic interest to see in this reaction a fear that the absence of institutional racism would lead to a loss of prestige, power, and income for the apparatchiki of the institutions of institutional racism. In other words, they needed the victims of institutional racism far more than the alleged victims needed them.