In the Daily Express Dalrymple defends former English Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s refusal to hug his son:
If I had to describe our age I should call it the age of reverberating hollowness. We no longer accept the implicit – for example, the fact that John Prescott’s love for his son is evident from his conduct towards him over many years.No, we want him to hug him and even tell him in public, in front of an audience of millions, that he loves him. If he refuses to do so, well then, he does not really love his son because we think that there is no love without public demonstration of it. The problem with this is that it makes us crude and exhibitionistic. It sets up a kind of arms race in which people have to express themselves more and more extravagantly in order to persuade other people, and perhaps even themselves, that they feel anything at all.