Category Archives: Britain

Johnson loses track of reality

Dalrymple notes that the difference between investment and expenditure seems to escape British politicians such as Boris Johnson, as does the fact that, while expenditure is certain, returns are not. He points out that HS2

has a projected construction cost of over $130bn. The projected costs have risen 300% since the scheme was mooted. Each hour’s journey-time saved will have been bought at enormous expense. It will cost many times more to build than it would anywhere else in the world.

It has, says Dalrymple,

never been less necessary, from a purely economic point of view, for people to get quickly from one city to another.

The episode reflects

the sclerosis, corruption, and incompetence of successive British governments — symptomatic of a steep cultural decline.

Why did such a brilliantly gifted person waste his talents on politics?

Enoch Powell’s political concerns were, writes Dalrymple,

responses to Britain’s precipitous national decline, the steepest part of which occurred in his lifetime, but which is continuing apace to the extent that Britain might cease to be a nation.

Powell

was born in a great power and died in an enfeebled country with no industrial or military might, precious little patriotism, and no sense of grandeur or collective purpose. That this decline — relative rather than absolute, except in such fields as the maintenance of law and order — was inevitable given the conjunctures of the age, was evident to Powell (though not at first).

This relative decline

was implicit in Disraeli’s dictum that ‘the Continent will not suffer England to be the workshop of the world’.

In Britain, abuse will be tolerated

Compared to the old days, writes Dalrymple, England

has managed the difficult trick of being both much richer and much nastier.

He remembers an Indian doctor in the hospital where he worked half a century ago,

whose exceptional sweetness of character inspired the instant affection of all who met him, telling me that he considered Britain the most civilised country.

No one, Dalrymple points out,

could make that mistake now, not for an instant, for even at the airport at which he arrived he will have noticed prominent written warnings to the British public that violence or abusive behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated: meaning, of course, that in most instances it will be ignored.

From having been among the most self-controlled populations in the world, the British

have gone in half a century to being among the least self-controlled.

Dalrymple notes that the British population is also

the most spied-upon. Britain has almost as many closed-circuit television cameras installed as the rest of the world put together, but they seem to have hardly any effect on the general level of civility. Testifying quite often in court as an expert witness in murder trials, I am astonished to discover in the course of those trials just how much of British life now takes place on camera: every Briton, indeed, spends more time on screen than the most ubiquitous of film stars, whether he knows and approves of it or not.

At the same time,

menace and incompetence have become the twin characteristics of British officialdom.

Dalrymple reflects that societies fall apart when (among other causes)

their ruling élites, political and intellectual, lose faith in their own right or duty to prescribe standards. They become Hamlet-like: the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, and they become persuaded that generosity of spirit and broad-mindedness are the only true virtues, even if they result in paralysis in the face of disorder, with all the accompanying miseries of those who suffer it.

Enfeebled England

Sinking further into moral squalor

Why is Britain so lacking in moral confidence? (In this, it is only the worst case of a malaise in the West.) Dalrymple points to the expansion of tertiary education, especially in non-technical subjects. He notes that large numbers of people

have been educated in injustice and grievance studies, which have had for their effect the dissolution of a sense of human beings as agents rather than victimised vectors of forces.

If murderers and other violent criminals behave in the way that they do,

it must be (sociology, psychology, and criminology teach) because of social forces beyond their control. Hence it is unjust to inflict punishment upon them. Punishment can only be justified where a man is a free agent and could have done otherwise; since he is never a free agent and could never have done otherwise, punishment is never justified. Millions now believe this.

Pusillanimity in the face of violent crime

The socialist menace

Britain’s Labour party, writes Dalrymple, wishes to provoke a general election, which it believes that it would win. Were it to do so,

it would bring to power people who admire the Venezuelan model and believe in confiscation as the path to universal prosperity.

They would make Brexit

seem like a minor detail in the history of British difficulties.

Britain will not lift a finger to defend any freedom

London is willing to surrender to violence even before it is offered

England has refused the request of Asia Bibi for asylum. Dalrymple writes:

If ever there were a person who needed and deserved asylum, it was she. Having spent eight years in prison under sentence of death for supposed blasphemy, her sentence was overturned by that country’s highest court; but howling mobs of nasty bearded fools have demanded that she be hanged nonetheless because she is a Christian who refuses to convert. The threats of the bearded fools are obviously to be taken seriously: they do not recognise any legal authority but their own.

Mob rule

Dalrymple notes that the reason given for London’s pusillanimous refusal is that

granting asylum to her might have offended the sensibilities of the Muslims in Britain and caused unrest among them.

This

is an implicit insult to those Muslims.

Theresa May: policy dictated to by howling mobs of nasty bearded fools

If unrest were to occur,

it should have been faced down.

The heartless whore that is the British State

There is, Dalrymple points out, an important principle at stake,

which is why the British government has failed the test with such spectacular cowardice. Its conduct in this matter has been far worse than was Chamberlain’s at Munich. Chamberlain was a decent man who was trying to avert a war, whose horrors he understood, for which his country was unprepared; the current British government has proved decisively once again that it will not lift a finger to defend any freedom and is willing to surrender to violence even before it is offered.

The decision, says Dalrymple,

fills me with disgust and a feeling of impotent rage.

Brexit bungled. Corbyn coming!

New red dawn

Britain braced for full socialisation

Thanks to the Brexit imbroglio, writes Dalrymple, England

could soon be Venezuela without the oil or the warm weather. The stunning incompetence of the last two Tory prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May, might result in a Labour government, one led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has long admired Hugo Chávez for having reminded him—though not the people of Venezuela—what governments can do for the poor and the achievement of social justice.

Britain is debased, dishonoured and debauched, and Brexit is no cure

Britain’s social model

The condition of England, Dalrymple writes, is a terrible warning to the rest of Europe. We’re not talking about Brexit but about the social devastation caused by a combination of the welfare state and a certain type of culture, by comparison with which Brexit is a trivial matter.

A British teenager, for instance, has a trio of parents:

  • the State
  • its mother
  • television & internet

Britain’s social capital

An Englishman’s street is his dining room. Britishers eat almost as much on the street as at home. And because they are antisocial, they drop the fast-food rubbish around them as cows excrete in the fields.

Dalrymple’s objection to the welfare state as practised in England is not that it is economically unsustainable — though it might be — but that it has exercised a profoundly corrupting effect on the human personality.

Britain’s social future

 

Dalrymple warns the Britishers

The doctor-writer points out that Britain’s enormous cultural, social and economic problems do not originate from membership of the European Union, nor will they be solved by exit from the Union, if exit ever occurs in fact rather than in name only. (More likely is that a second referendum will be staged at which the British people will be invited to give the right answer, or the means will be found simply to annul the referendum result.)

The country’s problems are so deep, Dalrymple argues, that they

can be solved only by something more resembling a religious revival than by any likely government action.

He gives examples of the sort of changes that are needed:

  • reform — or dismantle — the educational and social-security systems
  • liberalise the labour laws
  • repress crime much more firmly

And that’s just to start with.

However, he says,

expecting a population to bethink itself while simultaneously being offered political solutions that require no effortful cultural change is unreasonably optimistic.

This is a country in which

more than 50% of children are born out of wedlock and 20% do not eat a meal with another member of their household more than once every two weeks.

A dangerously high and perhaps unsustainable proportion of the population

is unfitted for productive life in a modern economy, having attained an abysmally low educational level despite (or because of?) considerable state expenditure. This section of the population is not merely indifferent to refinement of any kind – intellectual, æsthetic or of manners – but actively hostile to it. Similarly, it is not merely not anxious to learn, it is anxious not to learn.

This explains why Britain has persistently imported labour from Eastern Europe

to perform tasks in its service industries that ordinarily one might have expected its large fund of indigenous non-employed people to perform. Although these tasks require no special skills, they require certain personal qualities such as reliability, politeness, and willingness to adapt: and these the eligible local population lack entirely. No hotel-keeper, for example, would consider using British labour if he could get foreign.

Perhaps nothing, says Dalrymple, captures the levels of personal incompetence and lack of self-respect in Britain

than the fact that young men of the lowest social class are about half as likely to die in prison as they are if left at liberty. In prison, though adult, they are looked after, at least in a basic way, and told what to do. They are no longer free to pursue their dangerous and crudely self-indulgent lifestyle, in which distraction is the main occupation. In prison they receive the healthcare that, though it is free to them under the NHS, they are not responsible enough to seek when at liberty.

They do not know, because they have never been taught,

how to live in a minimally constructive fashion, though they were certainly not born ineducable.

Other comparable countries have similar problems, but none

has them to anything like the same extent.

England, corrupting England

Britain’s baneful effect on the Jamaican spirit

What has England done to them that they should turn out thus?

Dalrymple writes that whenever he has a patient who belongs to the first generation of Jamaican immigrants,

I cannot help but ask myself what England has done to the Jamaicans.

How, he wonders,

has such a charming and humorous community been turned into the sullen, resentful people that so many of their children (or grandchildren) seem to be today?

The males, in particular, are

possessed of an arrogant sense of radical entitlement that renders them almost extraterritorial both to the laws of the land and the laws of good manners.