Category Archives: British economy

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’s shambolic economy

The economic auguries for the UK, writes Dalrymple,

are poor, though not only, or even principally, because of the European Union’s hostility. Britain is unlikely to be able to take any advantage of life outside the European straitjacket because its own political class is in favour of straitjackets that are no better, and quite possibly worse than, the European ones.

The present prime minister, Theresa May,

is very much a statist, indistinguishable from European social democrats.

The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, who has a strong chance of taking over from May,

is an unapologetic admirer of the late Hugo Chávez.

In light of this, Dalrymple notes that

it is hardly to be expected that foreign investors will place much trust or confidence in an isolated country whose next government might very well

  • weaken property rights
  • impose capital controls
  • increase corporate taxation in favour of supposed social justice

It would not take very long, Dalrymple points out, to turn England into

a northern Venezuela: a Venezuela without the oil or the tropical climate.

Dalrymple lists some of Great Britain’s economic weaknesses:

  • a large and persistent trade imbalance, because Britain does not produce enough of what the world wants and cannot easily be made to do so
  • a large national debt, about the same size as that of France, but without a highly functioning infrastructure such as France’s to show for it
  • household debt which is among the highest in the world

For many years, Dalrymple comments, UK economic policy

might as well have been presided over by Bernard Madoff.

One obvious thing to do about Mohammedan terrorism

Strangle the foreign funding of so much Islamist activity in Britain!

But Dalrymple points out that

no British government, solicitous of trade relations, has dared even try. The British economy is precarious, and it is difficult to be strong when your economy is weak.

A service economy without the service

The Britannia Hotel, Coventry

The Britannia Hotel, Coventry

Whenever Dalrymple is in Amsterdam, he stays at

a small, elegant and well-run hotel. The excellent and obliging staff are all Dutch.

Whenever he is in London, he stays at

a small, elegant and well-run hotel. The excellent and obliging staff are all foreign.

This is just as well, writes Dalrymple,

for if they were English the hotel would not be well-run for long. When the English try to run an hotel, they combine pomposity with slovenliness.

Perhaps this would not be so serious a matter

if the British economy were not a so-called service economy. It has been such since Margaret Thatcher solved Britain’s chronic industrial relations problem by the expedient of getting rid of industry. This worked, and perhaps was inevitable, but it was necessary for Britain to find some other way of making its way in the world. This it has not done.

A ruthless incompetent: David Cameron

A ruthless incompetent: David Cameron

In Britain, Dalrymple points out,

incapacity is everywhere.

Incompetence starts at the top. The prime minister, David Cameron, is

a careerist and opportunist in the mould of Tony Blair. Not only was Mr. Cameron’s only pre-political job in public relations, hardly a school for intellectual and moral probity, but he has subscribed to every fashionable policy nostrum from environmentalism to profligate government expenditure. Not truth, but the latest poll, guides him.

Cameron has been

truly representative as prime minister. Like his country, he is without substance.

The secret of the British economic problem

English cuisine

Emetic: English cuisine

A service economy without the service

The British no longer have the faintest idea how to prepare or serve food, either in establishments they are pleased to call restaurants or in their own homes. According to W. Somerset Maugham, the only solution when in England is to eat breakfast three times a day. But the English can no longer manage with minimal competence even to prepare a halfway-decent breakfast.

British eating houses, bar-grills, cafés and other places where dining (of a kind) goes on, from the humblest truck-stop to the most exalted, starred restaurant, are easily the worst in Europe. It is better, for example, to go to bed hungry than to risk an evening meal at, say, an English public house.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 09.59.02

Suburban Tudor

The Moon Under Water it isn’t

Dalrymple is reminded of this when, hungry one evening and with no other dining establishment in the vicinity, he enters a pub (which, like many from the 1920s and 1930s, is built rather pleasingly in the suburban Tudor style), and is greeted by

the flashing lights of fruit machines

and

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 10.45.20numerous large flat screens disposed in such a way that it was impossible to escape them. It was as if one had a duty to watch.

Drivelscreens

At least, he says, they

were all showing the same thing — a football match, football being a 24-hour activity.

Dalrymple dare not complain. British popular culture is

crude, unpleasant and inescapable; if you criticise it, you are taken for an enemy of the people.

The Codfather. Bon appétit!

The Codfather. Bon appétit!

The smell in the pub

was of stale beer and even staler fat in which standard British prolefood had been fried.

He peruses

the grubby menu, a triumph of quantity over quality. The fish dish was called The Codfather, size trumping taste. Everything came with chips, of the frozen variety.

Soupe à l'oignon

Soupe à l’oignon à l’anglaise

The table is

sticky and long unwiped.

Dalrymple orders soup. It is

packet soup which had not been properly dissolved, so that it had little balls in it that if bitten exploded into a kind of salty dust.

He orders steak, and asks for it to be rare. When it comes, it

would have been regarded as incinerated in any other country.

Fried mushrooms: at least their own weight in fat

Fried mushrooms: at least their own weight in fat

The fried mushrooms

contained at least their own weight in fat of some type.

The next morning

I woke with a strange and unpleasant taste in my mouth.

The meal

The flashing lights of fruit machines

The flashing lights of fruit machines

wasn’t even cheap.

This is the vital point. British food is not just atrocious — it is execrable value.

During the meal,

the man who had taken my order came over to my table.

Everything all right?‘ he asked.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 11.02.01‘Yes, very good,’ I replied.

Dalrymple concludes:

The slovenliness, the bad quality, my pusillanimity: voilà the secret of the British economic problem.

Terribly, frighteningly sincere

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 09.00.03Who would have thought, writes Dalrymple,

that a ridiculous little house painter could have become the leader of the best-educated nation in Europe? Why, then, should an absurd, intellectually limited, puritanical ideologue not become prime minister of one of the most ill-educated nations in Europe?

Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory in the election for the leadership of Britain’s Labour party

shows how little the political class knows even of its own parties’ activist membership, let alone of the country as a whole.

If you dislike Hamas and Hezbollah, Corbyn

is not going to change his opinion or stance merely to canvass or capture your vote. He is sincere, terribly and frighteningly sincere.

He gets some things right, for example in the matter of High Speed 2, the railway to be built between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. This is

so patently an unnecessary, uneconomic, ecologically destructive, vastly expensive and regressive project (regressive in the tax sense, a subsidy both to the companies that will build it and to the passengers who will use it, for it will never pay for itself), that almost everyone suspects large-scale corruption.

Corbyn’s

ruling passion is political self-righteousness.

This is

refreshing in a way, for many people are tired of the patently ersatz or carefully crafted presentation of most other prominent politicians, who seem not to be able to utter a word or appear in public for a moment without having first sought the opinion of focus groups. The next election haunts them like a Doppelgänger, and mostly being of infirm principle or opinion, they live in a state of constant anxiety not to offend.

Corbyn is

  • a wearer of sandals
  • a supporter of Palestinian terrorists
  • a supporter of Irish republican terrorists
  • vegetarian
  • a teetotaller
  • pacifist (except where foreign terrorists are concerned)
  • an abolitionist (concerning the British monarchy)

He is not intrinsically unelectable.

It would take only a few disasters, whether the government was responsible for them or not, for the electorate to conclude that anything, even Mr Corbyn, was better than it. People tend to vote against rather than for someone. The resentment to which Mr Corbyn’s socialism appeals, already quite widespread, could spread yet further if there were a deepening of Britain’s economic problems.

British educational degeneracy and cultural debasement

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 22.39.52Observers ask, writes Dalrymple, why British productivity

has not risen of latter years, though the economy has ‘recovered’ in the sense that its output has increased. This can only mean that people are working longer hours or that more of them are working, or both.

Dalrymple does not find this puzzling.

I think you have only to walk down a British street — an average one, not one in a favoured area — to solve the puzzle. The abysmal educational and cultural level of the people by comparison with that of the people in such a street in any comparable country is striking and obvious.

House of cards

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 07.45.57Britain’s fragile, debt-ridden economy

British socialists are determined to

put an end to government ‘austerity’—that is, the policy of reducing the budget deficit from 10 percent of GDP to 5 percent, which has taken seven years to accomplish.

The British

live by the grace and favour of foreign lenders content to buy the country’s bonds at low interest rates.

However, lenders’ confidence that Britain is, to a degree, a haven

could easily change. The country would then have to earn its current standard of living, which it is in poor shape to do; and a sharp decline could lead to social unrest, leading to a further collapse of confidence.

Thatcher was head and shoulders above the other political figures of her time

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 00.02.54And personally likeable.

Dalrymple writes that

to blame a figure for not having done the impossible is not to damage her reputation in the slightest. There is (thank goodness) a limit to what one person can do in countries such as the United Kingdom.

No skills — and fuckin’ proud of it!

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 16.25.27

Skills? Piss off!

Britain, writes Dalrymple, is the only country where

there are substantial numbers of people who are not only unskilled, but anti-skilled. They not only possess no qualities that make them desirable as employees, they possess many qualities that make them undesirable. They are uncompromising in their refusal to improve themselves.

Such aspirations as they have

lead them to daydream rather than to ambition.

Persuaded of the equality of everything by the doctrine of multiculturalism, they are

unreflective about their way of life, which is that of distraction, any interruption of which is felt as an unwarranted and even unjust intrusion upon the real business of life.

The anti-skilled

lack even such simple attainments as the ability to answer the telephone. They do not know how to address strangers with reasonable grace, and would feel any attempt to teach them as an assault on their personal identity. Practically all hotel receptionists have to be foreigners, even in areas where unemployment is exceptionally high. Foreigners are more mannerly and speak better English than the millions of indigenous people who theoretically could fill the posts.