Category Archives: family

The invincible BBC

A television producer at the British state broadcaster once outlined for Dalrymple’s benefit the phases of liberal denial.

The producer’s colleagues regarded him as a maverick, a tilter at windmills, almost a madman. And what was his madness? He wanted the BBC to make unvarnished documentaries about life in the lower third of society: about the mass (and increasing)

  • illiteracy
  • illegitimacy and single parenthood
  • hooliganism
  • violence
  • lawlessness
  • drug-taking
  • welfare dependency
  • hopelessness

so that the rest of the population might begin to take stock of what was happening on their doorstep. He wanted to concentrate on the devastating effects of the fragmentation—no, the atomisation—of the family that liberal legislation, social engineering, and cultural attitudes since the late 1950s have so powerfully promoted.

The producer’s BBC superiors greeted his proposals, Dalrymple explains, with condescension.

  • First, they denied the facts. When he produced irrefutable evidence of their existence, they accused him of moral panic.
  • When he proved that the phenomena to which the facts pointed were both serious and spreading rapidly up the social scale, they said that there was nothing that could be done about them, because they were an inevitable part of modern existence.
  • When he said that they were the result of deliberate policy, they asked him whether he wanted to return to the bad old days when spouses who hated each other were forced to live together.
  • When he said that what had been done could be undone, at least in part, they produced their ace of trumps: the subject was not interesting, so there was no point in making programmes about it.

Thus the British public, says Dalrymple,

would be left to sleepwalk its way undisturbed through the social disaster from which a fragile economic prosperity will certainly not protect it.

Why drug-takers are such crashing bores

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 06.46.55Dalrymple points out that drugs,

far from being expanders of consciousness, severely limit it. One of the characteristics of drug-takers is their intense and tedious self-absorption; their journeys into inner space are forays into inner vacuums. Drug-taking is a lazy man’s way of pursuing happiness and wisdom, and the shortcut turns out to be the deadest of dead ends.

Use of narcotics

has the effect of reducing men’s freedom by circumscribing the range of their interests. It impairs their ability to pursue more important human aims, such as raising a family and fulfilling civic obligations. Very often it impairs their ability to pursue gainful employment and promotes parasitism.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 06.50.28Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 06.48.54Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 06.49.45

Dalrympian meditations

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 08.48.36It is accepted without argument today, writes Dalrymple, that a man

is not in the least responsible for his personality or character.

This is, he points out,

a far cry from Marcus Aurelius’s view that a man could, and ought to, cultivate his own character.

Social liberals, he asserts, are too guilty or cowardly to acknowledge the realities of the social universe they have wrought, one in which there is

no place for children or childhood.

Believing that man is the product of his environment, social liberals

have nevertheless set about creating an environment from which it is truly difficult to escape, by closing off all the avenues and bolt-holes. They have destroyed the family and any notion of progress or improvement. They have made a world in which the only freedom is self-indulgence, a world from which—most terrible of all—prison can sometimes be a liberation.

When whim is law

The victims

Some of the victims

Reflections on the case of Frederick and Rosemary West

The serial killers’ path, writes Dalrymple,

was smoothed by the increasing uncertainty as to the line between acceptable and unacceptable conduct, or even whether such a line exists.

Increasing sexual permissiveness

was taken by the Wests, whose libidos were a great deal stronger than their powers of reason, to entail a complete absence of limits; they told those whom they raped that what they were doing was only ‘natural’ and unobjectionable.

The cellar

The cellar

They operated

in an atmosphere in which, increasingly, self-discipline was not accepted as a necessary condition of freedom—in which everyone’s merest whim was law.

The case reveals

how easily, in the anonymity of the modern urban environment, and in the midst of crowds, people may disappear.

Such disappearances

are made all the easier by a collective refusal—in the name of individual liberty—of parents to take responsibility for their children, of neighbours to notice what is happening around them, of anyone to brave the mockery of libertines in the defence of some standard of decency.

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The evil

The various public agencies—the police, the schools, the social services, the hospitals—proved no substitute

for the personal concern that families were once supposed to have provided, but that, in a permissive climate in which tolerance all too often shades into indifference, many provide no longer.

The failure of these agencies

was not accidental, but inherent in their nature as bureaucracies: the state is not, and never will be, a substitute for an old-fashioned Mum and Dad.

Postcards from Dalrympleland

Britain: home to the world’s most charmless people

Dalrymple on his country’s parlous state

  • Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 02.14.39Creeping Sovietisation

Large areas…resemble the Soviet Union with takeaway pizza. The only ‘private’ enterprise consists of retail chains that recycle government subventions to the unemployed. The middle class…is composed…of public employees…who cater to the…problems created by mass unemployment.

  • Circumambient criminality

At the start of the [deutero-Elizabethan age], Britain was one of the best-ordered societies in…Europe. Now…it is…the most crime-ridden….social disorder is everywhere….A curfew has been imposed on old people by the drunken disorder that appals and disgusts foreigners.

  • Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 16.16.18Pervasive squalor

The…ugliness perpetrated…everywhere [by post-war architects] has been…matched by an ugliness of soul and society that is so obvious to visitors.

  • Fraudulence at every level
Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 22.39.05

Seth Pecksniff

The country has become deeply corrupt, but in a…British way, that is, hypocritical and underhand rather than worldly and cynical, Pecksniff rather than Talleyrand. Corruption and irresponsibility…have been legalised: £12bn, for example, has disappeared (except for some…consultants) on a…scheme to provide…uniform medical records….No crime has been committed, but the money has gone.

  • Cock-eyed, increasingly useless policing

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 16.20.44Our police, once a model to the world…resemble an alien occupying army…festooned with…the apparatus of repression, who inspire fear…in the innocent and are bullying yet ineffectual.

  • Institutionalised idleness

2.9 million people claiming to be so ill that they could not work….the British benefits system performed the miracle of causing more invalids than World War I….policy has been to suck in large amounts of unskilled foreign labour while maintaining high…indigenous unemployment.

  • Economic collapse

Economically on a knife-edge….per capita private debt among the highest….huge commercial deficit….budget deficit among the highest.

  • Gracelessness and sordor

    Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 16.25.27

    Fuck off!

Many grow up into profoundly unsocial beings of whom others are afraid. A population has emerged that is the most charmless in the world.

(2012)