Category Archives: fast-food restaurants

Keep your child away from McDonald’s canteens

A Canadian man is suing McDonald’s for promoting Happy Meals, saying the company is in breach of certain laws banning most advertising to children under 13.

Dalrymple comments:

I deplore McDonald’s disgusting products and despise the childish and garish décor of their canteens. They detract from the quality of our civilisation.


the man did not have to take his children to any of the chain’s establishments, and there has been a strange and sinister reversal of authority if it is claimed that parents cannot resist their children’s pressure to go where they desire to be taken. The fact that children are so strongly attracted to somewhere in such appallingly bad taste as a McDonald’s canteen is one of the strongest reasons for not taking them to one. How are they to develop the habits of discrimination if their immediate desires are to be fulfilled at every turn? How are they to be taught to eat in an adult and civilised way?

It is, Dalrymple avers,

the bounden duty of a parent to deny his child the cheap plastic rubbish on offer in McDonald’s canteens.

Rather than being allowed to sue the company, the man

should be in the dock for corrupting his children through his cowardice, weakness, and inability to say no to them.

Walsall’s angry Bird

Angry Bird

A bitter Mike Bird

The Guardian reports that Mike Bird, head of Walsall Council,

yesterday led the backlash against art critic [sic] Theodore Dalrymple, who launched a vicious attack on the town, writing under a pseudonym in American art magazine [sic] New Criterion.

Dalrymple’s description of the town as

Ceaușescu’s Romania with fast food outlets

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Hiding behind a pseudonym. Disgraceful travesty

has, the Guardian says,

proved too much for its outraged residents.

Dalrymple wrote:

It is possible that there are uglier towns in the world than Walsall, but if so I do not know them: and I consider myself better than averagely travelled. But while Walsall undoubtedly exists, it is difficult to know where precisely it begins and ends, because it is in the middle of one of the largest and most depressing contiguous areas of urban devastation in the world, the Black Country of the English Midlands. There is nowhere in the world where it is possible to travel such long distances without seeing anything grateful to the eye. To the hideousness of 19th-century industrialisation is added the desolation of 20th-century obsolescence.

Walsall's Pleck apartments

Walsall’s Pleck apartments

Mr Bird dismissed Dalrymple’s jibes as obvious nonsense, saying:

I have no time for people who remain anonymous [sic] and haven’t got the guts to stand up and be counted.

He also

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Graceful Walsall architecture. Fast food available from outlet shown at left

last night branded Mr [sic] Dalrymple a narrow-minded individual who would be better off staying wherever he lives.

Walsall: Venice of the Black Country

Walsall: Venice of the Midlands

Mass-produced muck

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Splendidly titled

To an infantilised people, it has a strong appeal

Dalrymple detests soft drinks and

the plastic bottles in which they come; to see people carry them around with them as if they were dolls infuriates me.

These drinks, he points out,

don’t relieve thirst, they create it: a perfect recipe from an unscrupulous commercial point of view.

Dalrymple is delighted to read in a paper in the British Medical Journal

that those who drink these disgusting concoctions are more likely than others to develop type 2 diabetes. Such diabetes is not only the wages of sin—gluttony—but of something that affects our everyday lives even worse, namely mass bad taste.

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Abominably written

The peoples of the US and Britain,

having no proper culinary tradition, are childishly attracted to mass-produced muck. Only in such countries could you sell industrially prepared doughnuts with blue icing; people eat with their eyes, not with their mouths.

In what kind of culinary culture, Dalrymple asks, could a product advertise itself as a Whopper? A crude and childish one, he answers. More self-control in food consumption is needed than ever before,

just as self-control has been derided as an oppressive or even ridiculous notion.

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Only for the US and UK markets

Dalrymple comes across a book called Fat Chance (2013), which, though

abominably written,


persuasively enough, to the conclusion that John Yudkin came to in the neglected, splendidly titled Pure, White and Deadly (1972).

Dalrymple notes that the author of the 2013 book, Robert Lustig, blames

the food companies and farming subsidies for the epidemic of type 2 diabetes (they are, of course, guilty as charged), but never the people. This is because it is regarded as proper to blame only the rich for anything and never ‘ordinary’ people, including the fat, though where the sins of the rich come from then becomes a little mysterious unless it is assumed that they are a caste biologically apart from the rest of humanity.

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 08.21.09As for those who swear by organic carrots and the like, this is only because

in Anglo-Saxon countries, meals tend to be regarded as medical procedures. If it were proved that industrial doughnuts with blue icing were the very thing for health, queues of joggers would form to obtain them.

Dalrymple urges that it be made a criminal offence to take a child to a fast-food restaurant.

If someone were to tell me that children love those restaurants, I should reply, ‘But that is precisely why it should be a criminal offence.’