Category Archives: invalids

On Feigned and Factitious Diseases

England, land of malingerers

Dalrymple enjoys Hector Gavin’s 1843 work, which, he notes,

says something that has resonance in a land such as ours in which the numbers of sick people have so overtaken the numbers of the unemployed, to the delight of government statisticians, doctors, and the unemployed themselves.

Gavin writes:

Medical certificates must not be compared as a practice (as they have been) to that of alms-giving; in the best hands they are liable to great abuse; and however pure and disinterested the motives, much evil not infrequently results from them—none more than the inevitable depreciation of the medical character, which cannot fail to follow from their being given in a careless or lax manner.

Dalrymple comments:

This is enough to make one blush.

How many of the English are pretending to be ill in order to be able to live on handouts? In Britain, Dalrymple points out,

we have the remarkable situation where we have more invalids than after the First World War: 3m, of whom 2m could probably work.

It is, he says,

a fraud on a large scale: deeply corrupting of the recipients, who wrongly believe they are sick; the government, which shifts people out of the unemployment statistics; and the medical profession.

The entrepreneurial parasitism of benefit recipients is, he explains,

not recognised by naïve bureaucrats. The recipients know how to manipulate things to get the maximum benefit; they are reacting to incentives.

Rotten, skiving Britain

img_3044Dalrymple answers your questions on the land of scroungers

How many of the English are pretending to be ill in order to be able to live on handouts?

In Britain we have the remarkable situation where we have more invalids than after the First World War: 3m, of whom 2m could probably work.

Rewards for, to put it most kindly, the workshy. Is that not a scandal?

It is a fraud on a large scale: deeply corrupting of the recipients, who wrongly believe they are sick; the government, which shifts people out of the unemployment statistics; and the medical profession.

Aren’t the UK Tories capping working-age welfare payments at £500 per family regardless of the number of children?

It won’t work. A little bit of drug-trafficking here and illegal activity there will make up for the cuts.

Incentives to be a cheat and a slob

Why is nothing done about it? Is this wilful blindness?

The entrepreneurial parasitism of benefit recipients is not recognised by naïve bureaucrats. The recipients know how to manipulate things to get the maximum benefit; they are reacting to incentives.

Why are there so few White Britons in basic service jobs?

Culture, the welfare system and rigidities in the housing market are to blame.

Employers greatly prefer, for example, Poles, do they not?

Poles are better than the English in a work ethic sense, and they often speak better English.

Drug addicts

Do you have any time for libertarian arguments on drug legalisation?

John Stuart Mill (who ­argued that individuals should be free to harm themselves but not others) thought that fathers who abandoned their children should be put to forced labour. You don’t hear that bit quoted much by legalisation advocates.

Fifth-rate intellectuals

Who is responsible for the British mess?

Most of the blame for the social dysfunction lies with our intellectual class, who revel in this behaviour.

Familial disintegration 

To what extent do women bear some of the blame for domestic violence?

Men who commit violence against women should, of course, be put in prison, but the idea that women are playing no part in this is wrong.