Category Archives: red tape

Acute diplomatosis

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 07.58.03Prognosis: more riots

Dalrymple provides a brief overview of viral diploma-tosis, explaining that in the disease, there is the assumption that

since a modern economy requires educated people, the more educated people it can call upon—as measured by the average number of years in school—the more productive that economy will be. On this view, education is in itself the motor of growth, and the demand for educated labour will automatically keep up with, if not outstrip, the supply.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 08.01.11University of life

He points to the dangers of

educating young people for many years and denying them first the opportunity to earn a living that they believe is commensurate with their education, and then the opportunity to earn a living at all.

 

Bureaucratic mentality

H.M. Prison Winson Green, where Dalrymple was a specialist

H.M. Prison Birmingham

Speaking grosso modo, Dalrymple writes that prison officers he worked with were more astute and kinder than staff at psychiatric hospitals.

They had not had their heads filled with psychological jargon. When they came to me to tell me that a prisoner was not himself, or was acting strangely, or that ‘he’s not your typical con’, I soon learnt to take their observations seriously.

Rampton Secure Hospital

Rampton Secure Hospital

Dalrymple says that prisoners he knew were in general

far more afraid of psychiatric hospitals than they were of prisons. One of their most plaintive cries was, ‘You’re not nutting me off, are you, doctor?’

In official reports of disastrous cases in psychiatric hospitals, salient phrases include ‘lessons have been learnt’ and ‘errors of communication’.

One could write almost all reports on disastrous cases before they have occurred. By ‘lessons have been learnt’ is meant ‘it will be exactly the same next time’.

The lesson that has been learnt

is always that a new form, longer and more complex than the old, should be introduced. The form-filling gets in the way of genuine contact with or concern for the patient. The form-filling is the work itself.