Category Archives: unemployment

Islamism in Britain is not the product of Islam alone

Dalrymple notes that some British Muslims succeed in life, a fact which is interpreted backwards:

not that Muslims can succeed, but that generally they cannot, because British society is inimical to Muslims.

In coming to this conclusion, Dalrymple points out, young Muslims

would only be adopting the logic that has driven Western social policy for so long: that any difference in economic and social outcome between groups is the result of social injustice and adverse discrimination. The premises of multiculturalism do not even permit asking whether reasons internal to the groups might account for differences in outcomes.

This sociological view is peddled consistently by the poll-tax-funded British state broadcaster, which states, for example, that Muslims ‘continue to face discrimination’. Thus,

  • if more Muslims than any other group possess no educational qualifications, even though the hurdles for winning such qualifications have constantly fallen, it can only be because of discrimination—though a quarter of all medical students in Britain are of Indian subcontinental descent. It can have nothing to do with the widespread—and illegal—practice of refusing to allow girls to continue at school, which the Press scarcely mentions, and which the educational authorities rarely if ever investigate
  • if youth unemployment among Muslims is two-and-a half-times the rate among whites, it can be only because of discrimination—though youth unemployment among Hindus is  lower than among whites (and this even though many young Hindus complain of being mistaken for Muslims)

Dalrymple comments:

A constant and almost unchallenged emphasis on ‘social justice’, the negation of which is ‘discrimination’, can breed only festering embitterment. Where the definition of justice is entitlement by virtue of group existence rather than reward for individual effort, a radical overhaul of society will appear necessary to achieve such justice.

Islamism in Britain, Dalrymple emphasises, is

the product of the meeting of Islam with an entrenched native mode of thinking about social problems.


Why the West has to import labour

Despicable work, according to the UK newspaper the Guardian

Despicable work, according to the UK newspaper the Guardian

People, especially young people, in the better-off countries of Western Europe very often have completely the wrong attitude to work, if they work. The result, writes Dalrymple, is that,

despite mass unemployment, we have to import labour

in order that certain kinds of work be done. In Ireland, for example, Dalrymple says that

an old lady of my acquaintance needed 24-hour attendance, and this was provided by a Filipina, even at a time when there was 15% unemployment in Ireland.

An important factor is the

system of social security and unemployment benefits. The economic difference between doing this type of work and not working is not great enough to entice any native to do it.

There is also a

psychological, cultural or even religious difference. The change in the title of the senior nurse in a hospital ward from sister to ward manager is indicative of a change in sensibility, from a residually religious notion of serving others to a technocratic one. In the popular imagination, the distinction between service and servitude has been more or less eliminated.

Dalrymple cites a sentence written by a columnist in the London newspaper the Guardian:

So when a girl at 17 decides to go ahead and have a baby, there is no tragedy of lost opportunity other than the local checkout till waiting for her low-paid labour.

Such a sentence, Dalrymple notes,

breathes snobbery and disdain for those who do such work; it assumes that once a checkout cashier, always a checkout cashier, a fate worse than death. That there might be people for whom such work is suitable and potentially not odious does not occur to the writer. What makes the work odious is not the work but those who communicate their disdain of it. Snobbery thus makes the import of labour necessary.

Take hotels. In Britain, Dalrymple points out,

all good hotels employ exclusively foreign labour. If you want to go to a really bad large hotel in Britain, find one in which the staff are British. It is guaranteed to be ill-kept, with slovenly service, not very clean, with atrocious food, grubby staff, inattention to detail. Even a foreign telephonist is likely to be better, and to speak better English, than an English telephonist. If you want a good or even only a decent hotel, you must find one in which all the staff are foreign. This is so whatever the unemployment rate, high or low.

Dalrymple says he asks people to imagine that they are employers who seek an employee to perform work that is not skilled but requires such characteristics as punctuality, politeness, willingness to oblige.

The imagined employer has two applicants about whom he knows only two things: their age (shall we say 24) and their nationality. One is British and one is Polish. Which of the applicants does the imagined employer choose? Not a single person to whom I have put this question has hesitated for a moment: he chooses the Pole.

Our need for migrants

has a cultural, not an economic root.

But of course,

this does not mean that we need all the migrants we are likely to get from wherever we get them.

A continent limping towards the abyss

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 23.36.42Dalrymple points out that ‘ever closer union’

resuscitates old national stereotypes and antagonisms and increases the likelihood of real conflict.

He notes that politicians and bureaucrats,

like all people with bad habits, are infinitely inventive when it comes to rationalising the European Project, though they’re inventive in nothing else.

  • Without the Union, they say, there would be no peace; when it’s pointed out that the Union is the consequence of peace, not its cause, they say that no small country can survive on its own.
  • When it is pointed out that Singapore, Switzerland, and Norway seem to have no difficulties in that regard, they say that pan-European regulations create economies of scale that promote productive efficiency.
  • When it is pointed out that European productivity lags behind the rest of the world’s, they say that European social protections are more generous than anywhere else.
  • If it is then noted that long-term unemployment rates in Europe are higher than elsewhere, another apology follows.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 08.42.50The fact is that for European politicians and bureaucrats,

the European Project is like God — good by definition, which means that they have subsequently to work out a theodicy to explain, or explain away, its manifest and manifold deficiencies.

The personal interests of European politicians and bureaucrats,

with their grossly inflated, tax-free salaries, are perfectly obvious. For politicians who have fallen out of favour at home, or grown bored with the political process, Brussels acts as a vast and luxurious retirement home, with the additional gratification of the retention of power.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 23.41.11The name of a man such as Herman Van Rompuy,

whose charisma makes Hillary Clinton look like Mata Hari, would, without the existence of the European Union, have reached most of the continent’s newspapers only if he had paid for a classified advertisement in them.

Corporate interests,

ever anxious to suppress competition, approve of European Union regulations because they render next to impossible the entry of competitors into any market in which they already enjoy a dominant position, while also allowing them to extend their domination into new markets. That is why the CAC 40 (the French bourse benchmark) will have more or less the same names 100 years hence.

Dalrymple reminds us of the European Union’s role in corroding civil society.

Suppose you have an association for the protection of hedgehogs. The European Union then offers your association money to expand its activities, which of course it accepts. The Union then proposes a measure allegedly for the protection of hedgehogs, but actually intended to promote a large agrarian or industrial interest over a small one, first asking the association’s opinion about the proposed measure. Naturally, your association supports the Union because it has become dependent on the Union’s subsidy. The Union then claims that it enjoys the support of those who want to protect hedgehogs.

The best description of this process is

fascist corporatism, which so far lacks the paramilitary and repressive paraphernalia of real fascism. But as the European economic crisis mounts, that distinction could vanish.

One should not mistake the dullness of Eurocrats

for lack of ambition, or the lack of flamboyance for the presence of scruple. History can repeat itself.

Dalrymple says that whenever he reads the French press on the subject of the European crisis,

I’m struck by how little questions of freedom, political legitimacy, separation of powers, representative government, or the rule of law feature, even in articles by academic political philosophers. For them, the problem is mainly technical: that of finding a solution that will preserve the status quo (there is no such solution, but intelligent people searched for the philosopher’s stone for centuries).

As for the British political class,

it is composed largely of careerists,

and in the world of the Eurocrats,

ignoring arguments is the highest form of refutation.

Les Jardins de l’Empereur

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 07.47.05Life in Ajaccio

In France and England, Dalrymple points out,

the most dismal social housing is always given a grandiose or an arcadian name.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 07.52.36In Corsica, he writes,

unemployment, dependence, and Le Corbusier-style ghettoes are now common, if not the rule.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 07.48.31 Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 07.50.15 Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 07.51.44

Postcards from Laos

Dalrymple wishes to be sent to Luang Prabang to write, under a palm tree, about Henry Vaughan, whose Silex Scintillans came out in 1650

Dalrymple wishes to be sent, in luxurious conditions, to Luang Prabang to write, possibly under a palm tree, about the Welsh poet Henry Vaughan, whose Silex Scintillans came out in 1650

The Dalrympian Shangri-La

In the 13th century, writes Dalrymple,

when the world climate was much warmer than it is now, there were vineyards in the far north of England, a precedent that must give some hope of gainful employment to the chronically unemployed there.

He points out that

working oneself up into a fury of indignation is one of the great consolations of human existence, which is otherwise apt to be so tedious and unsatisfactory.

Hence the appeal of rioting to European spoilt-brat radicals who love the planet and its biosphere. But Dalrymple cannot work himself up into a state of righteous indignation over wastage and extravagance

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.52.10because I have in my time done a fair bit of travelling at other people’s expense to no very obvious benefit to anyone except myself. These days I don’t go anywhere only because I’m not asked, or not often. If someone tomorrow were to offer me a free trip in luxurious conditions to Laos (a country I have long wanted to visit, my Shangri-La) to discuss, say, the works of Henry Vaughan, the 17th-century religious poet of mid-Wales, I should of course at once accept, even if by doing so I added my mite to the downfall of the planet and the destruction of the coral reefs in the Pacific.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.44.24 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.45.32 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.47.18 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.48.17 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.49.30 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.50.27 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.54.52Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.48.17 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.45.56 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.55.51 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.50.00 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.46.53 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.42.55 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.43.15 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.53.55 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.54.13 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.53.09 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.43.35 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.54.30 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.55.38 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.41.11 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.45.13 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.56.14 Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.56.51

The enemy within France

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 08.03.56The government of France allowed, Dalrymple points out,

the mass immigration of people culturally very different from its own population to solve a temporary labour shortage and to assuage its abstract liberal conscience.

An estimated 8m or 9m people of North African and West African origin dwell in France, twice the number in 1975. At least 5m of them are Muslims. The French government has handled the resultant situation

in the worst possible way. Unless it assimilates these millions successfully, its future will be grim.

France has

  • separated and isolated immigrants and their descendants geographically into dehumanising ghettoes
  • pursued economic policies to promote unemployment and create dependence among them, with all the psychological consequences
  • flattered the repellent and worthless culture that they have developed
  • withdrawn the protection of the law from them, allowing them to create their own lawless order

A profoundly alienated population is moreover

armed with serious firepower.

Paris is caught in a dilemma between

honouring its commitments to the more privileged section of the population, many of whom earn their livelihoods from administering the dirigiste economy, and freeing the labour market sufficiently to give the hope of a normal life to the inhabitants of the cités.

The likelihood is that the French State will continue to respond merely by

attempts to buy off the disaffected with more benefits and rights, at the cost of higher taxes that will further stifle the job creation that would most help the cité dwellers. If that fails, as in the long run it will, harsh repression will follow.

Doctrine that points the way to revenge

Imagine yourself, writes Dalrymple, a youth in Les Tarterêts or Les Musiciens,

  • intellectually alert but not well educated
  • believing yourself to be despised because of your origins by the larger society that you were born into
  • permanently condemned to unemployment by the system that contemptuously feeds and clothes you
  • surrounded by a contemptible nihilistic culture of despair, violence, and crime

Is it not possible, he says, that you would seek a doctrine that would

  • explain your predicament
  • justify your wrath
  • point the way towards your revenge
  • guarantee your salvation

Might you not

seek a ‘worthwhile’ direction for the energy, hatred, and violence seething within you, a direction that would enable you to do evil in the name of ultimate good?

Les Tarterêts

Les Tarterêts

Coventry sojourn

A jewel of Coventry commercial architecture

A jewel of Coventry commercial architecture

Dalrymple visits the West Midlands city, where

amid the hideous and dilapidating buildings of a failed modernism

he sees

  • precincts with half the shops boarded up
  • youths in hoodies skateboarding all day along the walkways
  • the prematurely aged, fat and crippled unemployed occupying themselves in the search for cheap imported junk in such shops as remain open
  • lurkers, muggers and dealers waiting for nightfall
One of the city's elegant hotels

One of the city’s charming hostelries

He stays in an establishment

whose nearest architectural equivalent is the hotel in which I stayed in Makhachkala in ex-Soviet Dagestan.

Council House, Coventry: the delicate, judicious, infinitely sensitive blending of the old with the very finest of the new architecture

Council House: the very finest of the new architecture is judiciously and most delicately grafted upon the old edifice to make a charming, congruous and unified whole. The conjoining of the two structures in this way is considered a masterstroke of restraint and elegance, much loved by the inhabitants. Truly the city is blessed to have working for it architects the likes of these

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.


Dilemma over mass migration to the West

Merton, a London suburb

Merton, a London suburb

Dalrymple writes that the change in the ethnic and cultural origins of the inhabitants of the Western world’s towns and cities

is so obvious that no one could possibly miss it. Some glory in the change, some detest it; it is difficult to be neutral, or even merely objective.

He says that on the subject of illegal immigrants to the West and the change

in the ethnic and cultural composition of our societies, I confess that my thoughts and feelings are inconsistent and contradictory.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.00.52Economic migrants are often

brave and enterprising, and have no desire to sponge on the state, but rather to work and improve their lives.

In the West they find themselves

in a sea of strangeness, incomprehension, hostility, or indifference.

Western countries appear to

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.12.51need people to come to us from impoverished lands, and this is so despite the fact that we have a substantial fund of unemployed people. Why this should be I leave to labour economists; I suspect it has something to do with the rent-seeking behaviour of a large percentage of our population (including me).

Immigrants to the West are often people of

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.18.04warmth, kindness, humanity and mannerliness. These qualities induce a slight feeling of shame in belonging to a culture in which these qualities should seem exceptional rather than normal. It is we, not they, who are so often crude.

On the other hand, Dalrymple cannot

view with delight the disappearance of the culture in which I grew up, which is being absorbed into a minestrone of no particular savour. I do not want to see my society changed irreversibly by an uncontrolled influx of immigrants.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 08.56.33Knowing another culture is not

simply a matter of patronising a restaurant of its cuisine from time to time. It is the work of years if not of a lifetime. Consider that multiculturalism condemns us to be strangers to one another; and, while all cultures have their charms, they may not all be compatible in their conceptions.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.25.46Dalrymple points out that

most people who support mass immigration are personally less keen on taking the social consequences.

For instance, in France recently,



someone contacted more than 40 media personalities who publicly supported immigration and asked whether they could assist personally with lodging an immigrant. Though each was rich, none said he could do so for more than a day or two, each finding a good excuse.