Theodore Dalrymple
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Jane Kelly
Tuesday 30th September Jane Kelly; Time held me green and dying though I sang in my chains like the sea. (Thomas)

First the coincidences, showers of them making me tingle. Today I was even looking in a mirror examining my nose when a voice from the radio started talking about Cyrano de Berjerac. There was a strange sense of time speeding up, and after that came the news of drastic change. Last Tuesday, 23rd, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the same disease which hit me in 2010. A bit of a coincidence there too because we are not genetically connected as I was adopted.
Thursday October 2nd, Jane Kelly.
The politically correct 'care', human beings love.

One of the saddest things I heard this year, was the voice of someone working in a 'care' home, after the cases of abuse were reported in Rotherham and Rochdale. 'There is no love on offer in children's homes,' he said flatly. 'That is the one thing that we cannot give.'
Sunday October 5th Jane Kelly. 'That certain NHS smile.'

The BBC announced the terrible news that our children's teeth are at pre-war levels of decay. (This doesn't include Scotland where teeth seem to be optional) An eighth of three year olds have an average of three decayed teeth.
Sunday October 5th. Gabriel Hershman What it is like to live in Bulgaria.

Someone once told me that he did not object to socialism on ethical grounds. It was simply that it didn't work. His remark hit home. Perhaps - I've since wondered - he'd been to Bulgaria to see the proof.
Monday 6th October. Theodore Dalrymple. 'David Cameron - political Wonga man.'

Mr Cameron is Focus Group Man made flesh. This is not altogether surprising since his only known employment, other than politician, was in public relations. He appears not to know what to think until he has consulted a variety of gauges of public opinion, and then he announces his own opinion as if from deep conviction.
Monday 6th October. Jane Kelly. Re-writing history with the BBC

Last week the BBC Trust ruled that during one of its children's programmes in the BBC 'Learning Zone,' Florence Nightingale was shown racially discriminating against the travelling Afro-Caribbean cook Mary Seacole. Of mixed race, she called herself a 'yellow woman,' and set up cafes for soldiers on the battlefield. She was never a nurse but wrote an interesting book about her time in the Crimea.
October 8th Jane Kelly. The BBC, a hiding place for witches ?

BBC R4 this morning had a news report about some children in the UK being savagely abused after being accused of witchcraft. These infant 'witches' are beaten, secluded, forced to drink strange, noxious substances, abandoned, and some sent back to Kinshasah where they live on the streets. The BBC said the perpetrators live in, 'faith communities.' They did not mention Africa or African churches.
October 7th Theodore Dalrymple.
Brown Bear eats his porridge.

Gordon Brown was never as detestable as Prime Minister as Anthony Blair because incompetence is less appalling than evil. Mr Brown may have been a flawed, even a very flawed, human being, but he was at least recognisably human. And he had one quality that moved me and in my opinion lent him great dignity: he never made political capital of, or sought public sympathy for, his personal handicap.
Sunday the 12th of October. Theodore Dalrymple.
The Social Media - Animals at the keyboard.

Last week I met a pleasant lady who, though she had appeared a few times on television, could hardly be counted a public figure. Nevertheless, she had received many abusive messages on Facebook and Twitter as a result of her appearances, and one man had written to her thousands of times and threatened to kill her, telling her that he knew where she lived just to make sure that she was genuinely frightened.
October 13th. Gabriel Hershman
Gipsy Summer in Bulgaria

The bad news here in Sofia is that the recent Bulgarian elections have solved nothing. "Indecision, uncertainty and divisions still paralyse the political establishment" - would probably be the formula of words used by quality media. This means in plain English - it's still a mess but the names of the mess-makers have changed.
Thursday October 2nd, Jane Kelly.
The politically correct 'care', human beings love.

One of the saddest things I heard this year, was the voice of someone working in a 'care' home, after the cases of abuse were reported in Rotherham and Rochdale. 'There is no love on offer in children's homes,' he said flatly. 'That is the one thing that we cannot give.'
Wednesday September 19th. Jane Kelly experiences a normal day in the Acton Caliphate

I began my day by walking to Tescos, it's a small one and much of the meat sold in there is Halal, or very cheap frozen chicken which is unlabelled. But I can buy a limited range of fish there, and all the food outlets near to me are Halal. So it's this shop or a drive or bus ride to something better.
17th July Theodore Dalrymple. Tattoing and the World Cup

Although football is hardly the American national sport, the New York Times ran more than one article about the German victory in the World Cup, with links to sites that explained the part that advanced technology had played in it. For example, physiological monitoring of the players in training allowed the manager to select those to play who were at the peak of their fitness. The German team also had a specially built training camp that was exactly calculated to its needs. There the players could enjoy both privacy and a social life to encourage team spirit. But all of this, it seems to me, is beside the point .....
Tuesday 14th October. Jane Kelly
Back to Turkey’s Kurdish Killing Fields. President Erdogan takes a leaf from Stalin’s Book.

Turkey is now killing Kurds, surely the most depressing bit of news in a long time. Today 14/10/14 Turkish F-16 and F-4 warplanes bombed Kurdish PKK rebel targets near the Iraqi border. Meanwhile, in Europe, some good news as it was reported that many Jews are leaving Israel and returning to their lost city of Berlin. By leaving Israel, the promised  land, for Europe they display a tough, unsentimental attitude, which rejects even the worst horrors of history for the possibility of a decent present.
Thursday 16th, September. Jane Kelly ‘Breaking Up The Happy Home’

Together we look at the things she has in two glass fronted cupboards. There are one or two things there which I really love and as she has now decided to sell her house, she wants me to have them. There is the black cat tea pot from the 1920s, with a badly glued crack in its red collar. 'You broke that when you were a baby,' she says accusingly. I look at it and wonder whether I do really want it. I haven't been allowed to touch it since the age of two.
Monday October 20th. Theodore Dalrymple. ‘Hell is other people?’

Loneliness is a terrible state, of course, but speaking personally I have suffered far more from human company than from the lack of it. Hell, as Sartre famously remarked, is other people; but such is the capacity of the human soul for contradiction that so too, in many cases, is the absence of other people.
Monday 20th October. Gabriel Hershman.
The Post Communist Proles of Bulgaria

After seven years in Sofia I realise that totalitarian regimes must have engendered a unique kind of thinking - or rather non-thinking. I'm not referring to Bulgarians born post-communism. Such people are invariably friendly and intellectually curious, especially once you tell them you're British. Those over 50, on the other hand, don't ask many questions. Their typical conversation is impersonal, indirect, fatalistic, unsentimental and unimaginative.
Wednesday 22nd October. Peter Mullen.
‘Fiona Woolf. ‘Just an ordinary gel?

Fiona Woolf is being interviewed by a House of Commons Select Committee concerning her eligibility to be chairman of a new enquiry into historic child abuse. Charities supporting the victims of such abuse have objected to Mrs Woolf's appointment on the grounds that she is too close to the very Establishment which is suspected of covering up the abuse. They have singled out in particular the fact that Mrs Woolf was at five dinner parties with Leon Brittan, the former home secretary.
Monday October 21st. Jane Kelly.
‘In the Pocket of God’

After months of negotiation, prevarication and delay I am about to exchange contracts and move from a one bedroomed flat in London, where I have lived since 1996, to a small house, in a small town.
Friday 24th October. Jane Kelly. Dements for Sale
A couple of years ago I went to the doctor because I was afraid I had Alzheimer's. Suddenly names, facts and bits of poetry I thought I knew were not there anymore. I reached for them automatically and found - nothing. It was alarming.My doctor, a young Indian woman, looked at me sceptically and fired off some questions. I was as nervous as an Oxbridge entrant but I managed to answer correctly, until we got to the mental arithmetic and counting backwards. Then I was hopeless. She did not however condemn me to a diagnosis of Alzheimer's but put it all down to stress, a polite way of saying I was wasting her time.
Thursday  24th October Jane Kelly   ‘Sharing Dave’s pain

I can really empathise when I see David Cameron's deep pink face on the front pages, looking even more pained and constipated than usual. That is the face of someone facing the shock and misery of a tax bill which has come out of the blue and seems to have no justification.
Friday 24th October Peter Mullen Visit your GP and come out demented?

We’re all going to lose our marbles – well, at least we’re going to be classified as all having lost our marbles. Why? Because the government – using our money, as usual – will pay your GP £55 for every case of dementia he diagnoses. Given the aging population, that’s quite a nice little earner for the doc. Expect the figures for Alzheimers and other modes of gaga-ness to go off the Richter scale.
Sunday 26th October Gabriel Hershman.
‘Bulgaria. The sort of place where Russell Brand decides when you can turn on your central heating.’

The snow has fallen early in Bulgaria, weighing down heavily on the still leafy trees, lending them a mournful, crestfallen look, kind of bent double. The children want to go out to play in the first snow. I tell them they can look forward to another four months of this and that the novelty will soon wear off. Nevertheless they want to experience the first fall.
Monday 27th October. Theodore Dalrymple.
The United Kingdom of Coney Island.

If I had to choose a new national symbol for Britain, which happily I don't, I think I should choose the orange and white-striped traffic cone. The other day I drove 120 miles to a town in the east of the country and there were road-works every ten miles on average. The journey took an hour longer than predicted in each direction.
Wednesday 29th October The Rev Dr Peter Mullen.
Heavy Traffic

The Italian people are renowned for their kindness, generosity and large humanity and currently they are demonstrating this spirit of charity and welcome on an epic scale as their navy has rescued from drowning at sea 150.000 migrants fleeing from instability, poverty and wars all across North Africa and the Middle East. I have just read a report in an Italian newspaper which claims there are 600,000 migrants massing on these African and Middle Eastern shores waiting to find a boat to take them to Europe.
Saturday November 1st. Jane Kelly. 'Feeding the Bed Blockers.'

I have been a voluntary hospital visitor at a big London teaching hospital for the last three years. I only go in one day a week, it is not much in the way of 'putting something back,' but even in those few short hours I have seen quite a lot. At first I was outraged by some of the things I saw, then I got used to it. Latterly I have not noticed anything very acutely, perhaps getting a bit comfortable in the job.
Saturday November 1st. The Rev Dr Peter Mullen. 'Discriminating against brain surgeons with learning difficulties.'

I have just discovered further shocking news about disgraceful inequalities in British society.

Saturday 1st November. Jane Kelly ‘Fear and Loathing in A & E.'

Patrolling the wards of a big London hospital this week, as a chaplaincy worker, trying not to get up the noses of the nursing staff I settled down by an elderly man, Mr T who seemed very keen to chat. I quickly realised that though the NHS is a great and brilliant institution which we all love, it's easy to find yourself at the sticky arse end of it, as he had.
Tuesday November 4th. Theodore Dalrymple. ‘Say what you mean.’

Why cannot people say, or write, what they mean? One reason for obfuscation is that it conceals the banality of what the person says or writes. It can also make something simple sound complex, impressive and highly technical. In a world in which we are subliminally humiliated by the fact that we employ technology whose workings we do not in the least understand, but upon which we are utterly dependent, we all like to think that there is something that we know
Wednesday the 5th of November
Rev Dr Peter Mullen
'Why such a short term in prison?

A jailed terrorist who wrote a letter from a British prison proclaiming jihadis as heroes is trying to avoid deportation from the UK on human rights grounds. Internet jihadi Younes Tsouli, 31 – who was once described as Al Qaeda’s most influential cyber-terrorist – was jailed for 16 years in 2007 for distributing bomb-making instructions as well as beheading videos on the internet.
Wednesday  5th November
Theodore Dalrymple.
'The Order of the Politically Correct'

In his great book, Russia in 1839, the Marquis de Custine described the Tsar as having been 'eagle and insect.' He was eagle because he soared over society, viewing it from on high; he was insect because he burrowed, like a termite, into every nook and cranny of it. Nothing was too small to be beneath his notice, for the essence of tyranny is fear that it is all or none.
Saturday 8th of November 
The Reverend Dr Peter Mullen
Le Nozze di Figaro

It’s easy to feel up to one’s ears in politics, so well described by Eliot as “endless palaver.”

Better to think about Mozart and particularly the miracle that is Figaro. It nearly didn’t get composed at all, for Beaumarchais’ play on which it is based was banned. Mozart told Lorenzo da Ponte that he had no hope of getting the ban lifted, whereupon Da Ponte said, “Leave it to me.”
Monday 10th of November
Theodore Dalrymple
‘Eating people is wrong?’ 

The cannibal killer of Caerphilly, Matthew Williams, was shocked by police taser and died shortly thereafter. Whether he died of the shock by taser we do not yet know; but if he had lived no doubt he would by now have been in prison.
Wednesday 12th November.
Rev Dr Peter Mullen.
“When boys be talkin’ ‘bout their bitches”

A bishop has praised the pop star Lily Allen for her feminist songs and claimed that misogyny is “still very evident” in the Church of England. The Rt Rev’d Martyn Snow, our youngest bishop, said Allen’s lyrics on the single Hard Out Here “poignantly” capture society’s sexist double standards. He commends the song to his thirteen-year-old daughter.
Wednesday 12th November.
Gabriel Hershman
“Ed Milliband. Captain of the ship of fools that is New Labour”

Life throws up very few number ones - real leaders. Such types are usually spotted early, from schooldays onwards. These were the people who walked into a room and commanded attention. When they spoke, people listened. Or perhaps people instinctively liked them. You could call this charisma or gravitas - the very qualities required to be a leader. Most people are not like this.
13th November Jane Kelly.
The Parking Suspension of Disbelief

On the 28th of October 2014, I downloaded and attempted to fill in on line a form for parking suspension, so that a removal van can park outside my flat in a few weeks time. It had to be done at least ten days in advance and include a cheque for £80. That is the cost of parking in two bays for two days, more expensive than the fine for not getting a suspension. Quite a lot of people end up in that position whether they like it or not.

Thursday November 13th Jane Kelly
‘Female Standups? About as funny as a cremation.’

'Could I approach a nice looking woman in the street and complement her on her dress?' A lonely bachelor seriously asked me this today. Absolutely, certainly without a doubt, he can't. Such an action would be seen as little short of rape by many of our more advanced thinking sisters, particularly those who style themselves, 'stand-up comedians.'
Sunday 22nd November. Gabriel Hershman.
‘London’s prisoners of money’

Just back from a trip to London. I had a good time. Customer service in shops is much better than in Sofia, the roads and pavements are smoother, the trains are more comfortable and faster. And stores – in the West End at least – are more imaginatively window-dressed. I always enjoy visiting Harrods and leaving with a couple of tins of gingerbread cookies, which will later double as colourful stationery boxes for my children!
Tuesday 25th November
Theodore Dalrymple

The Windmills of Kim Jong il

In case I should be misunderstood,  I think the environment is a proper cause for concern. Anyone who has seen the mauvish-grey pall that overhangs large tracts of the country even on a fine day, or has breathed the air of an Indian or Chinese industrial city, will not lightly assert that the state of the atmosphere is of no interest to us.
Tuesday 25th November
Jane Kelly
Leaving  the Burning City

Because of my desire to one day own some stairs, I had to leave London as you cannot get them for under half a million. I saw a house I liked last June, and it has taken me until now, November 21st, to finally buy it and move in. Delays and extra expense were caused mainly by the solicitors hired by my estate agent, and numerous other bodies who see the house buyer as a vulnerable milch-cow.
Thursday 25th of November. Jane Kelly
'British Gas delivers the old fashioned British workman; lazy, late and useless.'

The chief hell of moving into a new home comes from having to ring up energy and systems providers on automated phone lines. The people on the other end of the phone represent exactly the same kind of British workmen sung about so plaintively in the 1960s by Flanders & Swann.

Thursday 27th November.
The Rev Dr Peter Mullen.
Eton Comprehensive.

We can always rely on the Labour party to come up with plenty of creative thinking. Here’s their  latest dollop…

Britain’s private schools will lose £700m in tax breaks unless they agree to break down the “corrosive divide of privilege” and do more to help children from state schools, according to Tristram Hunt, shadow education secretary.
Sunday 30th November.
Gabriel Hershman
'The White Van Man of the Apocalypse'

I don't know what it is about modern Britain but so many people in the public eye seem to be — invariably — loathsome in the extreme. The word has become rather clichéd but it fits so well.  

Loathsome gangster Frankie Fraser dies, a man who pulled people's teeth out with pliers. Cue loathsome "tributes" and doubtless a loathsomely ostentatious funeral that will pay tribute to "Mad Frank" as the best of British, a lovable villain from a bygone era who helped old ladies across the street — in between teeth-pulling, of course.
Wednesday 3rd December. Reverend Peter Mullen. ‘From Giotto to Slush.’

On every visit to the National Gallery, I’m always drawn to the early Italian paintings. They are in room 51 in the Sainsbury Wing. I was in there for an hour and a half yesterday.
Friday 5th December. Jane Kelly
‘Oh come all ye gayful’

I attended my first Oxford debate yesterday, 4th December 2014 in the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in what is called, 'The High.' It was advertised under the heading, 'Vision,' with the none too pithy banner, 'What Does the Church of England Offer the Next Generation? What is the good news it brings to society today? What God do Anglicans worship, and where is the Spirit moving the church today?'
Friday 5th December Jane Kelly
‘Oxford - Where Muslim Eyes are Smiling’

Leaving the State of London to live in England again has advantages and niggling annoyances; I miss my Oyster card so much, never realising before how well it facilitated daily travel. The milling, mustering hoards of London are able to get about with alacrity, and fairly cheaply. Here in Oxford we are still living in the age of cash

Monday, December the 8th,
Gabriel Hershman
Eastern Europeans - easy target?

All the hullabaloo about Eastern European immigrants makes me a bit uneasy. The United Kingdom is a very overcrowded island but it's the big cities that are the most overcrowded of all. My gripe is that Eastern Europeans have become an easy target, the kind of folk for whom the average bloke can freely fulminate against without repercussions.
Wednesday 10th of December.
Jane Kelly.
'Battery Farms for the Working Classes'

The sense of floating timelessness I get when I roam around the lovely Oxford streets fades fast if I take a bus to the other end of the town, a journey of about three miles. Seeing Temple Cowley, once a pretty village, is like waking up to a punch in the head.

Saturday 13th December
Jane Kelly
Ghost Trains

'Tis the season of goodwill again and with similar regularity the railways decide to interrupt their service. Ten percent of rail transport on the busiest passenger lines, even the rail line to Gatwick airport, will be removed over Christmas for repairs. Most of us think this might be the busiest time of year, but according to the railways, only a small number of the public travel at this time.

Sunday the 14th December. Theodore Dalrymple. 'More Christmas Cheer'

We should pay closer attention to the words people use, for they often reveal hinterlands of thought, or at least of assumptions. Reading my local paper recently, I noticed what a policeman said about an attack carried out by a man with a hammer on a garage mechanic.

Monday 15th December.
Gabriel Hershman.
Counter Jumpers on Question Time

I recently re-visited an old (1973) radio debate between Michael Foot, Enoch Powell, Roy Jenkins and Reginald Maudling. Of course, the economic context under discussion is now redundant. At that time there was still a general assumption that a controlled, or pseudo-socialist economy, was the best on

Australia. 'Tie me Terrorist Down Sport'
Daryl McCann

On August 11 2014 Australians discovered that
one of their compatriots, Khaled Sharrouf, had
posted on social media a photograph of his
seven-year-old son posing with the decapitated head of
a Syrian soldier. ‘That’s my boy!’ the boy’s proud father
tweeted to the full article

Thursday 18th of December.
Theodore Dalrymple hires a Black Maria ?

In one of those many English towns that, like Betjeman's Slough, is not fit for humans now, I took a taxi from the station to the court in which I was to appear as a witness. If I had been the type, I would have been panic-struck by the notices inside it directed at the poor passenger. I was taking my life in my hands by hiring it. 
Saturday 20th December Jane Kelly
A Flaming Nuisance

One of my earliest memories is seeing my father in the early morning raking out the ashes of our coal fire. I was interested in the blue veins around his ankles and bare white heels as he strained  forwards with his short shovel. After the ashes he carefully placed balls of newspaper, which he called 'spills,' and built a tent of small kindling logs over them. I was careful not to speak as he was always in a furious temper while he was doing it.
Monday 22nd of December
Rev Dr Peter Mullen
The Church of Engels?

I’ve seen some correspondence among my fellow believing Christians in what’s left of the Church of England in which they declare that they are dismayed by the determination of the powers-that-be to “fast track” the soon-to-be consecrated women bishops into the House of Lords. Sex-discrimination, you might say, at the sacerdotal level
Monday 22nd of December Jane kelly
'Lose the book on this one'

The news looks bleak for most of our public institutions, hospitals, the BBC and what was once the national library service. Library campaigners accuse the government of hiding the scale of cuts which they predict will force the closure of a further 400 UK libraries by 2016,
Monday the 22nd of December.
Gabriel Hershman
Russell Brand - socialist millionaire

Facebook is getting worse with all its ridiculous observations, injunctions and bons mots of supposed wisdom. Doubtless sometimes these words of (usually) leftist insight are broadcast because the poster sincerely supports the message. Sometimes, one suspects, they are put out because the poster feels that it is good for their image to hold leftist views.
Friday the 26th of December 
Theodore Dalrymple
How much is the train ticket from Montreuil to Kobane?

Not long ago on a bus in Montreuil, an unfashionable suburb of Paris, I noticed that I was the only person of perhaps fifty or sixty who got on the bus while I travelled on it who actually paid. I felt slightly awkward for having done so: was I letting the side down, or at any rate a side down, by paying my way? The driver, of course, could do nothing against the waves of impenitent cheats who crowded on to his bus, who would quickly have overwhelmed him had he raised any objections
Saturday 27th December.
Theodore Dalrymple
Why not kill yourself while you are still healthy?

In theory, at any rate, I am opposed to euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the like - except for myself, that is. Recently I was laid low by an illness among whose symptoms were slight nausea, fever and severe headache. It wasn't even the worst illness I had ever had in my life, let alone the worst illness imaginable, but it was bad enough to preclude anything but lying in bed and feeling rotten. I could neither read nor eat; all I wanted to do was doze in a darkened room.
Tuesday 30th of December.
Gabriel Hershman. A British Night Out
'Three pints of beer, eight double vodkas and an ambulance to follow'

Christmas in the UK always brings with it accounts of drunken mayhem. What I find doubly disconcerting and depressing ––– and call this a strange form of sexism if you like – is to read about mindless violence among so-called ladettes or, worse still, hear of youngish mothers dying from liver cirrhosis. 
Wednesday 31st December.
Theodore Dalrymple
Having the courage of your fortune

Men are like sheep, especially leaders. I saw a photograph of the heads of government of the G7 recently and all of the men among them were dressed the same: dark suits but open short collars and no tie. Not coincidentally, perhaps, there wasn't a strong face among them.
Saturday 3rd January. Jane Kelly
Haunted by Christmas Past

In the novel The Count of Monte Cristo, the hero Edmond, imprisoned in the Chateau d'If, finds himself sentenced to be flogged every year on the date of his arrival. Naturally this prays on his mind, and time passes both slowly within the confines of those terrible damp walls, but also with sickening rapidity as every day draws him nearer to inevitable torture.
I picture him sitting in his cell, worrying about his fate, long before it happens. Who ever gave him that sentence obviously knew the agonies endured by a certain type of mind with a vivid, apprehensive imagination. As an adult preparing for Christmas I empathise with him
Saturday 3rd January. Theodore Dalrymple. 
Is Paris worth a pensioner's dog?

The modern political class does not want the electorate to have a sense of the tragic dimension of human existence: for such a sense would reduce the importance of the political class in the electorate's eyes. It wants instead the electorate to think that, if only the right politicians were in charge, all would be well: this is the means by which the class keeps the population dependant on it. The politicians have therefore struggled against an awareness of the tragic dimension and on the whole have triumphed in the struggle. 
Saturday 3rd of January. Jane Kelly
The Marie Antoinettes of the BBC

While sensible people were sleeping it off and sleepily sloughing off all the worries of the old dead year, I was up early on New Year's Day 2015, to take part in a BBC radio show, hosted by Vanessa Feltz, discussing that continuing question of immigration which is certain to dominate political discussion over the next few months. I was asked to take part because I have recently left London and the programme producers wanted to discuss, 'White Flight,' the continuing evacuation of white middle class folk from the Metropolis.
Sunday 4th January. Jane Kelly
Is the BBC succumbing to Sinophobia?

There is trouble in China with their Muslim minority the Uighur. The video posted online last month looks much like ones from Middle East jihadist groups. It shows what appears to be a man making a suitcase bomb and grainy footage of an explosion at a crowded railway station here. The soundtrack plays an Arabic chant inciting holy war.
Wednesday 8th of January. Jane Kelly
The BBC, Islam's useful idiot.

I have recently left London and last night I regretted it. I wanted to be in Trafalgar Square with hundreds of other people, joining thousands in Paris, gathered together in protest against yesterday's murders, but also in silent support of free-speech.
Saturday 10th January, Jane Kelly,
'Will Gunners fans flock to Rubens?'

In my Midlands primary school I was often in a state of excruciating embarrassment. Children of course mature emotionally and intellectually un-evenly at different times, most girls faster than most boys.
I always liked art of all kinds and it irritated me that most children in my class fell about laughing at the sight of a nude Venus
Saturday 10th January, Gabriel Hershman,
'A marmalade sandwich with Paddington Bear'

Families lack a sense of togetherness these days. John Cleese tells how people come up to him - not just to compliment him on the ingenious scripts and ensemble cast of Fawlty Towers - but to mention how his 70s comedy classic united the family, if only for half an hour.

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Friday 16th January, Gabriel Hershman, 'Paris. The Blame Israel Brigade rides into town'.

We gleaned some illuminating insights into public figures – including the sometimes predictably despicable nature of the usual suspects – in the aftermath of the Paris slaughter. And understand that I am now moving beyond discussion of the normal reactions of grief, anger, insecurity and reconciliation.

Monday 19th January, Jane Kelly,
'An hysterical blindness worthy of Dr Mesmer'

Everyone is self deluded to a certain extent, just to keep going in life, but the severely myopic fantasist can be an irritating companion and sometimes dangerous. In government there seem to be a lot of people who cling to extreme fantasy, even in the face of extremist violence.
Tuesday 20th of January. Myles Harris 
'Brutal and Shocking facts about the NHS'

The NHS along with other European health services can be compared to a sacrificial victims of the Incas, having their hearts ritually torn out and held aloft by politicians for the baying mob at each election. For example the row over trolley waits in A & E is occurring at present in many EU countries. Limerick Hospital Irish Republic 20.1.15.

Saturday 24th January, Gabriel Hershman.
When Portugal almost became Europe's Cuba

The other night I was at Sofia's Red House for Culture and Debate - a discussion venue which doubles as a shelter from the cold. The ostensible occasion was Portuguese Film Lab Day, a day of screening for Portuguese documentaries and arty movies with political themes. First up was a movie about the revolution of 25 April 1974. For the uninitiated, this was the big event in the post-war history of this sleepy western outpost whereby, for a short time, Portugal looked set to become Europe's Cuba.

Saturday 24th January, Theodore Dalrymple, Vulgar Celebrities

In Britain, the use of vulgar language by the rich, famous and privileged has long been meant as a sign of attempted political rectitude. The reasoning is as follows: if the people use vulgar language and I use vulgar language, I am of the people, notwithstanding my wealth, fame and privileges. Hence I can hang on to them with a good conscience, for by my vulgarity I have demonstrated my democratic credentials.

26th January Theodore Dalymple.
Anorexia, the highest state of grace of the 21st century

The economics of fashion shows, like those of football, are to me mysterious. The majority of football clubs make a loss, sometimes a substantial one, yet they continue to play their players millions, the wage bill being by far their principal cost. I can only surmise that such clubs are elaborate tax avoidance schemes.
Tuesday February 3rd Theodore Dalrymple
Guilty until you can prove yourself innocent

Political correctness is an increasing threat to the rule of law. First the immemorial rule that no man could be tried twice for the same crime was abrogated in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence case and the subsequent, egregious Macpherson Report, a low point in the extensive history of British official moral cowardice.
Monday February 2nd. Theodore Dalrymple
‘I am your bank, here to mess you around’

Last week I had my own little banking crisis. Having accepted the bank's suggestion that I print my own statements direct from the internet, I discovered that the bank then set out to drive me mad. 'To obtain your statement,' said the webpage, 'simply click on the link below.'
Friday 6th February Jane Kelly
A  Quiet Afternoon Sketching

I went to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford yesterday for a lecture on the Euston Road school of painters.  Sadly I was a month early, but they told me there was a free drawing class going on down in the cast room. As I'd just been in an art shop and had ready materials I decided to do that.
Friday 6th February Gabriel Hershman
Nazism - Left or Right?

I've always had a problem with the way the media, not so much the offending parties themselves, endlessly define extreme nationalist, anti-Semitic groups as "extreme right". The anniversary of the Holocaust always give rise to this assignation, thrown around willy nilly.
Monday 9th of February Theodore Dalrymple
What Moral Authority is in there in Islam?

The Guardian is to be commended for its report of the killing of the Jordanian Air Force pilot, Muadh al-Kasebeh by the so-called Islamic State. It called it murder, which is what it was; by contrast, it called the killing of terrorists in Jordan, executions, correctly, for the terrorists had been sentenced according to law, with at least an opportunity to defend themselves. .
Thursday 12th February Gabriel Hershman
The University of Oiks

Posh-basing has escalated recently, dressed up as championing the cause of downtrodden working-class performers. The tabloids seem torn between hailing the achievements of actors Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, and then telling us they only succeeded because they are privileged, not to mention the inverted snobbery of Labour MP Chris Bryant towards singer James Blunt.

Thursday 19th February Jane Kelly
The Church of Labour

With his declaration that the bombing of Dresden, seventy years ago, was tragic and war is a terrible thing, even the one against the Nazis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has led the way for his colleagues in Christ to get political, something we haven't seen since the time of Mrs Thatcher.
Friday 20th February Jane Kelly
Gobbledygook from the Blob

There is a new selection scandal brewing in education, as apparently some schools are still finding ways to cream off the cleverest children, who often happen to come from middle-class homes, i.e. the ones which have books.
Saturday the 21st of February. Jane Kelly.
BBC Today amuses its high minded readers with a tale of an epileptic fit.

In late 2014 many of us were dismayed to hear that R4 was changing the Today Programme, to make it less like 'a club,' and more accessible to young people and the socially disadvantaged, who apparently don't listen to it over their pop-tarts in the morning.

Sunday 22nd February Jane Kelly.
A rare aboriginal family of British whites

On a visit to the main general hospital in Oxford today, 19/02/15, I saw something I hardly ever saw while I lived in London; a large white working class family. There was Ma, round-bellied from normal years of obesity and another infant on the way, and five small boys around her feet, all very jolly and having fun, rolling on the floor like puppies, fighting each other, all looking very well.

Monday the 23rd of February Jane Kelly.
An Islamic Munich threatens Italy

I remember when the EU was the EEC and before that just "The Common Market.' In those days of my youth it was supposed to be just that, a market for trade. Since then it has become a vast legislature, controlling what we buy, sell, eat, drink, and increasingly how we act and think.

Tuesday 24th February Theodore Dalrymple
You're not nutting me off, are you, doctor?'

I was not in the least surprised that the Equality and Human Rights Commission came to the conclusion that patients detained in psychiatric hospital have five times the risk of preventable death as psychiatrically ill people in prison.
Wedneday the 25th, 'Theodore Dalrymple,
'Fully in love with easeful Marx'

Lessons in politics and economics are never learned, at least not so that they never have to be learned again. But few countries are so impervious to experience as Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world.
Wednesday the 25th of February,
Gabriel Hershman,
Euthanasia: The killing fields of liberalism

Articles about euthanasia, together with intense debates on whether people have the right to commit suicide, seem to grow by the day.

Monday 2nd March. Jane Kelly
'Hoist by his own Coathanger'

Living in England Sir Tom Stoppard naturally finds his intellectual prowess is as much a blessing as a curse. This is not a land where overt cleverness has ever been appreciated.

In early February the playwright revealed that one of the exasperating parts of his job is being forced to dumb down his jokes so that the modern audience understand them.

Friday February 28th Theodore Dalrymple
'The Great Well of Hatred'

Whenever I heard managers in the National Health Service speak in their peculiar Brezhnevian jargon, a mixture of moral exaltation and tedious bureaucratese, I used to wonder whether what they said actually corresponded to the thoughts that ran through their heads, or whether they had to translate them into langue de bois.

Monday 2nd March. Theodore Dalrymple
'It is unnecessary to do what is unnecessary'

Anyone who writes risks error and should be grateful to editors who point out his errors to him, for it is preferable to be corrected before rather than after publication. American editors are better in this respect than British, perhaps because they are assisted by those lowly creatures unknown in Britain called fact-checkers. They can be irritating or absurd at times - I was once asked to provide evidence that Napoleon had been an emperor - but they have several times saved me from egregious error.
Tuesday 1st March. Jane Kelly
'Sexual Cavaliers and Roundheads'

I took a break for lunch during a recent painting day in our local community centre. A male friend and I repaired to one of the many cafes nearby, where we met an attractive blonde woman also on the course, tucking into her tahini, beetroot and aubergine bake.
Tuesday 3rd of March Tim Walker
'Theatre of Blood'

On March 21, I will be treading the boards of the Theatre Royal, Winchester. I have not, however, been reduced to spear-carrying since I made my final exit, just before Christmas, as the Sunday Telegraph’s theatre critic. Along with colleagues from other newspapers – past and present – I will be giving what is optimistically being billed as a ‘master class’ in the art of theatre criticism.
Wednesday 4th of March Jane Kelly
'The Left's Stupidity Information Exchange'

On the Radio 4 PM Programme last night I was interested to hear an interview with a whistleblower. He talked at length about what he'd seen as a school teacher in Oxfordshire in 200, where 1400 girls were molested or raped by Pakistani men, mostly local taxi drivers. I only know that from what I've read in the newspapers. The interview managed to mention not once the men involved.
Friday the 6th of March Jane Kelly.
House of Commons guard calls transexual 'sir' instead of 'miss'. Scotland Yard Acts.

Most simple words are spelled out clearly now by anyone on TV or radio, apart from acronyms such as LGBT which you are duty bound to KNOW! 
My ears pricked up yesterday 5/3/15, when I heard about an LGBT 'Study Day' recently taking place in the House of Commons. Sadly I do know what it means.......

Friday the 6th of March. Gabriel Hershman
'Is the media overdosing on sadism?'

Why did Mohammed Emwazi behead people? Expect no Western self-flagellation coming from me. He's a sadist. Simple.
Sunday March March 8th, Theodore Dalrymple
'Has the Observer being penetrated by the BNP?'

Righteous indignation is one of the most delightful of emotions and that is why I buy the Guardian and Observer newspapers: they guarantee to stimulate me to that delightful frame of mind. This morning, for example, it was the Observer's turn to reduce me to impotent rage. It contained a long article about 'gender inequality' in politics and society, dull as all such articles are bound to be, reflecting the views of the harridan-and-harpy wing of British politics....
Sunday 8th of March Jane Kelly
Cultural Differences

In our newly bifocated culture we have Pakistani taxi drivers in the north of England informing parents if their daughters go out with friends after school, acting as spies controlling all the young women's movements, and a culture among the English where parents, teachers and health-workers turn a blind eye and will not alert anyone even if they suspect serious sexual abuse is taking place. The Devil is in the extremes.
Wednesday 11th March. Theodore Dalrymple
Antithickism: Why should an IQ of 80 stop you being a brain surgeon or a judge? 

Attending court recently, it suddenly occurred to me just how discriminatory our society is. All the lawyers - the judge, the prosecution and defence barristers - were highly intelligent; the defendant was of only average intelligence, or even below. This is a situation repeated scores of times, day after day, up and down the country.
Thursday 12th March. Jane Kelly
The religion which dare not speak its name

Christians are frightened to reveal their religious beliefs to colleagues at work. When they do declare their faith whether in the office or on the shop floor, they are often mocked and presumed to be bigots. Their children are bullied in school. Many Christians now think their faith is being pushed out of its role as a cornerstone of life in Britain.
Thursday 12th of March. Jane Kelly
The Anti Harridan Party. Jeremy for PM.
As the General Election approaches UKIP seem to be fizzling out which could be disappointing if you see them as the only voice of the uneducated working class. All is not lost it seems because the vote for the educated, successful, middle-class equivalent of the party, epitomised by TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson is thriving.
Friday 13th March. Gabriel Hershman
Psychopaths are attracted to the media like iron filings to a magnet

"Society needs to condemn a little more and condone a little less," said former Prime Minister John Major. Good advice. One day we may even implement it when we encounter people we suspect of having evil tendencies. And I don't just mean the likes of obvious suspects such as Joanna Dennehy who professed to kill for fun and apparently laughed throughout her sentencing.

Wednesday 18th March, Gabriel Hershman. Helping police with their enquiries - Bulgarian style

You always know a state has failed whenever it starts talking about an orchestrated campaign from outside to bring it down. Sure, there are the obvious suspects. Zimbabwe's Mugabe has long since claimed that British enemies have been trying to topple him. If so, they haven't been successful - sadly - because the 91-year-old despot is still partying while his people scavenge for elephant meat. Now Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro is trying to pretend that his people running out of toilet paper stems from sabotage by Yankee counter-revolutionaries.

Wednesday 20th of March, Theodore Dalrymple, The BBC - Not even the courage of its moral cowardice

The complete contempt of the upper echelons of the BBC for the intelligence of the British public could not be better illustrated than by its website. My experience of those working at the lower levels of the organisation is of intelligent, dedicated and often talented people frustrated in their wish to do a good job by the mandate from the top to produce what in effect amounts to prolefeed, a pabulum of sport, gossip, celebrity and trivial sensation.
Saturday 21st March. Theodore Dalrymple
Refresh your hatred of humanity

If you want to develop or to refresh a hatred of humanity there is no better way, at least in England, that to go litter-picking in an English rural lane. Recently my wife and I have been so horrified by the increase in littering in the beautiful countryside not far from us that we have decided to do a little clearing up of our own. We can clear about two hundred yards of verge (on both sides of the road) in about half an hour, yielding two sacks of rubbish.
Tuesday 24th of March. Theodore Dalrymple.
Electroconvulsive therapy by radio

Needing the services of a certain shop last week, I found myself waiting in it for three quarters of an hour. The staff were perfectly pleasant and it was not their fault that I had to wait; but what was nearly intolerable to me (nearly intolerable, because in the end I did tolerate it for the sake of the service I needed) was the radio played at high volume, inescapable and all-encompassing, a truly leprous distilment poured into everyone's ears.
24th of March Jane Kelly. The white tribe turns out for their murderous King

While Channel 4's coverage of the interment of Richard III certainly did its bit, the subject was given scant attention by BBC TV, presumably because they couldn't make it multi-cultural enough. Channel 4 had a good go at that too, providing what can best be called an eccentric two night's viewing.
Saturday 21st of March. Jane Kelly
21st Century Women: Drivelling professional victims.

As I have just moved house I am out and about a lot, joining things all over town; art classes, intervarsity club, walking and swimming clubs, continuing education classes, so I am meeting a fair few people. As I do this in a new town, one thing becomes ominously clear to me, I prefer being with men.
In the pub and cafe you can have a drink with a man a good conversation and sometimes a good laugh, for some reason this is rarely possible with women.
Friday March 27th Gabriel Hershman
Miliband. A Marxist Mithradetes.

Vilification of Miliband had reached fever pitch. I wouldn't vote for him under any circumstances but I've never been very keen on character assassination. Yet I don't think even this is the right term. It's more like the kind of juvenile facial/voice ridicule that you find in the school playground. The hatred, expressed in comments posted to tabloid stories, has a racial subtext, albeit carefully concealed - North London, Polish, Marxist etc.
Monday 30th March. Gabriel Hershman
Only Footballers listened to on British TV

Foreigners too often still harbour certain misconceptions about the UK, in particular that the highest standards in broadcasting are always maintained. Perhaps this is an impression dating from the glory days of the BBC. This means new arrivals, as well as accidental visitors to British TV, are taken aback at the shallowness of proceedings, the cheerfully ignorant guests and the rudeness we saw exhibited by chief inquisitor Jeremy Paxman when interviewing Ed Miliband recently.
Monday 30th March. Jane Kelly
Further Tales from the White Reservation

One of the reasons I recently left London was the fearful over-crowding, buses and tubes packed every day of the week. I don't vote UKIP but I was also tired of moving in crowds whilst hardly hearing an English voice.
Oxford is multi-cultural, but the majority are English. It's the most expensive town outside the capital  with house prices ten times higher than average earnings.
Sunday 29th March. Theodore Dalrymple.
A Marie Antoinette of Greek Debt

The left-wing French newspaper, Libération,recently called the Greek Minister of Finances, Yanis Veroufakis, the pop-star of the left. For me that is hardly a term of approbation, rather the reverse, but the newspaper no doubt thought otherwise. It printed a picture of him, just off his powerful motor cycle, dressed in a leather jacket, T-short and jeans, carrying his helmet.

Monday 6th April Alistair Miller 
Nicola Sturgeon. The Ice Maiden Cometh

There can be few among the English who were unmoved by Gordon Brown’s impassioned pro-union speech on the eve of the Scottish referendum. The passage about the Scots, English, Welsh and Irish lying side-by-side across the war cemeteries of Europe, all in a common cause, was particularly powerful. It needed to be said but in the circumstances it needed a Scotsman to say it.
Wednesday 8th of April. Gabriel Hershman.
So you thought the Greeks were bust?

Never, but never, has a journey of less than 200 miles offered such a transformation. I'm talking about a drive from Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, to Thessaloniki in northern Greece. It's not a long way. Having lived in Portugal, it's like going from Albufeira in the Algarve to Coimbra, a little north of Lisbon. Or, to put it simpler, it's not as far as London to Liverpool.
There are the obvious differences: the whiff of balmier air, the welcome appearance of palms and cacti, the thermometer five Celsius higher, the bearded young Greek men - all looking like budding Aristotles. Yet I'm talking more about infrastructure and general allure. For all the talk of crisis, Thessaloniki looked undaunted and confident.
Friday 10th of April 2015 Theodore Dalrymple
'Not ordinary Yorkshire lads as we know them Jim'

According to an article in the Guardian, two 'ordinary Yorkshire lads' went on holiday to Turkey, from whence they travelled on to Syria, presumably to join ISIS. Their names were Hassan Munshi and Talha Asmal. What is ordinary in Yorkshire has evidently changed out of all recognition in my lifetime. In my day, ordinary Yorkshire lads didn't go to Turkey, let alone to Syria, no doubt to the benefit of both.
Tuesday 14th of April. Gabriel Hershman
Cameron - The Political Prince who turned into a Frog

We were watching Sky News' coverage of the general election when my Bulgarian wife commented on the triviality and vacuousness of the proceedings. We witnessed "tough-guy" Miliband - at least in his recent incarnation - keen to point out his resilience following an attack by Michael Fallon. We then had Nigel Farage  pretending to be sympathetic to Miliband, doubtless hoping to get a few more votes from disgruntled ex-Tories. Sometimes political machinations are just so unsubtle. "I'll get into bed with Miliband if it helps me win South Thanet," he seemed to be saying.
Thursday 23rd of April. Gabriel Hershman
Tory Shock Jocks emerge from their slime pools
Shock jocks and jaundiced journalists - those who just say something to court attention - are not serious figures. They do not realise that words can have repercussions or that some malleable, moronic misanthrope may even act on them. They are shallow people who seek, and may get, an instant reaction but leave nothing for posterity.
Friday 24th of April Jane Kelly
BBC audience selection as honest as a used car advert

Nigel Farage is suing the BBC for planting a biased left-wing audience at last week's TV election debate from Westminster Hall. After some investigation, journalists managed to convince the BBC - who initially promised 'transparency', then tried to suppress the information - to reveal the details of how they had formed the audience. They used a ratio, they said, to break the audience up according to which political party they supported.
Monday the 27th of April, Jane Kelly,
The Raft of the Medusa

One of the best things about childhood was listening to fairy-tales, often terrifying and lurid,  involving the abandonment and anguish of young children. Hearing about the Babes in the Wood, The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel and Blue Beard, infants could only feel a thrill of fear concurrent with a deep contentment at knowing that the story was  taking place far away, in a distant time and place, while you the listener was safely tucked up at home in the real world, where such horrors didn't really happen.

Monday the 27th of April, Theodore Dalrymple, In Northamptonshire polythene grows on trees

In Northamptonshire polythene grows on trees and no one picks it, at least if my journey down the A14 yesterday is anything to go by.

At the end of my journey I felt thoroughly wretched. There were burst tyres and other broken bits of vehicles strewn by the road. Of the many tons of litter along it I shall not speak. The Highways Agency had left orange and white plastic cones and the rusting frames of temporary road signs, with their accompanying sandbags, every few hundred yards. The overall impression was of a slovenly country for which no one cares. In one lay-by I saw a family happily sitting having a picnic, surrounded by large amounts of litter - to which they would no doubt add in due course.
The 28th of April, Jane Kelly,
Nepal -  the Gods are unappeased

Everyone feels stunned and saddened by the natural disaster in Nepal. After an earthquake 5,000 are dead and eight million people, about a quarter of the population, are homeless as seventy percent of buildings have been destroyed. Nothing could have prevented this catastrophe, but the aftermath could have been better. Nepal is prone to seismic shifts and experiences bad earth tremors about every five years.
Friday the 1st of May Theodore Dalrymple
Legal Protection Rackets

A client of a neighbour of mine, who is a professional, had a complaint made against him by a client who was put up to it by a claim company, which I turn had been supplied, possibly illegally but certainly unscrupulously, with information by a solicitor. For the privilege of having the claim adjudicated by the relevant authority, my neighbour had to pay £500 - non-refundable, whatever the result of the adjudication.

Friday the 1st of May, Jane Kelly,
'Othering' in Oxford

My introduction to Oxford community thinking came last November when I attended a meeting at the University Church, to discuss the future of the church of England. Some of the great and the good were there including Diarmaid MacCulloch, Kt, FBA, FSA, FRHistS,  Oxford Professor of the History of the Church. He was once ordained as a deacon in the Church of England, but declined the priesthood because of what he saw as the church's equivocal attitude towards homosexuality.
The 1st of May, Jane Kelly,
Unspeakable Crimes

I was riveted to read that Ione Wells, an Oxford student, aged 20, was savagely attacked on a London street. She then wrote about the experience for her university paper and has now hit the national news. She has kick-started her career as a journalist, and discovered that a woman reporter can often do well by cannibalising her own life, as long as she is a good writer, which Ione seems to be.

Sunday 3rd of May Jane Kelly
'Excuse me for Living'

May Day arrives in all its glory accompanied by a fresh set of formal apologies. Just as well as we might all forget ourselves and start running about having unbridled fun, forgetting about inclusivity and diversity, saying the wrong thing to people and jumping into rivers in a dangerous fashion.
Monday the 3rd of May Theodore Dalrymple
'Honest guv, it weren't me that done it'

The former Governor of the Bank of England, Lord King, told radio audiences that, in effect, no human agency, certainly not the last Labour Government, was responsible for the economic crash from whose effects we have still not recovered. He told listeners:
Wednesday May 6th Gabriel Hershman
Brand and Miliband - Laurel coming out for Hardy

Will Russell Brand "come out" for Ed Miliband? I'm reminded of Richard Burton's comment in his published diaries on hearing that Sinatra had come out for Reagan during the latter's bid to become governor of California in 1970. Burton said it was "like Laurel coming out for Hardy". Burton thought Reagan was a dangerous guy. Well, as it turned out, the old cowboy's instinct did us some good in foreign policy, albeit perhaps by serendipity, when he became president 10 years later.
Wednesdy 6th May, Theodore Dalrymple,
Have a fag, it won't cost you?

I abominate smoking and I do not grow or sell tobacco, nor do I have any shares in tobacco companies. During my medical career, I discouraged (not very successfully, I fear) all my patients from smoking, using all the usual arguments.

Sunday May 17th  Theodore Dalrymple
Labour The Party of Green Eyed Envy

There is one consolation in the election results for the former leader of the Labour Party, Mr Miliband, and his journalistic acolytes such as Polly Toynbee: they won't have to pay mansion tax in the near future. On the other hand, it is possible that they would never have had to pay it, for the difficulties in implementing it would have been a convenient excuse for abandoning it.
20th of May, Theodore Dalrymple
Justice, lawyers and the mob

A friend of mine was a key prosecution witness in the trial of Victorino Chua, the nurse of Filipino origin at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport who has just been found guilty on two counts of murder and twenty-one counts of poisoning and attempted poisoning. I attended the trial for a day (not one of the two days on which my friend gave evidence), during the cross-examination of Professor Frier, an expert for the defence.
Tuesday the 1st of June, Jane Kelly
A Visit To Babel 

Arrived at a hospital in London today for an annual cancer follow up, beginning with a blood test. All the staff in the phlebotomy clinic were Asian. The man dealing with me was very brusque, not unkind but just lacking any courteous language, like 'please' or 'would you mind,' and he called me 'Dear.' 
Monday June 1st Jane Kelly
'Our Lesbian who art in heaven'

The Anglican church I attended in London was always full on Sundays. The one I visit now in Oxford is not so popular, we have no vicar and the congregation is older and mostly women. Country parishes seem to be in most trouble and according to a new survey the decline in the Church of England has accelerated rapidly
Monday 1st June. Theodore Dalrymple 
Is FIFA the future of British multicultural politics ?

It is too much to hope, I suppose, that FIFA's present difficulties will put an end once and for all to the horrible four-yearly fortnight of football to the exclusion of everything else. What I particularly dislike about it is to see those silly little English flags flying from cars as they drive past.
Monday 9th of June, Jane Kelly, 
No country for old women

I took a different bus route though Oxford today, 9/6/15, up towards the Churchill Hospital and the Wood Farm council estate. For once the bus was packed and among those standing, next to me, was a tiny frail old lady. All around us ethnically diverse young people, possibly students, they were all tattoos and nose rings, were sitting down. There were also some very large men occupying the seats.
Sunday 8th of June Gabriel Hershman
Dead drunk for Tuppence

The so-called disease of alcoholism has been much discussed following Charles Kennedy's tragically premature death. I cite the dictionary definition of disease - "an unhealthy condition in a person, animal, or plant which is caused by bacteria or infection".

Tuesday 9th of June, Jane Kelly,
The Theory of Natural Gayness

In London on Monday, 8/6/15, I was interested to see on the travel page of the Metro, a piece about the problems of gay couples travelling together. This is not a matter of visiting hostile places like Russia or Zimbabwe and pretending to be just friends sharing a room. This is about the need, very obvious apparently, for a room with a double bed. The writer noted that there might 'be a problem on the Galapagos Islands, as there is no sizable gay community living there yet.'
Thursday 11th of April Theodore Dalrymple
A better class of thief across the Channel

I have read several newspaper articles recently that refer to the puzzle of British productivity. The puzzle is that it has not risen of latter years, though the economy has 'recovered' in the sense that its output has increased. This can only mean that people are working longer hours or that more of them are working, or both.

Wednesday 18th June. Jane Kelly
Life under the coming Caliphate

I thought the avocado looked good, and a better price than Tesco so I went into a Muslim owned Green Grocers in the Cowley Road. Inside the dark interior I stood at the counter behind an old Muslim man with a long beard who was having trouble with a credit card machine. I waited patiently puzzling over the shelves of exotic veg some of them covered in dust apparently mouldering away.
Thursday June17th. Theodore Dalrymple
Monstrous sexist outburst from Spanish Mayor

It is surely not enough that Professor Sir Timothy Hunt, should have been forced to resign from that great centre of disinterested enquiry, University College, London, for having drawn attention to the fact that women tend to cry more than men; he should be expelled forthwith from the Royal Society, stripped of his knighthood and his British citizenship, deprived of the Nobel Prize, not allowed to vote, and all his papers should be expunged from the scientific record as if he had never existed. Only in that way can the terrible damage he did when speaking to the press in South Korea be repaired.

Thursday 18th June. Jane Kelly
'Mental illness: a disorder of capitalism?'

Visiting a local hospital in Oxford this afternoon, I had a look at a table covered in leaflets designed to be useful to the public. Among yellow 'Oxfordshire Autism Alert Cards,' warnings against flu and smoking, adverts for the NHS union, UNISON, and among these lay a red pile of leaflets clearly entitled in black, 'Marxism 2015. Ideas For Revolution.'
Wednesday 24th, June Gabriel Hershman,
'Coconut Traitors'

The first episode of the BBC documentary series The Met reminded me of my time in Tottenham more than 15 years ago and my relief at having escaped. Mind you, the second episode made me understand the reasoning of a Notting Hill resident who always scarpered at carnival time. The romanticised version may have Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant frollicking under nightingales in a quiet residential square. The reality depicted mews dwellers boarding up windows while revellers cheerfully urinated in doorways and basements.
Thursday 25th June. Jane Kelly
Is the Queen a Chrematomaniac ?

As a typical English bod my home is my castle, or my little palace. I'm proud of it and keep it cleanish, tidyish and functioning. It's warm in winter and cool in summer due to my spending quite a lot on my boiler, good radiators, pipes and plumbing. Outside I also take pride in my garden, front and back, spending terrible amounts of money in overpriced garden centres and nurseries.

25th of June, Jane Kelly
Anglican Bishops silent on Britain being wiped out by tidal immigration

Most people are very worried about the number of migrants surging towards us by sea and land. Some of us wrestle with the moral dilemma this poses. I think they need to be stopped from coming here, and we should patrol our coasts with gun boats if necessary and blow up the channel tunnel.
Saturday 27 of June. Theodore Dalrymple
Thieves are not responsible for their actions?

Every few days when I am in my house in France I receive a telephone call from India claiming to be from the technical department of Microsoft. The first time I received such a call a young woman informed me that my computer was on the verge of implosion and that if I did not follow her instructions, give her all the details of my computer and internet accounts, etc, my computer would shortly be closed down.

29th of June. Jane Kelly
The BBC converts to Islam

The current ISIS terror attacks abroad, in Tunisia, France and Kuwait are successfully spreading alarm and despondency, not just in beleaguered British people. Haras Rafiq, Managing Director of the Quilliam Foundation, a think tank established and funded to challenge extremism and encourage pluralism, told the Sunday Programme on R4 this week, that he is also having to change his holiday plans.

Saturday 27th June. Gabriel Hershman.
Gay Bulgaria is still living in a Britain of 31 years ago

Organisers of last weekend's Bulgaria's Gay Pride rally decided to show a free screening of a rollicking movie called Pride - one that deservedly won widespread praise for its ensemble acting and direction. The film showed how a group of flamboyant London gays and lesbians supported the 1984-5 miners' strike, winning over homophobic Welsh macho miners in the process. As a piece of art it was, undeniably, outstanding. The audience of mostly young Bulgarians - many of whom were perhaps gay (but who knows?) - were rolling in the aisles and even falling over each other on the staircase (well, it was free) at this uproarious celebration of sexual freedom depicted by charismatic performers.
Tuesday 30th June. Theodore Dalrymple.
The Greek and Versailles Money go Round

Casting my eye idly over my bookshelves the other day, I picked out The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes, his internationally best-selling attack on the Treaty of Versailles, published immediately after his resignation from the British delegation to the Peace Conference in 1919. He predicted it would lead to disaster, and certainly disaster was not long in coming, though I leave it to historian to decide how far the disaster was actually caused by the treaty. After all, if you say that disaster is coming, you are seldom wrong. Perhaps we should have a law making it illegal to deny that the Treaty of Versailles caused the disaster of the 1930s. It would simplify matters greatly.
Monday 6th July Theodore Dalrymple
Between a Furniture Depository and a Meat Warehouse

Going by underground tunnel between terminals recently at Frankfurt Airport, I thought I saw, or rather heard, the future. To help the passengers on their way, to calm them down, de-stress them, as they hurried to catch their flight, birdsong was relayed over the public address system. Could it be that one day this recorded birdsong will be the only birdsong that there is, or the only birdsong that the great mass of humanity will ever hear?
7th July Gabriel Hershman
Euro-loathing in Bulgaria

Two tenants live side by side. One lives frugally and strictly within his paltry salary. He is just about able to pay for food, rent and other necessities. His neighbour earns more but gets greedy, making all kinds of extravagant purchases. It transpires that the richer neighbour has defaulted on his rent for so long that he now owes a fortune. In the end he is faced with eviction. Should the more frugal tenant feel sorry for his spendthrift neighbour, even - God forbid! - bail him out and assume common side with him against the (wealthier) landlord?
July 10th  Theodore Dalrymple
The European Construction (EU) - a House built on Sand

Tell me what you would like to ban, and I will tell you who you are. It occurred to me that a book of the ten things that a hundred intellectuals would like to ban would be very revealing.
Sunday 12th of July. Jane Kelly
'Church of England spends £1,000,000
on gay weekends with conflict resolution experts'

I can still remember when it used to be a case of, 'More tea and another slice of cake, vicar?' and let's keep the conversation light and pleasant if we can. Certain subjects were never raised if a clergyman, and it was always a man, came round to visit your mother. Topics such as religion, politics and money never came up, and the topic of sex was unheard of, quite unthinkable as a subject of discussion for decent people.

Monday 13th. July. Jane Kelly 
Forced Marriage

The police were being lambasted again, by voices from the BBC, nothing new there. A damning report has recently been published, 2/7/15, by the Inspectorate of Constabulary, stating that the police are neglectful over child abuse cases. They must change their attitudes and put 'the protection of children at their core,' and at present it says, little is done to arrest suspects.
Monday 20th July, Theodore Dalrymple,
The French follow the Anglo Saxons to les chiens.

In my long-distant childhood phase of collecting stamps - it was after the dinosaur phase which I now rather regret did not last the rest of my life - I thought that French stamps were among the most beautiful that there were. They were always engraved, they were monochrome, and generally had as their subject famous and beautiful buildings or men or women of achievement.
Thursday 23rd July Theodore Dalrymple
Bushmeat and Metrophobia

I try to avoid big cities these days, but they have their advantages. For example I went to Paris recently to the exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of Le Corbusier's death. It is said that one should keep one's friendships in good repair, but so it is with one enmities as well, and I can hardly think of a figure worthier of hatred than Le Corbusier, still uncritically hero-worshipped in French architectural schools. It is true that some of the French are gradually coming to the view, long knowable and known that Corbusier was a fascist, not in the debased 1968 sense of the word, but in the boot-in-the-face 1938 sense of it. A page of his writing, or a glance at his plans for the Ville Radieuse should have been sufficient to convince anybody of it.
Sunday 26th July. Jane Kelly
Sleeping with Islam

Continuing the liberal BBC's policy of finding strange bedfellows the Sunday Programme today 26/7/15 came from the East London Mosque, the oldest mosque in London.

Sunday 26th July. Jane Kelly
An enormous waterspout of Marxist nonsense from the LSE

In a recent article, writer James Bartholomew noted that British universities with their hard left, levelling economic doctrines have spread disaster far and wide, across the world.  In particular he noted that 'the London School of Economics can rightly claim more that it's share.' It certainly has, leading the world in propounding fruitless economic misery to millions.

Monday 3rd of August. The Editor.
The European Convention for the
Destruction of National Sovereignty

David Cameron's proposal to fine or imprison landlords who rent to illegal immigrants is a contemptuous PR ploy. He and his advisors know full well that any attempt to turn somebody out of his house will be instantly overturned by judges as a breach of an immigrant's human rights under the European Convention. We will be heavily fined.
Wild Locusts and Honey

1.In those days came the Prophet Jeremy, preaching in the wilderness of North Islington,

2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of Clem is at hand.

3. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Benn, saying, The voice of one crying in Designer Warehouse, Prepare ye the way of Marx, make profits nought.
Thursday 6th of August, Jane Kelly,

Almost every generation has accused the previous one of being vain and shallow, but it is hard not to take that view looking at the young people, mainly from Japan and Korea currently swarming over Oxford. But this strange cult of Narcissism is a global phenomenon, at least in the developed parts of the globe, and no one escapes.

Saturday the 8th August, Theodore Dalrymple
Is the Devil a Landlord?

If one used only the Guardian as a guide to reality, one would imagine that, where property rental was concerned, only landlords were dishonest and exploitative, never tenants. There are a score articles easily available on its website about the evils of landlords, but not one about the evils of tenants. Indeed, in a certain worldview, the very word landlord is synonymous with evil. As capitalist means a corpulent man in a top hat smoking a fat cigar and clutching a bag marked dollars, so landlord means someone who charges exorbitantly for a family to inhabit a poky, mouldy, rat-infested cubby-hole.
Thursday 20th August. Jane Kelly
Britain's Matricidal Feminists - the death of the family

The English have never been famous for their parenting skills or their food. The food has lately got a lot better but parenting sadly has not. British schoolchildren are unhappier than children in Ethiopia and Algeria because they are bullied, left out by their peers and under pressure to look good, according to a study carried out over the last decade by the University of York, commissioned by The Children's Society.
22nd August. Jane Kelly
Britain's gull women, mobbing and pecking males.

On Wednesday 19th August, 2015, BBC Woman's Hour offered emergency support to beleaguered British girls. The theme of the feature, advertised on their web page was,

'Teaching girls and young women to stand up for themselves - Natasha Devon, the founder of Self-Esteem Team, and confidence coach, Annette Du Bois, reveal some of the practical ways to teach young women to stand their ground and speak up for themselves.'........
History Repeats itself. Aug 24th, AD 410 The Third Siege and Sack of Rome by the Goths

The king of the Goths, who no longer dissembled his appetite for plunder and revenge, appeared in arms, under the walls of the capital; and the trembling senate, without any hopes of relief, prepared by a desperate re-sistance, to delay the ruin of their country. But they were un-able to guard against the secret conspiracy of their slaves and domestics; who either from birth or interest, were attached to the cause of the enemy. At the hour of midnight, the Salarian gate was silently opened, and the inhabitants were awakened by the tremendous sound of the Gothic trumpet. Eleven hundred and sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the imperial city, which had subdued and civilized so considerable a part of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia. Edward Gibbon .........
Thursday 3rd September. Jane Kelly
All men are guilty of rape but white men are more guilty than others

BBC Woman's Hour, Wednesday 2.9.15, excelled itself for soft-pedalling and pusillanimity, with an attempted discussion about the sexual grooming of young girls, although it was insisted of course that this problem also involves boys. Invited onto the programme were Cass Harrison, Barnardo's Deputy Director of Policy no less, and Sophie Humphreys who is, most worryingly, an 'independent advisor to the government' on child exploitation in Oxfordshire.  ...........
Saturday Saturday 12th September. Theodore Dalrymple.  Prime Minister Corbyn. While insincerity is usually a vice, sincerity is not always a virtue.'

No method of electing a party leader could be better suited to the election of a dour monomaniac than that adopted by the Labour Party; and if the rumours are true that certain Tories have signed up to vote for Mr Corbyn because, if chosen, he would make Labour unelectable, nothing would better illustrate the idiocy to which certain Tories are prone..........
Tuesday 8th of September. Jane Kelly.
The child brothel that is liberal Britain

Reluctant as they are to refer to ethnicity, BBC news had to show us the faces of the latest Muslim men sentenced for child-rape. Six Asians from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Bradford, who groomed two schoolgirls for sex between 2006 and 2012 were jailed this week, 7/9/15 for between three and nineteen and a half years.The Old Bailey heard the abuse carried out in Aylesbury, where the girls were sold to all comers, involved multiples rapes, child prostitution and administering substances to 'stupefy.' ..........
Sunday 13th September Gabriel Hershman.
The Refugee Crisis: The Widow of Sofia

Bulgaria is categorically not a destination favoured by refugees. Most ordinary people - and even officials - are openly hostile to foreigners, especially Muslims. Mindful of these attitudes, and a welcome straight out of the Katie Hopkins charm school, most simply bypass Bulgaria and head west via Macedonia........
To read previous blogs below, click on each title
Monday 21st September. Theodore Dalrymple
A Creature of the Saudi Night

I happened to leave Bodrum, in Turkey, the day after a boat of migrants capsized nearby, drowning 22 of them (211 were saved). It is now a regular occurrence, apparently, hardly worthy any more of notice. I flew to Istanbul Airport, still (for now) called Ataturk, where I at once noticed an important difference from Bodrum.

Monday 21st September Theodore Dalrymple
'Walking the Dog'

People always like to talk about their dogs: it is one subject about which they can be frank and unaffected, for no one enters a conversation about dogs who does not love them.
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Tuesday 23 September. Jane Kelly
'The New Christianity. 'Sod my neighbour, I want personal fulfillment.'

Visiting a beautiful Buckinghamshire village recently I was charmed to see an ancient country church with a tiny, thatched infant's school attached. I pictured the delight of small children going into such a place  which looked like an illustration from a book of fairy stories from my own childhood.
28th September 2015. Jane Kelly.
"More from the creeping fungus of the dyslexia industry"

I was once watching a programme about the survivors of Hiroshima, old people who were asked to draw pictures of their memories to commemorate the dropping of the second atomic bomb. They all drew remarkably well, or it seemed so to my eyes.

Friday 2nd October. Theodore Dalrymple
'Should Acid Throwers be given Health and Safety Guidelines?'

The headline to a story in the Times of 29 September caught my eye:
Acid attacker drove 300 miles for revenge but got the wrong man
Apparently, then, there was a right man to get with his acid attack......

The Salisbury Review Weekly Blogs
Wednesday October 7th. Jane kelly
'Tiger Mums no take away liberal British education'

When I was young I used to be told not to speak to strangers in particular 'strange men.' Now for my own safety and that of others, I generally avoid talking to yummie mummies eating non gluten scones  in organic coffee shops, and anyone who says they are a school teacher.
Friday September 9th.Theodore Dalrymple
"Jeremy Corbyn: The courage of his scruffiness?"

Mr Corbyn is scruffy in a social worker kind of way, but whether this is natural to him or a matter of calculation I do not know. I suspect that it comes to him naturally, or at least is now second nature to him (no one, after all, is born to be scruffy, or can do nothing about it), and that in effect he has the courage of his scruffiness,......
Wednesday 21st of October. Theodore Dalrymple 
Tea and Stoicism

When two Englishmen meet, said Doctor Johnson, their first talk is of the weather. This may have been so in his day, but I suspect that these days they are more likely to talk of the Premier League, a much less stimulating and interesting subject. As for Englishwomen, I suspect their first talk is of pills, at least if my observation of them in buses and tea-rooms is anything to go by.
Friday 23rd of October. Theodore Dalrymple
The English show their sense of Justice

Facebook and the internet are certainly bringing the intrinsic decency and sense of fair play of the British into prominence, as well as their refined use of language.

In response to the news that a man was stabbed to death in Basildon, apparently by a gang of young people, the internet commentators did not wait for a guilty verdict by a court of law: for them, it was sentence first, verdict afterwards.
Saturday 31st of  August. Theodore Dalrymple
By the waters of human depravity.........

We often forget - or at least, I often forget - on just how many ordinary, decent people the comfort of our lives depends. I was reminded of this the other day when a man from the water company called to check the quality of the water supply. Our house had been selected at random by a computer for a test, representative of the area as a whole..........
Saturday 31st of October. Jane Kelly
Transient beauty, pimply youths and the take away Chinese bride trade

Most women realise quite early on that life is unfair. It is possible to lead the first thirty five years or so in a fog of illusion about this but then as one's looks suddenly and unaccountably start to fail and you see your mother's face looking back from the mirror, a woman's optimistic outlook can change.
31st of October Theodore Dalrymple.
'The Codfather'

Sometimes I think that British popular culture is a little like North Korean propaganda. It is crude, unpleasant and inescapable. If you criticise it, you are taken for an enemy of the people. One should not exaggerate, of course: by inescapable, I mean in certain circumstances. North Korean propaganda, by contrast, is inescapable in all circumstances......
Monday 2nd of November. Jane Kelly
Church of England has a Theological Vasectomy

Many of us church goers will have had our breakfast spoilt on the 1st of November ,Eve of the Feast of All Souls, by newspaper headlines such as,
'Preaching to people will put them off God, Church warns members.'
Friday 13th of November Jane Kelly
Eight years for a kinky love affair

Eight years is a long time to go to jail. That kind of sentence is only given for very severe crimes, whilst the courts seek lower sentences and non custodial punishments for offences such as shop lifting, burglary and fraud, which previously carried a stiff sentence.
Friday 13th November. Jane Kelly
Worshipping at the altar of stupidity

We've all got used to public figures being taken to Room 101, thrashed and sent forth to apologise profusely for whatever heinous words they have foolishly uttered. On November 4th Tory MP for Montgomeryshire Glyn Davies blocked a local member of the Liberal Democrats who asked him to oppose the tax credit cuts. After being contacted by a journalist, Mr Davies then said on Twitter that he was unsympathetically, 'blocking all the whingers. He of course apologised.
Sunday 15th November. Theodore Dalrymple
Race Industry reports record output figures

'British Muslims report big rise in Islamophobia' said the headlines of an article in the Guardian for 12 November. From the headline, I thought I would read that there had been an increase in the number of vicious attacks on Muslims qua Muslims, or at least of acts of physical desecration.
Sunday the 15th of November. Theodore Dalrymple
Sanctimonious, sentimental, self-righteous, Pecksniffian guff.

We live in a golden age of unctuousness, at least if the covers of the Lancet, one of the most important medical journals in the world, are anything to go by. On those covers, the editor, or some employee of the journal, chooses a sentence from the current edition to be inscribed upon it in large letters, presumably on the grounds of its importance or elegance.

Saturday 21st November, Theodore Dalrymple
Molenbeek. Time to declare it an Islamic Republic?

On my last visit but one to Brussels, my hosts asked me what I would like to see. 'Molenbeek,' I replied, for I had heard that much of it was virtually a North African ghetto and I wanted to see it for myself. My hosts were game and took me there. They told me that it was de facto extraterritorial to Belgium and it was advisable not to go at night.Taxes were not collected from businesses there, and the only functioning activity of the state was the payment of social security.

Tuesday the 17th November. Jane Kelly
Packaged without Care - The Social Workers' Nightmare

When I moved to Oxford in November last year, it was disappointing to see that the nursing in the big local hospital was no kinder or more attentive than in London. Nursing assistants recruited from agencies still seemed to be doing most of the hands on work. But at least there  is a plan in place to tackle the problem of 'bed-blocking.'
Wednesday 25th November. Theodore Dalrymple.
Train to be an illiterate at a British University

A few days ago I saw a little item in the Guardian newspaper whose size belied its significance. It said that Indian students were increasingly abandoning Britain as a place to study for America: and no one could blame them for doing so.
Wednesday 25th of November. Theodore Dalrymple.
How to Dress for the Ghetto

The day before the Swedish coalition government of Social Democrats and Greens announced that it was reversing its refugee policy and closing its borders to all but the minimum numbers of refugees laid down by the European Union, the website of the Guardian newspaper ran a video about the Swedish Democrats, a far-right party growing in support because of its anti-immigration stance.
27th November. Jane Kelly
Chelsea Marxists keep the faith

There was a tiny feature squeezed up the end of the Today Programme, 24/11/15, not given any space but it managed to be riveting by giving a terrible glimpse into the education now on offer in some of our schools.

The question being asked by Today, was one which would drive most intelligent youngsters wild with rage, 'How can we tell children and young teenagers about terrorism?'

Friday the 4th of December. Theodore Dalrymple.
Was Shakespeare Chinese?

Being a literary, book-buying type, the Oxford University Press informs me by e-mail of its new publications in the field of literature. And next year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, so it was only to be expected that there would be an even large number of books published about him than usual.
Thursday the 10th of December, Jane Kelly
'The 'Donald' Trumpet shall sound'

There is no law saying anyone has to take Donald Trump seriously and until recently not many did, even his wives. For most he represented the ugliness of American capitalism, admirable in its energy but unpleasant to look on in all its raw vulgarity.
10th of December, Jane Kelly
Even in tragedy marriage is a dirty word at the BBC

This morning, December 10th 2015, Radio 4 news reported that a Syrian migrant had lost his wife and seven children including a tiny baby when their wooden boat capsized and sank off the coast of Greece. Yet another tragic tale from the current Syrian crisis and apparently a profound problem for the BBC, as they could not work out just how to tell the story, after all it was about a married couple.
Sunday 13th of December. Theodore Dalrymple.
Archbishop Rowan WIlliams the theobabbler.

In the introduction to his magisterial anthology, the late John Gross declined to offer a definition of good prose. His taste was as catholic as his knowledge was deep and wide, but it was also sure. Gross included examples of the flowery and the spare, the tragic and the comic, the poetical and the matter-of-fact in his book, but every extract was good of its type. On the matter of good prose, Gross was truly ecumenical......
Wednesday 16th of December. Jane Kelly
Where Is the Feminist Rage?

As someone who grew up in the 70s I do wonder where the dungaree clad feminists are these days; the ones I used to know, furious for independence and parity with men, who went out at night to 'claim back the streets,' for women who wanted to walk the pavements in safely. Beginning in 1977 there were 'Reclaim The Night' torch-lit gatherings in Leeds, York, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Brighton and London. They were organised by the Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group, inspired by a feature in the magazine, Spare Rib.

Sunday the 20th of December. Theodore Dalrymple
Middle Class Beastliness.

Man, as far as I know, is the only creature who can envisage his own extinction: not only envisage it, but enjoy doing so. Deadly new viruses, collisions with asteroids, overwhelming floods: all are the stuff of Hollywood films.

22nd December. Theodore Dalrymple
The Companions of Silence

I have reached the age when friends start to suffer serious illnesses and today I had to take one of them (whom I have known for more than 40 years) to hospital for his radiotherapy. Oddly enough, this was not the depressing experience one might have expected it to be.

Thursday 31st of December Theodore Dalrymple
Plumbing the shallows of the human mind

Anyone who examines the contents of his own mind without prejudice in his own favour will be obliged to admit that the vast majority of his thoughts are of the utmost banality: I'd like a cup of tea, it's nearly time for bed, why don't my visitors go home, etc. This, perhaps, explains why instant communication is such a bad thing. Not nation shall speak peace unto nation, as is inscribed in entrance to Broadcasting House, but person shall transmit trivia unto person.
Jan 2016 James Monkton 
Britain closer to the heart of Europe? More likely closer to its knees.

2016 is being hyped-up to become a momentous year in British political history, as we head for a decisive 'Leave' or 'Remain' referendum vote that will settle once and for all the matter of the UK's membership of the European Union. This, it is solemnly pronounced, is surely the most important constitutional event for a generation with massive ramifications for Britain's place in the world. Except, in all likelihood, it is unlikely to be anything of the sort.
Thursday 7th January, Jane Kelly
Lock Up Your Daughters

Many ladies of a certain age give up on joining New Year street festivities. The pleasure of being jostled about in a huge melee for hours in the cold palls after about the age of thirty. Many young people love it of course, especially in Germany where 'Sylvesternacht' is a huge festival with fireworks. I enjoy it vicariously so my ears were alerted when I heard on BBC Radio 4 on Monday that something had gone wrong during the end of year celebrations in Cologne.
Tuesday 12th of January. Jane Kelly
When rape is allowed?

In church on Sunday migrants were mentioned in the prayers and there was a call for the churches in Germany to keep hold of  'justice.' All very vague and I didn't feel that the problems of German women living in a new society were being addressed. In the evening I went to a neighbourhood party. I wasn't intending to talk about politics but somehow over the Ottolenghi salads and Waitrose cheeses, it happened. I made a rather oblique comment about how surprising it is that no feminist voices have been raised about the recent attacks on women in Germany, Switzerland and Finland.
Thursday January the 14th. Theodore Dalrymple.
Second Death of Christ? No, of David Bowie.

According to an article in The Guardian, a hole has recently been ripped in the fabric of the universe. Though I am no astrophysicist, this sounded pretty serious, as if we are all about to be annihilated in a hail of antimatter and turned into photons. Even ISIS would be preferable to that.
Monday 24th January. Theodore Dalrymple.
You asked the BBC for bread and it gave you Jimmy Savile

A man who had worked for the BBC in the 1960s told me some time ago that James, aka Jimmy, Savile was employed by the BBC because it was worried that there were so few working-class broadcasters. I had no reason to suppose that he was lying or mistaken, though I have no corroborative evidence either. But I suspect that what he said was true, and that Savile fitted the bill because the toffs of Auntie thought the working classes were intrinsically vulgar and stupid.
Saturday 30th January 2015. James Monkton
The Great Referendum Scam,

David Cameron is readying himself for his smoke and mirrors 'showdown' with the EU this month, boldly demanding trivial and inconsequential concessions for the UK in a heroic gladiatorial contest that has all the authenticity of a choreographed wrestling match. He will return in anticipatory triumph, all Chamberlainesque, waving a symbolically white piece of paper and declaring that 'there will be capitulation in our time'.
Tuesday 2nd February. Theodore Dalrymple,
Equalities The King Herod Solution

Awful, terrible news! I noticed a small item in last week's British Medical Journal that once again revealed the cruel and callous nature of patriarchy. Under the headline Fall in Death Rate we learn that 'Between 2009 and 2015 deaths from leukaemia in children have fallen by 38 per cent in boys and 20 per cent in girls.'

Wednesday 3rd of Fabruary. Jane Kelly
Did Queen Victoria wear a Burka?

But it doesn't matter what how bad the crimes committed, if they involve migrants or Islam the BBC are as evasive as a Victorian aunt on the matter of copulation. Yesterday BBC Woman's Hour, which purports to represent the interests of women, invited on Nafisa Bakka, who runs the 'Amaliah' website which encourages women to dress modestly. It shows lots of skinny girls in black leggings, long coats, some in niqab, some not. The other guest was Kerry Taylor, an expert on vintage fashion, who runs an auction house where items such as a Schaparelli jacket sell for £24,000. I wondered why the programme had brought these two together, but it soon became clear.

Origins of the Salisbury Review The Honeyford Affair
A Multicultural Witch Hunt

The Salisbury Review, previously an academic political journal, found itself in the headlines when in 1985 it published an article on race and education by the headmaster of Drummond Middle School in Bradford, Ray Honeyford. Time has vindicated Honeyford's courageous stand.

Roger Scruton in his obituary for Ray Honeyford wrote, "For speaking the truth he was subjected to a long and bitter campaign, including death threats and other forms of persecution orchestrated by an assortment of vehement agitators. His prophetic observations will be illuminating now — particularly for our younger readers. We salute his courage and intellectual integrity, which has been so clearly vindicated by recent events and U-turns in the multicultural establishment."

Ray Honeyford's article.

The Salisbury Review was first published in 1982 under the editorship of Roger Scruton. The present editor is Myles Harris.
Image. Lord Salisbury. Conservative Prime Minister 1885
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