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The Salisbury Review
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Theodore Dalrymple is a retired prison doctor and psychiatrist. A highly popular journalist, he writes for The Times, The British Medical Journal,The Observer, Daily Telegraph, Spectator, The Salisbury Review and is contributing editor to the City Journal where he is Dietrich Weismann Fellow. His books include, ‘Life at the Bottom’, ‘Our Culture’, What’s Left of It’ ‘Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality’ ‘The Worldview that Makes the Underclass’. 'Dalrymple's work,' writes Daniel Hannnan, 'takes pessimism about human nature to a new level....once you get past the initial shock of reading about battered wives, petty crooks and junkies from a non-Left perspective, you find humanity and pathos.'
The Hilarious Pessimist
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Jane Kelly

Jane Kelly worked for the Daily Mail for 15 years as a leading celebrity interviewer. Among her subjects were; Hilary Clinton, Jack Nicholson, Russel Crowe, George Clooney, Michael Portillo, Tony Benn, Jeffrey Archer, Edwina Curry, Scarlett Johansson, Arthur Scargill, Vanessa Redgrave and Elizabeth Taylor. She has written two books; a biography of Colin Farrell, and ‘Inside’ an account of working as a teacher in Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London.

These acerbic, direct, and often funny blogs, reflect Jane’s clear eyed view of our silly, sentimental, shopping obsessed, left wing society as it stumbles toward self annihilation.
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The Salisbury Review Blogs

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.

October 1st, Jane Kelly. Pensioners, the new Witches

As a teacher in Wormwood Scrubs I met a lot of bright prisoners, not the English sadly as they had minimal education. The men from all over the world who flocked into this great London house of correction were far better educated than working class boys from the UK,  particularly Africans.
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.
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The earth is no more than a huge piece of cooling rock. Clinging to its surface like gossamer is the biosphere, a living breathing membrane in which billions of creatures, including ourselves, live. Compared with the size of the earth, it is no thicker than a coat of varnish on a door, but infinitely more fragile. Earth’s greatest enemy is a relative newcomer,
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