The Salisbury Review
The Quarterly Journal of the Conservative Anglosphere
'The Salisbury Review publishes writing on
politics, history and culture that is among the
finest produced in English today.’ 
The Independent 2012

     Our Bloggers
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
Theodore Dalrymple
On my
Uppers: The Blog of
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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Recommended
Mark Steyn
BBC Bias
Editorial

Conservatives are fond of harking back to the good old days when 'medicine was an art not a science,' it was also nasty. Save for sawing off limbs, curing piles with a red-hot poker or a knife in the groin to relieve bladder stones, there were few cures. The bewigged physician rode up to the house, the relatives assembled around the bed, the dying patient's stool was sniffed, a vein was lanced and a useless prognosis offered. nothing more.....read

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Gabriel Hershman ‘On the edge of Putin’s empire’
Discriminating, intellectual, censorious, right wing, elitist.
Gabriel Hershman was born in London but now lives in Sophia with his Bulgarian wife. A journalist and editor he has recently published a book on Ian Hendry the English actor
  © mazurke@sky.com
Winter Edition 2014
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.
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
What's in this edition? Click anywhere on the above page then over the letters of any title.
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.
Tuesday 9th December.
Theodore Dalrymple
White Van Man

The apparel oft proclaims the man, said Polonius, full of the wisdom of the obvious. But these days the vehicle just as oft proclaims the driver: bright red, for example, for the aggressive, apple green for the tasteless, black for the serious or the depressed. As for the drivers of white vans, they have become a political category, white van man.


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 one........read on

In this issue of the Salisbury Review
Sydney - 'Tie me Terrorist Down Sport' 
by 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 world...read 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.