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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.'
Go to Jane Kelly‘s Blogs
     Our Bloggers
Go to Theodore Dalrymple‘s Blogs
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
On my Uppers
Jane Kelly

The Hilarious Pessimist
Theodore Dalrymple

March 2014  Editorial

On 13th August 1940 Herman Goering launched Adler Tag, Eagle Day, the Luftwaffe’s all out assault on Britain. Thanks to years of denial by British governments that Hitler intended war, an ill- equipped RAF suffered terrible casualties. By the 31st of August it looked as if we might lose. As a last resort and down to a handful of Hurricanes, Air Vice Marshal Dowding ordered the mobilisation of the 303 Polish squadron at Northolt. It was an act of pure desperation. The RAF establishment considered Poles to be reckless dreamers. Hadn’t they lost their country by sending string and wire biplanes against Hitler’s Messerschmitts?

I first came across Max when I saw a youth pinning up a
photo of his long mournful face and questioning blue
eyes, on my local bus stop in west London. The lad hardly
spoke English but explained that he had been looking
after the dog for friends in far-off Croydon, but it had

‘You can’t have them indoors’, he said, sounding very
impressed. ‘You can’t train them’, he said excitedly, ‘these
dogs do whatever they like’.

He obviously loved that idea. Apparently a lot of people
who might be described as the poorer members of society
now favour the Husky as the dog of choice. It’s large,
can’t be easily trained and looks like a wolf, what more
could an urban city dweller in a tiny flat want in a pet? ...

Conservatives should enjoy life: for if they do not why
should they wish to preserve anything from the ravages
of incontinent change? The only alternative is the Eeyore
position, that bad as things are they can only get worse:
yet such a position cannot possibly survive honest
reflection. We do not live in the worst of times in all
respects, or even in any respect; for in many respects
things were worse only a few short years ago and all
were worse at some time in the
click (picture) to enlarge
click picture

Spring Magazine 2014

I used not to be a Daily Mail reader. It isn’t difficult to find
fault with the newspaper, with its celebrity-obsessed
glamour stories, its sanctimonious headlines and easy
populism. The front page will be screaming about tax
payers’ value for money one moment, bemoaning cuts in
pensions the next; or launching a personal attack on some
unsuspecting pop star because of this or that life choice.
Why oh why is she wearing pink to her wedding? How dare
he say that to her about them behind my back! At its best,
the paper is highly entertaining and readable. At its worst, it
can be horrid, targeting individuals, well-known or
otherwise, with malicious slander, ruining careers and
relationships on the back of questionable
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The belief that everyone can be persuaded by argument to behave well is, I
suppose, a corollary of the notion that no man does wrong knowingly. The task
of the moralist, then, is to get people to understand the true nature of their
conduct, to educate them; and once this is done, the reprehensible conduct will
cease by itself.

Thursday 5th April. Jane Kelly fears the bonds of society are being torn about by fashionable leftist fools

A newspaper columnist recently wrote about how much she loves herself, every bit of her, even the fat bits and the spots. This overwhelming, life- long certainty of  her own powers of pulchritude has won her many glittering prizes, including a column on a national paper, although she never writes about much apart from this, and a handsome well connected husband.

I have long suspected that there was a causative link between football and
violent crime, and the case of Nii-Azu Kojo-Smith seems to bear it out. In most
murders in Britain these days either the perpetrator or the victim is what is
known as 'a talented footballer:' or sometimes, of course, both.   

Big church quiz last night, which took no prisoners. The first long round was all
about public transport, asking us to name various early railway companies and
viaducts, and who was the person to test the first wooden escalator, and why
was he special? (One legged Bumper Harris carried out the task at Earl's
Court in 1911.) My friend Brian got that immediately, being a keen quizzer. 

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