Toffs versus Vulgar Meritocrats

7th March 2014 0

Columnist Jemima Lewis, aka Mrs Dimbleby, is an interesting example perhaps of the way newspapers have changed over the last twenty years, and reflects something of how society has shifted too, from vulgar meritocracy of the Thatcher years, when all journalists including feature writers had to leave the office to investigate and write stories, to well – what we have … [Read on]


3rd March 2014 0

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 … [Read on]

NHS Promotion Carousel

20th November 2013 0

A small item in a recent edition of the British Medical Journal unintentionally revealed the state of modern England. When MP’s asked the Chief Executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson, how many managers had been made redundant and then rehired as a result of the latest reorganisation of the NHS, he replied: In terms of on NHS England, as … [Read on]

Signed Off

23rd September 2013 0

I have reached an age when only irritation prevents me from sinking into somnolence or mental torpor but fortunately there is no shortage of stimuli in the modern world to irritate me. Fortunately also, I enjoy the state of irritation almost as much as that of resentment or righteous indignation. I find it tones me up in the morning a … [Read on]

Wolves in Green Clothing

22nd September 2013 0

The whirligig of time brings in its revenges. The French newspaper, Libération, recently reported on the ravages wrought by wolves among the sheep-rearers in the remoter regions of France. Wolves are a protected species and may not be killed, whatever damage they do. Urban ecologists love them. Wolves disappeared from France in the 1930s, but re-entered from Italy in the … [Read on]

Danger, passive film watching

10th June 2013 0

It is rarely that I go to my local cinema, for the films shown there are generally atrocious. However, I let myself be persuaded to go last night by my neighbours, though the film turned out to be just as atrocious as I had feared, shallow, sentimental, narcissistic, kitsch and boring. My neighbours gamely agreed; but at least we had … [Read on]

On the Buses

7th June 2013 0

Public transport is the great theatre of the world, which is why I always take it (whenever I can) in preference to that frightful contraption, my motor car. You learn so much on public transport; in a car you just lose your temper. This morning at the bus stop, for example, there was an elderly man – three of four … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple on a generation who expect genius to descend on them without any effort on their part

2nd June 2013 0

Irritating though conversations on mobile phones may often be to those not involved in them, I nevertheless feel a compulsion sometimes to eavesdrop on them. They can be banal and boring, or they can be entertaining and illuminating. Oddly enough, people speak in public on their mobile phones as if they were surrounded by an invisible sound-proofed chamber. Ease of … [Read on]

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