Theodore Dalrymple rssTheodore-Dalrymple

Why the NHS needs less professional management

9 May 2015

I once had a medical secretary who, aged 65, was about to retire. She had been a secretary for about 45 years and was extremely competent. She knew how to spell… Read more


How we drive our children mad

21 March 2015

Mental health is a slippery concept at best and according to the annual prevalence rates given in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, people in… Read more

The cure for hypochondria

21 February 2015

These days it’s difficult not to be ill. In fact, it’s impossible to be well. Few of us do not have, or at least indulge in, risk factors for catastrophic… Read more

Can GPs really keep up with the latest medical evidence? I couldn't

22 November 2014

Medicine is a science, but not an exact one. Despite its inexactitude, however, its progress has been startling, and no sane person would want to go back to the days… Read more

Second opinion: the dangers of opioids

27 September 2014

  ‘Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’ ‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’ ‘The dog did nothing in… Read more

This is madness

31 May 2014

Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, recently drew attention to the financial difficulties faced by the psychiatric services in Britain. Just like cows, no bureaucracy, such… Read more


Don't tax sugar - it doesn't make you fat. Gluttony does

11 January 2014

If there is one characteristic that accounts for the deep unattractiveness of the modern British, it is their lack of self-control. It is not merely that they lack such self-control… Read more

Theodore Dalrymple

Should we be threatening cocaine addicts with execution?

28 November 2013

Mao Tse-tung was by far the greatest therapist of drug addiction in world history. He threatened to execute opium addicts if they didn’t give up. Threats to murder were about… Read more


The rehabilitation game

26 January 2013

‘They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work,’ said the Soviet worker in the good old days; the British criminal could nowadays say with equal reason, ‘They pretend… Read more

World War Two: 18th December 1940, Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Mother) signing the visitors book at one of the ambulance stations in the London area

Visiting rites

20 October 2012

The slowest and most expensive museum refurbishment in world history must be that of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It is taking longer and costing more than it took and cost… Read more


Why borders matter

1 September 2012

There is no better way of discrediting an opinion than by attributing it to a psychological quirk or peculiarity. The task is then not to refute it, but to explain… Read more

Coventry blues

3 March 2012

He who would see England’s future should be separated for a while from the better parts of London and sent (literally, not metaphorically) to Coventry. There, amid the hideous and… Read more


Diamond Jubilee debate: Has Britain declined under Elizabeth II?

4 February 2012

Yes Theodore Dalrymple Is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee a cause for jubilation? Certainly her reign has been a personal triumph: her iron sense of duty, gracefully performed, has been exemplary,… Read more

Rough treatment

3 December 2011

If anyone needed persuading of the deep moral disarray of modern British society, the latest figures on assaults against National Health Service staff should be more than sufficient to convince… Read more

A case in point

22 October 2011

You can tell that the economy of East Anglia is more flourishing than that of the West Midlands because the fine for drunken vomiting in the back of the taxis… Read more

It’s fun to smash things

13 August 2011

Only the wilfully blind could have been surprised by the scale or ferocity of the riots that have engulfed Britain in the past week. Unfortunately, most of the country’s political… Read more

Young Turks

2 July 2011

Comparisons are odious, generalisations dangerous and stereotypes invidious, but without them conversation would be tedious and talk nothing but an endless regression of subordinate clauses, each qualifying what the previous… Read more


Scarborough unfair

7 May 2011

If it is evidence of the decline of British civilisation that you are after, you cannot do better than go to Scarborough. It is precisely because the material traces of… Read more


The Disneyfication of death

12 February 2011

Why are children’s graves now littered with toys? Is a graveyard a public amenity or an arena of self-expression? An Essex council recently ordered grieving families to remove ‘decorations’ from… Read more

Common people

6 November 2010

When I returned recently from Paris, everyone asked about the strikes, the riots, the violence and the chaos. All I had seen was a queue at one petrol station and… Read more


Prison may not work for them, but it works for us

24 July 2010

Crooks who are in prison are not burgling your house, says Theodore Dalrymple. They themselves understand that perfectly clearly: it is only sentimental mugs who don’t When Mr Clarke went… Read more

Global Warning

21 January 2009

We should always try to see ourselves as others see us, but not when the others are French. They are so biased against us that they can see nothing clearly:… Read more

Global Warning

14 January 2009

My wife tells me, and so it must be right, that now that we are retired we must beware of the involution of our habits and interests. It is all… Read more

The unselfish gene

14 January 2009
On Kindness Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor

Hamish Hamilton, pp.117, 14.99

On Kindness, by Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor Whenever I say to someone that I do not believe that there is a universal human right to healthcare, that person always… Read more

Withdrawal from heroin is a trivial matter

7 January 2009

We live in Keynesian times: the answer to the economic problems created by a mountain of debt frittered away on trifles is clearly a whole mountain range of debt frittered… Read more