Theodore Dalrymple: ‘I am inclined to think ill of people…’

In a just world I would have grabbed him by the collar, forced him to the ground, and made him lick it up, but if I had done that I should probably still be in prison. Instead, I said (my pusillanimity being the association of Nottingham with my dream), “What would your mother say if she heard you?”

Probably “Well done.” The chances were good that she was a slut or a slattern with three children by nineteen different men, the state now being father, financially speaking, to the child. So my words were about as effective as a NATO bombing campaign. You know immediately when you have said something ridiculous: your words extinguish themselves as you utter them, as if spoken through cotton wool.

  • winniec

    So the state paid for the 16 abortions too…

  • Uncle_Waspy

    “Quiet desperation – it is the English way”.

    It’s moving to read Dalrymple lay bare his feelings regarding his own pusillamnity. There aren’t too many people who would do this. But he’s being too hard on himself: A lot of people out there are just walking quagmires who would love nothing more than to suck a total stranger into their misery – best to avoid.

    This line was so good, I had to steal it…

    I think the theme was really the advantage the rude, thoughtless, self centered and crude enjoy over the decent, caring, dutiful and thoughtful in this modern era.