Britain Is Not Addicted to Punishing Criminals

Back at The Spectator, our judicious doctor pens another forceful critique of the dysfunctional and ineffective British criminal justice system.

Punishment is not therapy for the soul, though it would be good if it acted in this way. The criminal justice system should always remember that it is not the medical profession for those who break the law.

Labour’s Unfortunate Winning Recipe

Over at City Journal, the astute doctor examines the British election results, which saw a well-deserved demolition of the ‘Conservative’ Party at the hands of an alternative even worse: Starmer’s leftist Labour Party.

No government could have deserved to lose an election more than Rishi Sunak’s in Great Britain. Unfortunately, it does not follow that because a government deserves to lose an election that the opposition deserves to win. It is a persistent illusion among voters, however, that because things are bad, they can only get better. Alas, they can usually get worse—much worse.

A Very Innocent Man

In the July issue of The Critic, Theodore Dalrymple highlights some recent instances of incorrect and strange use of the English language, including by a former U.S. president, no less.

I don’t want to over-exaggerate the importance of such ill usage, but on the other hand, I don’t want to under-minimise it either. If we are not careful, we shall become hyper-insensitive to verbal solecisms.

Something Rotten in the State of the Whole Western World

In the July edition of New English Review, our concerned doctor dissects the current sad state of (Western) Europe, with particular focus on the disastrous Swedish experiment of importing unassimilable, backward migrants en masse.

But I think that there was more to it than mere grandiosity, something deeper and more general in Europe as a whole, at least among what might be called the intellectual classes: namely a loss of the right of Europe to exist as a civilisation except as an object of criticism, reprehension and even hatred, the reasons for which loss are no doubt multiple and impossible to designate with absolute certainty.

The Mind of Macron

In this week’s Takimag, the good doctor gets inside the mind of the French president in order to understand his decision to dissolve the National Assembly following his technocratic party’s disastrous showing in the European Parliament elections.

Fear of finding something worse is what keeps a lot of politicians in power in representative democracies; and M. Macron, nanny to the nation, might hope that the French people realize in time that there are far worse people than he in the political menagerie.

Watch Out, Alcoholics and Mrs T.

Back at The Oldie, Prof. Dalrymple explains the symptoms of and possible remedies for Dupuytren’s contracture, which is a thickening of tissues in the palm of the hand. How fascinating, Doctor…

This illustrates a general point: that it may be necessary to wait for some time before differences in the results of treatments manifest themselves. Immediate results may be deceptive.

It’s a Crime

Over at Takimag, our disillusioned doctor reflects on a book about the deteriorating public safety in Britain and the accompanying apathy from the British police and criminal justice system.

Nothing succeeds like failure. Whether it be in education, social security, health care, infrastructure, border control, armed forces, etc., the whole apparatus now touches nothing that it does not cause to decay. No wonder that disenchantment is widespread and that people, no doubt naively, turn to alternatives.

Prophetic Warnings

In the June issue of The Critic, our critical doctor calls out The Economist for the incorrect use of the word “prophetic” in a headline related to a Macron prediction.

The problem with the term “prophetic warning” is that the content of the warning is thereby taken as established fact. If it is established fact, then one must act upon it as if it were such a fact. This might have dangerous consequences.