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.

New book: Buried But Not Quite Dead

Dalrymple has a new book out, published under his real name and inspired by his walks through Père Lachaise cemetery near his apartment in Paris. Père Lachaise is the most visited cemetery in the world and contains the gravesites of hundreds of the most notable people throughout the world of the arts. In Buried But Not Quite Dead: Forgotten Writers of Père Lachaise, Dalrymple has chosen eight such writers whose work has been almost completely forgotten “not necessarily because they were not good but because cultural memory is necessarily limited”. He writes not only about the literary merit of their work but also about their lives and the wider historical context, thus “illustrating the inexhaustible depth of our past”. 

The book is available at many booksellers. The Amazon link is here for the US and here for the UK.

Labour’s Century

In the spring edition of City Journal, our skeptical doctor recaps—in broad strokes—the rise and ultimate demise of the British Labour Party over the course of the past century.

One hundred years on, all that remains of the Labour Party’s social purpose are occasional outbursts of rhetoric, dishonest and insincere, unlike that of MacDonald, Wheatley, Snowden, et al. The object is not to improve anybody’s life chances but to improve the life of chancers—British English for opportunists who are always looking for dubious schemes to advance their interests or feather their nests.

A Tangled Web

In last week’s Takimag column, our film critic doctor recounts watching an awful arachnid-inspired movie, which reminds him of the only other time he encountered something similar—in Bolivia in 1982.

I confess that I myself don’t like spiders much: They give me the creeps. Oddly enough, I love insects but not arachnids. I can watch insects for hours. I have a basic rule, which I have adopted and adapted from Animal Farm: six legs good, eight legs bad.


In the June edition of New English Review, the curious doctor continues his reading on Albania with two new, fascinating additions to his vast library.

Here it must be remembered that the communists provoked many suicides, they never approved of suicide, thinking of it as a kind of petty bourgeois deviation from orthodox optimism. It must also be remembered that although Hoxha was a scheming, unscrupulous, vicious, murderous psychopath, he was also a true believer in his own ideology, and to that extent sincere. This is a unique and uniquely horrible combination of traits: ruthless cynicism allied to the most unquestioning sincerity.

The Co-Decadence Sphere

Back at Takimag, our crafty doctor hatches a scheme to keep the Western world above East Asia through the promotion of intense cultural degeneracy in the form of rap ‘music.’

Watching Korean television (the southern variety) in a Korean restaurant in Southsea—the town where Conan Doyle practiced medicine for a time—some years ago, the presence of the television being inescapable except by leaving the restaurant, I was astonished by the slickness and efficiency of the vulgar kitschiness and appeal to the lowest common denominator of what was shown.

All Talk

In last week’s Takimag, our sound-sensitive doctor confesses his desire to ban modern pop music from public places before commenting on a recent noisy train ride in England.

Unnecessary noise should be regarded in the same way as cigarette smoke now is, a pollutant that infringes the rights of anyone subjected involuntarily to it.


In the May issue of The Critic, the discerning doctor calls out the BBC for allowing some imprecise language to appear on its website.

The BBC’s headline was symptomatic of the attitude of a superior class that divides people into those who, like themselves, choose to act, and those who are forced to act; that is to say the human automata of this world. The latter, of course, need the former to redeem them, to make their lives whole.

In the Name of the Flock’s Welfare

Over at Australia’s Quadrant, the dubious doctor weighs in on the increasingly ‘controversial’ free speech topic, as well as Scotland’s outrageous, quasi-totalitarian ‘hate-speech’ law.

Most people want it for themselves, of course, but many would far rather that others would shut up. It does not come naturally to people to enjoy being contradicted, much less severely criticised. We want freedom from opinion at least much as we want freedom of it.