Dalrymple abandons Britain

Theodore Dalyrmple, the British physician who writes extremely gloomy articles about the decline of Britain for City Journal (a magazine that turns down gloomy articles about America but is eager to publish them about other Western countries), has decided to settle in France. For all its faults, he says, France is more civilized, and far less brutalized and vulgarized, than Britain.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 08, 2004 04:40 PM | Send

I read one of hsi books, Life at the Bottom. This man works as a doctor in a prison, so I suppose that could turn anyone into a pessimist.

In his book he does a good job of describing the worldview of the British lower class, which is (primarily) white.

It was surprising to read how closely the white British criminal class and the black American criminal class mirror each other, both in action and attitude.

I hope he finds happiness in France, although I think all of Western Civilization is caught in the same trap.

Posted by: Ron on January 8, 2004 5:07 PM

Having lived in both countries, I must agree with Dalrymple, with regret, for Great Britain was once very civilized, if not as refined as France at its best. I have to qualify that by saying it is true as long as one stays away from the growing parts of France that are being repopulated by Moslems. Those areas are rapidly becoming as squalid, sordid and dangerous as any American or British slum. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 8, 2004 5:53 PM

Anthony Daniels is another Brit who agrees that his countrymen are winning the race to the bottom:


The novel that won the Booker Prize does sound like an amazingly disgusting book.

Posted by: Jim Kalb on January 9, 2004 6:33 AM

As someone living in the UK, I agree with Theodore’s obervations. However going to live in France seems like jumping out of the pot and into the fire! With it’s teeming Ismalic population, Eurocentric anti-americanism, few places in the world could be worse to live in, despite the wine and the cheese!

Posted by: David Vance on January 9, 2004 8:17 AM

I believe Anthony Daniels and Theodore Dalrymple may be the same man. I dimly recall reading somewhere that TD was a nom de plūme for AD. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 9, 2004 9:18 AM


Theodore Dalyrimple and Anthony Daniels are the one and the same. The former is a pen name.

Posted by: David Vance on January 9, 2004 10:41 AM

I couldnt agree more with David. Britain has its ghetto blacks and its Muslims but France is much much worse - its Arab Muslim population close to 7 million at last count. Its hardly reprieve.

If Mr. Dalrymple wants to get out of this mess altogether he might consider some place in Eastern Europe.

Posted by: Peter Phillips on January 9, 2004 12:28 PM

What is interesting in Daniels/Dalrymple’s Spectator article is that he does not once mention the issue that so concerns us. He seems not to notice it. In other dilations of his I have read about the squalor that is the lives of so many of today’s lower-class Englishmen, he is always talking about how wretched, ignorant, sociopathic the English lower orders are. I don’t recall reading much about the problems posed by non-white immigrants and their progeny.

Daniels, it would appear, has made his decision purely by comparing the general native (i.e., white European) cultures of England and France today. On that basis alone, I would have to agree with him. Since, as Mr. Phillips says, France’s Moslem immigrant population is both larger and more militant than Great Britain’s, Daniels may be in for some rude surprises. Especially because, as I believe, Daniels is Jewish and there is a nastily rabid strain of anti-Semitism that is alive, well and violently active among France’s Moslem invaders.

Let’s hope, though, that Daniels finds in a French village the peace and quiet that eluded him in England. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 9, 2004 12:56 PM

I feel so stupid not realizing that TD and AD are the same man! Apart from general similarity of style and sensibility, the comment in the New Criterion piece that he once had a patient who boiled three babies to death should have been a giveaway. I hope that sort of experience isn’t universal among English essayists today.

He’s not completely out of the loop on the problems caused by Muslims in France, by the way:


Posted by: Jim Kalb on January 9, 2004 4:29 PM

I too live in the UK — London. I cannot speak with any knowledge about France, but I can say that anywhere in Spain is better than Britain. I recently took a long weekend in Barcelona and was amazed at how clean the streets where, how pleasant and uncrowded the subway was, how well the people dressed, etc etc. Having lived in southern Spain for a few years, I can say the situation is the same there. The country is certainly poorer in terms of GDP, but there is little hooliganism, public drunkeness, and violent crime that is urban Britain today.

It has gotten so bad that a Turkish colleague of mine said she noticed the same thing in Istanbul, of all places. How clean the city was, how polite the people are, etc.

As for the immigration issue, I fear AD/TD holds the neocon line. Certainly as a prison psych he must have noticed the demographic composition of prison inmates. I know he has written on such splendid Islamic customs as child-marriage, revenge killings. But typically he blames Britain for its failure to assimilate, rather than the mass immigration that hinders assimilation.

Posted by: Mitchell Young on January 9, 2004 9:02 PM


“Assimilation” is a mirage. This was a word coined in the United States in the 19th century in respect of European immigrants that simply spoke different languages and came from different political environments. However, they were “assimilable” in the sense that once they spoke English and participated in the political process in America, they were indistinguishable from native born white Americans.

This brings us to the ugly truth about one nasty fact of human life: Race. As much as we might wish to wish it away, it refuses to go away and keeps rearing its ugly head in different forms. Is it “Fascistic” to argue that based on human experience and common sense, it makes far more sense to have immigrants of the same race as the nation’s majority and thereby make “Assimilation” work? “Assimilation” is otherwise a mirage.

Posted by: Peter Phillips on January 10, 2004 12:20 AM

Assimilation into the American culture has nothing to do with ‘race’ and everything to do with culture. What would Mr. Phillips have us do, only allow ‘white folks’ from European countries to immigrate to the United States?

Posted by: Daniel on January 13, 2004 11:52 AM

I can not speak for Mr. Phillips, but I would do this: allow no one, outside very strictly policed individual exceptions to allow immediate family members to join American citizens (not non-citizen permanent residents), to immigrate - meaning to move in with the possibility of earning citizenship - for a minimum of 20 years, and probably much longer. At the same time, I would actively encourage the repatriation of legally resident aliens, while ruthlessly pursuing the deportation of illegal aliens.

Perhaps race and culture are not totally inseparable; they are, however, intimately linked. There are no examples of successful Western societies without a substantial majority of European-stock (white, that is) inhabitants.

South Africa and Rhodesia were aberrations maintained by force. Rhodesia has been destroyed and South Africa is falling apart. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 13, 2004 12:35 PM

This is interesting: given that he was a doctor in a prison.

In France, people in prison suffer a great deal more than in England… And the general attitude upon release is “once a criminal, always a criminal”.

i wonder how that colors his view?

Posted by: An outside caller on February 10, 2004 9:09 AM
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