British psychiatrist Theordore Dalrymple (aka Anthony Daniels) both annoys and interests me in equal measure. On the one hand, he’s a resolute defender of personal betterment: as documented in Life at the Bottom, he was willing to put his career on the line so that welfare recipients could gain an education — up to and including university — while on benefits. On the other hand, however, he’s a traditional Tory who draws a hard line between the ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ poor.
He’s the source of many of the policy arguments that make receipt of state support conditional on changed behaviour, and has been very influential in the Netherlands and various Scandanavian countries (which have far more paternalistic welfare policies than do Australia or Britain). Unsurprisingly, this interview was recorded on Dutch television.
Some of the arguments Dalrymple rehearses are discussed with critical understanding in this article (recommended by my supervisor).
Note: some of you may have to click the ‘launch in external player’ tab in order to watch the video, which runs for about 40 minutes.
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