The Oldie

Poisonous Dr Dalrymple

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SIR: Could Theodore Dalrymple perhaps be put out to pasture? This would stop his spreading nonsense about charities. In his article ‘Want to live longer? Find a purpose in life’ (February issue), he claims that charity shops are ‘almost criminal enterprise­s’ and that their volunteers are wrong in supposing their work helps save lives.

I am one of his ‘old ladies’ (age 52) and volunteer at Oxfam. Out of every pound Oxfam receives, 83p goes to its work, which includes providing clean drinking water (so children don’t die of diarrhoea), educating women and girls, and helping communitie­s rebuild themselves after natural disasters or war.

If Dalrymple thinks this is ‘criminal’, please ask him to take his venom elsewhere. Cecilia Grayson, Leicester

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