A blog by Patrick Crozier

February 24, 2004

Croziervision quote of the day
Patrick Crozier


the greatest crime of welfare isn't that it's a waste of money, but that it's a waste of people.

Mark Steyn in the Telegraph.

February 23, 2004

Compassion tourism
Patrick Crozier

Patrick West, a freelance writer apparently, has had a go at "conspicous compassion". Aiming his fire at targets ranging from Princess Diana, Soham and Ladbroke Grove he says of the mourners:

"What really drives their behaviour is the need to be seen to care. And they want to be seen displaying compassion because they want to be loved themselves."


February 22, 2004

The Cresson Affair
Patrick Crozier

Mark Steyn drags up the Edith Cresson Affair - the kerfuffle over remarks made by the then French Prime Minister to the effect that all Brits are gay.

I have to say I never got that worked up about it but that was probably because I could never work out if it was intended as an insult or a compliment.

February 14, 2004

Portillo on Phillips on Bush
Patrick Crozier

Michael Portillo is normally at pains to be nice to everyone but if even he, it would seem has his limits. Here he is losing it reviewing Kevin Phillips (no relation to Watford's finest)'s "biography" of the Bushes:

Then there's history of a different kind. Painstaking research has failed to reveal whether a Bush ancestor, George Walker, was acquainted with Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky or Heinrich Himmler, but undaunted by such a gap in our knowledge Phillips happily trumpets that even if Walker didn't know them, "he certainly had plenty of friends who did".

Which I think is rather encouraging. It is one of the phenomena of our age that the left has simply given up trying to make an argument. Just about all they seem to do is to indulge in character assassination, not even (as this case illustrates) very good character assassination.

They're finished and they know it.

February 13, 2004

Do we need the offside law?
Patrick Crozier

In (at least) one edition of the The Fast Show a football-enthusiast at a dinner party is invited to explain the offside rule. Within a few seconds he has descended into gibbering incoherence mumbling words and phrases like: "interfering", "defenders" and "played back".

Not only is the offside rule fiendishly complicated (it has only recently become even more so) but it is also fiendishly difficult to enforce. Referees and linesmen are constantly getting it wrong; with all the usual consequences to the blood pressure of all concerned.

Which makes me wonder. Why don't we just scrap the rule altogether? "Because it's there to stop goal-hanging." To which my reply might be what do you mean by goal hanging, is goal hanging really the thing that is meant to be being stopped, how bad is goal hanging and is goal hanging really worse than the situation we have at present?

Let's just imagine for a moment that the offside rule was scrapped. OK, first up Thierry Henry charges upfield. But then Brown, Silvestre and the Nevilles just retreat to cover the threat. The only real difference is that the midfield is opened up making it a more open and attacking game.

That's one possibility. In reality I have no idea what would happen but surely it's worth a try. Which begs the question: how would you try it out? I really can't imagine the Premier League trialling it out for a year - it would take ages for teams to work out how to "play" the new rule creating enormous uncertainty and it would be difficult for teams used to no offside to play in Europe and other competitions where, presumably, the rule would still be enforced.

February 09, 2004

What's wrong with modern houses?
Patrick Crozier

This is something that has come up here before. George Trefgarne thinks he has the answer:

According to the House Builders Federation , it is uneconomic and probably illegal to build a Georgian terrace. For instance, the raised pavements and steps up to the front door (which allow an extra, lower ground floor) are in breach of Regulation M, governing disabled access. Sash windows are in effect outlawed by Regulation L, governing insulation. And any house with more than three storeys must have a fire escape and fire doors. Moreover, a new consultation on staircase regulations is likely to see them made wider and shallower so they take up yet more precious room.

Regulation. Unbelievable.

This is an interesting table
Patrick Crozier

Here. It's a league table of First (ie Second) Division clubs ranked by average attendance. Readers will on the one hand be disappointed to see that the mighty Watford are somewhat underperforming but on the other hand pleasantly surprised to see that we actually get more people coming to our matches than Coventry.

February 08, 2004

Whatever happened to the Brit-bashing movie?
Patrick Crozier

There was a vogue for them in the mid to late-1990s. Remember Michael Collins, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, U-571 (OK, not Brit-bashing as such just Brit-irritating) and of course the Patriot: the story of American independence - so good they had to make it up.

But in recent years? Next to nothing. Another casualty of 11/9?

This isn't about Blair's future. It is much more serious
Patrick Crozier

Matthew d'Ancona takes the high view:

…the beneficial consequences of the conflict have already been plentiful. Libya has agreed to disarm its WMD. Iran has admitted the International Atomic Energy Authority to inspect its nuclear plant. UN investigators in Tripoli and Tehran helped to uncover the astonishing trade in nuclear technology masterminded by the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. These are notable victories in the struggle to prevent rogue states developing WMD which might fall into the hands of fundamentalist terrorists.

Worth a read I'd say.

February 07, 2004

Justifying Dresden
Patrick Crozier

Allan Mallinson reviews "Dresden" by Frederick Taylor. Seems it was more than just "German bands and Dresden shepherdesses"

Why I can't stomach Jonathan Aitken's new-found saintliness
Patrick Crozier

Tom Utley trashes Jonathan Aitken in the Telegraph.

February 02, 2004

Croziervision quote of the day #2
Patrick Crozier
It is our moral duty to have more fun. Down with headscarves and up with gorgeous floaty fabrics

Alice Bachini. Could it be anyone else?

Croziervision quote of the day
Patrick Crozier
MacLeod, at a press conference, saw a mongrel dog approach: "I think he is the only friend I have got left," he said, stretching out a hand. The dog bit him.

Things go from bad to worse in the Argentinve. From the obituary of former Scotland manager, Ally McLeod.

February 01, 2004

Education before the state
Patrick Crozier

Medworth links to a von Mises Institute article on education in England:

In 1640, male literacy in London was more than 50%, and more than 33% in the countryside.


…if universal education means at least 90% attendance, then a private system of universal education had been achieved in England by 1860—a full ten years before education became "free."