Thursday, April 05, 2007

Can this possibly be true?

"By the early twenty-first century, in Britain, there were ten civil servants involved in running sport; in France, 12,000".

From the The Sweet Enemy: The French and British from the Sun King to the Present by Robert and Isabelle Tombs, quote
in "the Odd Couple" by Julian Barnes, his review of the Tombs' book, in The New York Review of Books March 2007 (p.4)

Update: I hadn't checked before as I was reading the paper version of the magazine over coffee this morning, but the whole review is available to read online.


Anonymous said...

How do they define 'civil servant' ? The UK may only have 10 people in the ministry at Whitehall but there are probably hundreds (thousands ?) working at the likes of the Sports Council & the Scottish Sports Council


ps - when does rue Bigot get featured ?

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

I also thought it must be a long those lines. Perhaps sport is managed within local government more within Britain than within France? Hence they are counted as civil servants? It is a very interesting article though. I'll see if it is available online.