The Broken Window Fallacy


Stephen Irvine, 27 March 2012

A woman whose beauty was matched only by her mystery, she took my hand in hers and it felt like a true awakening as the warmth of her spirit flooded into me – just feeling her touch I knew that this was an angel who could breathe life into lone dead stars, light years away, just by being present in the same galaxy. The corn fields were drenched in golden evening sun, her dress flowed like a blizzard of the purest snow, and Whitney Houston was just reaching the ear-splitting climax of I Will Always Love You, when BANG! It was all over.

I thought maybe I’d torn a hamstring in skipping through the fields, but no, there had been no skipping, and something had ended my dreamy moment of bliss in the most unceremonious of manners. That meant there must be some brouhaha occurring in my quarters, and upon hearing scraping noises resonating from the slopping-out area, I ventured downstairs to find a mad woman in a Sour Times T-shirt, armed with a Silverline trowel and hawk set. What on earth was her business here in my home with mid-range plastering equipment? Was she simply here to do a day’s work, or was this a crazed fan bent on causing me a mischief with a heavy gauge sheet aluminium tool? Wishing to avoid the latter, I put the kettle on and pointed her in the direction of a wall that needed a bit of bonding.

I therefore found it a real shame that Simon Cowell didn’t share my ever-trusting nature when he found his £9m mansion apparently under attack from Leanne Zaloumis the other day, with the accused supposedly forcing her way in before being found wielding a brick. “She had smashed her way in through the window and it was unclear how long she had been there or what she was doing” said Cowell’s murky mouthpiece Max Clifford. Rather than waiting to find out, the mogul guilty of pushing more shit than Dyno-Rod’s star man instead called the fuzz, with poor old Ms Zaloumis now in custody awaiting trial.

Well, why didn’t you give her a chance Simon? The Sun reports that ‘the defendant, who appeared in the dock with unkempt hair and a baggy grey sweatshirt, is also accused of shouting at him and hurling items at his bathroom window while standing on a roof outside.’ This is surely all a terrible misunderstanding then. Dressed like that, she must be a brickie who was working next door and, noticing that some of his masonry wasn’t up to scratch, had shouted across to tell him. When he hadn’t heard, she’d tried throwing a pebble or two at the window to get his attention and having broken it, she’d then decided to come over to explain all, and patch up the brickwork while she was there.

The Daily Mail, however, report ‘a figure standing on a flat roof outside the window screaming as she held a rock aloft’ A rock? Now this is sounding more like the opening credits to She-Ra than an actual story about something people might possibly benefit from hearing. Like news. But there’s more; it later emerged via The Sun that Leanne was eventually ‘found…hiding on a shelf 7ft up in Cowell’s walk-in wardrobe.’ So let’s just get this straight. This woman had climbed on to a nearby roof in order to shout abuse and hurl objects at his window. She then decided upon a show of brute force, holding a rock aloft whilst letting out a chilling scream, before smashing her way in through a window and then leaping seven feet in the air and coming to rest inside a wardrobe, clutching a brick. Amazing stuff, even for these two most odious of sources…

I was going to suggest that Simon should have simply taken the Duncan Ferguson approach to home security. For those of you unfamiliar with the former Scottish footballer, he once discovered two burglars inside his home, confronted them naked, and wasted no time in giving them both a good larruping. That’s how to deal with things Cowell you great wimp, and it was only a girl at your place. But then again if the reports are true, it sounds like he was dealing with some kind of Superhero, so even big Dunc might have struggled with that one.

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