Friday, August 06, 2010

Papal visits and public money

There is a choreographed piece of lazy journalism you'll have all seen or heard of late. Almost every discussion of the Holy Father's coming visit to the UK on TV or on the wireless will include a talking head from the NSS, usually Terry Sanderson talking about the use of 'public money' on the visit. They have an internet campaign that's raised 28,000 signatures (although to put that into some context 35,000 punters signed up in support of the late Raoul Moat).

Now in the past year I've run a half marathon and three 10ks. I've completed a couple of (mini) triathlons. I've been to a dozen or so rugby matches (international and Magner's League) and a one-day Test match. At every event - many of them, like the Holy Father's visit, with tens of thousands of people attending - there were scores of police to deal with traffic and crowd safety. This used public money - it used public money because these were public events and the public who participate in them require safety and protection and that includes the public services. This money does not belong to the civil authorities - it belongs to you and me because we gave it to them to administer as taxes.

So if the NSS or Johann Hari or Polly Toynbee don't want 'public money' expended on the Holy Father's visit, they had better be prepared to ban every 10k run, every Premier League football match, every Orange walk, every trade union rally and protest march. After all, how can we justify the use of 'public money' on these fripperies at a time of economic constraint?


Blogger Rusticus said...

An excellent point and well made.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

I think the logical conclusion of the fact that the usual suspects don't think that public money should be spent on any aspect of the Pope's visit is that they don't think Catholics are members of the public. We are unpersons.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Paulinus but you have missed out some important sources of public funding.

How much public money, including money paid by Catholics (and other religions) has gone to paying for registrars to perform so-called civil unions?

How much public money as gone to fund abortions?

How much public money has gone to promote the use of condoms and sexual immorality in the name of public health?

The visit will be the biggest public event in Scotland this year (80,000 at T in the Park), and in the whole of the UK (150,000 over three days at Glastonbury c.f. the numbers that will attend the Masses at Bellahouston, Hyde Park and Coventry) yet the "Liberal elite" feel that His Holiness' visit is a side-event that they should object to.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, I don t want any of my taxes to fund the killing of the unborn. But I do not get to choose. The liberal elite, cannot have their cake and eat it.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Good points, my anonymous friend(s)

11:55 AM  

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