« | Home | »

Counting the Cost

Some numbers, from the poet ‘Francis Crot’:

Highest estimated cost of riots: £100 million.
Tax avoidance by Vodafone: £6 billion.
Tax spent on Libyan intervention: £1 billion.
Tax money spent in Iraqi conflict: £4.5 billion.
Tax money spent in Afghan conflict (up until 2007): £7 billion. Still rising.
Tax avoidance in 2010 by “richest” (?) people in UK: £7 billion.
Tax spent on interest for bank rescue package: £131 billion. Still rising.
Total MP expenses bill (2007): £87.6 million. Still rising.

Technically, we could afford to have a riot for everyone!

You can quibble about the figures (the Financial Times has put the cost of the riots at more than £200 million), and they don’t quite add up (assuming ‘everyone’ means the 60 million people in the UK), but the general point holds – not to mention that the government is hardly in a position to accuse anyone else of not being able to count.

Comments

  1. willharwood says:

    Personally, I don’t care whether the riots cost £100M or £200M or 50p and a couple of bottlecaps. I care about feeling safe in my own city. Could you explain again what exactly is the “general point” that holds? That to rescue the financial system is 1,310 times worse than widespread looting? That submitting a receipt is the same as kicking in a shop window?

    Will

    • Thomas Jones says:

      The point is that any talk about the financial cost of the riots needs putting in perspective. As does quite a lot else.

      • willharwood says:

        Very true — and considering their impact (newsprint etc) the purely financial cost of the riots has been negligible. But, there are surely other costs than financial ones, and other more important measures of importance?

        (The way I think about it, if some internet fraudster steals £1000 from my bank account remotely I am going to be considerably less upset and damaged than if someone mugs me for a tenner and my aged mobile phone.)

        But you are right, and comparing millions against billions does help dampen the post-riot hyperbole.

        Will


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • Eli Zaretsky on The Mass Psychology of Trumpism: very good points Bill. I taught with Nevit Sanford and he is a hero of mine. Nevertheless, this argument is not drawn from the Authoritarian Personali...
    • Bill Cooke on The Mass Psychology of Trumpism: Very well made argument. Yet, for all this, the paradox is we still need the exalted European male - Adorno, Freud - to legitimise the critique of the...
    • Philip Welch on The Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales 2.0: The Wedding of Charles and Diana v1.26: On 29 July 1981 at midday I married 25 pairs of Charles and Diana look-alikes (well, many holding cardboard ma...
    • Helen Jeffrey on At Good Chance Paris: The Good Chance Theatre will be open again at le Musée National de l'Histoire de l’Immigration (near Port Dorée, métro line 8) from October 16th ...
    • steve kay on Where the Wild Things Weren’t: The Grauniad on line has pictures of David Cameron at this very festival. Why does your collection of images not include LRB team members beating him ...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement
Advertisement