Although not religious in any way, I suppose I’m very tolerant of others’ beliefs. Live & let live.
But should I have to pay for them?
Here in the UK we are going through financial turmoil. The new government has decided they need to do something about the 500 odd billion we owe, so there are massive cut to all public spending, including education, healthcare and child benefit. My own job is under threat.
Last week, the Pope came to visit England for 4 days.
It cost the taxpayer £12million.
Twelve. Million. That’s 3 mil per day.
We are not a Catholic country. Only 8% of the population are Catholics.
How come we have to shell out for this? Did they ask us where they could spend our taxes? NO! Did we ask the Pope to visit? * NO!* Did his visit alter a single thing in this country, did he help the sick and infirm or bring alms to the poor? No, no and hell no!
And just out of interest - the Vatican isn’t poor! They have untold millions in art treasures and Nazi gold alone.
The Vatican ran a deficit of 4.1 million euros this year, with revenues of 250.2 million euros and expenses of 254.3 million. So it’s not like the Vatican is rolling in money either. Besides, if the British government really didn’t want the pope to come, they could have said no.
I’m not sure I understand the rant. Don’t you have kings and queens and whatnot? Aren’t useless expenses for less-than-useful nobility par for the course? (Note, I’m not saying anything about the Pope’s intrinsic usefulness.) Can’t most expenses be balanced by increased traffic, revenue, and local economic activity? Don’t you all get cool souvenir Poperings?
The Pope dropped by my apartment unannounced the other day. The dude used my landline to make three long distance phone calls, ordered a pizza which I paid for, and drank five of my beers. And I don’t know what he was doing in there, but he used up practically a whole roll of toilet paper. And he didn’t even offer to compensate me by giving me some of that Nazi gold. What a douche.
Man you guys got off easy. Last summer we in Canada hosted your prime minister and the leaders of 18 other wealthy countries and it cost us 600,000,000 quid, or
33 million quid for your prime minister alone.
You better check your cable bill too. When he was at my place, he ordered a bunch of pay-per-view porn. He also got into my pot stash. He denied it, but there was at least an 8th missing out of my bag, and he ate a whole bag of pizza bites. I never should have trusted him alone there while I was at work. The guy is a huge mooch.
Actually, you probably did ask the Pope to visit. Foreign dignitaries don’t just pop in unannounced, especially heads of state.
The Foreign Office almost certainly “extended an invitation” (whether or not in response to a Papal request for them to extend an invitation).
Now, while you might not care about the Pope, and not want to spend any money on providing security for him, you’re basically obliged to. Foreign relations with any number of countries would become rather strained if anything were to happen to His Holiness while in Britain.
Not only that, but actual important people might stop visiting. What would happen to Britain’s economy if Britney Spears doesn’t show up at the HMV in Knightsbridge to autograph CDs?
If it makes you feel any better, let me know where I can send the 20p that you personally had to pay.
And you know what? I’ve really never been asked where a government is allowed to spend taxes in that sort of excruciating detail. Are they supposed to poll every person in the country for any expense about 10 million pounds?
ETA: When he dropped by my place, I’m pretty sure he’s the one who left pubic hairs on the soap. Gross.
THAT’S bullshit. Sure, the cops would have been paid anyway, but presumably they would have been out busting hippies and writing tickets. By being diverted to pope duty there was nobody performing those duties and society became that much more derelect as a result. If the cops could be spared for the duty, then they’re overstaffed.
More likely, in your scenario, the popeduty cops would be off-duty cops working overtime and incurring time and a half–so £300,000, not just a paltry £200,000. As for popesecurity…why? If the pope’s afraid to die, what hope does that give the rest of us?