Monday, August 16, 2010


I was musing earlier today. How much does a visit from the Pope to the UK cost both the Vatican, the parishes, (parishioners are asked to donate to their attendance at the Mass event; I believe £20 is the suggested sum) and the State, for provisioning the paraphernalia for the 'State Visit' and the security element?

We, as part of the international community, are being exhorted at this time and will be for sometime to come, to dig deep into our collective pockets to assist with awful disasters to humanity, yet..........


Anonymous said...

it might be nice if when they're demanding us to dig deep that we actually get a say in where the money's going to.

ZACL said...

That is a fair point, but then Ax, there are ways of channelling financial gifts. Sadly, not as clearly as was made available at the tragedy of Dunblane, never to be repeated, I hope.

keiko amano said...


I think the title of this blog, "Charitable Mismatch," is right into the point.

Although my story does not include charity, but a few years ago, I was heading toward an ancient temple in Yokohama with a friend of mine and met a large crowd and policemen. To make the story short, the emperor and empress made their visit at 1 pm or so that day, and we couldn’t get into the ground of the temple. Because it is a famous temple, I’m sure many people were in the same situation as we were that day: we had to cancel our trips. And I’m sure the emperor and empress do not wish any disturbances and especially interrupting the citizens’ weekend trip to the temple.

Later, I learned that the policemen looking people I saw at the temple and vicinity were the security guards from an outsourcing company. The temple is in a residential area, and there was no vendor, but quite many people held a Japanese flag. I wondered how they got their flags. I heard a guard speaking to the crowds. I wasn’t there to hear the whole speech, but they were controlling the crowds. One side of the road had no trash. Nobody was walking on that side. Because it was vacant, I almost tried to walk that side. But my Japanese friend pushed herself through people on the crowded side. I reluctantly followed her. I used to think there are many right wing people left in Japan because whenever I see new-year scenes at the ground of the place, the emperor waves from the bullet proof window to the large crowd on the ground. But when I see such scene now, I think more about those outsourcing security companies behind the scene, although I don’t know what kind of people own those companies.

ZACL said...

Hello Keiko,

Your story beautifully illustrates the inconvenience all these 'show' state functions can cause to people who have no locus or interest in them. In addition, the cost of managing them and the costs and losses foisted onto the innocent and unsuspecting bystander, are enormous.

A cost-benefit analysis would be interesting, especially, to see what measures might be used to justify such events. Two analyses would be even more interesting, the other to focus on sectors of the public who are affected and the outcome of various measures considered for them, (or people like you and your friend).