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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Bread and Circuses: the Royal Wedding

I have just finished reading Nicholas Shaxson's Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World which explains how big corporations and very rich people avoid and evade paying taxes in the countries where they operate or live.

Some of them will have recently received invitations to the Royal Wedding: not paying taxes marks you out as important enough to attend this sort of event.

Now I am in the middle of reading Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone.

The Royal Wedding is one of those things which is not better for everyone. 1900 guests at the wedding, 600 at the lunch, 300 at the more intimate evening do. It's the kind of circus designed to make other people feel inferior.

Nor is it the sort of thing which is going to help William and Kate establish themselves as a happily married couple. The big bash did not do it for Charles and Diana and it is a foolish assumption that it can do it for anyone.

From now until the Big Day the Royal Wedding will provide a steady supply of cheap stories for newspapers and TV. They need such stories; many of them can no longer afford to employ journalists.

PS: No sooner had I posted this, than up popped Google with four targetted ads, the last one for "Royal Handwaving Flags", in 100% polyester, so that the lower orders can afford to wave them.

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