Friday, 3 September 2010

What would you do with £20million?

In September, Pope Benedict XVI will pay a state visit to the United Kingdom. The cost of the visit will be at least £20,000,000, not including security. This is a staggering amount to spend in order to welcome the head of a state (the Vatican City) and head of an organisation which have been responsible for:
  1. opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of AIDS
  2. promoting segregated education
  3. denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women
  4. opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people
  5. failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.
  6. rehabilitating the holocaust denier bishop Richard Williamson and the appeaser of Hitler, the war-time Pope, Pius XII.
 -- as well as resisting "signing many major human rights treaties and [forming] its own treaties (‘concordats’) with many states which negatively affect the human rights of citizens of those states."

Several groups have joined together to organise a protest against the Pope, on Saturday 18th September at 1.30pm, at Hyde Park Corner, London. For more information, see Protest the Pope.

Another website to check out is, where you can see other people's suggestions of what they'd do with £20,000,000 and submit them yourself, if you are on Twitter. Some examples:

  1. rmc47
    rmc47 - If I had #20million... I'd spend it on educating people about scientific principles, and how statistics works.

  2. Simon Carpentier
    SimonCarpentier - If I had #20million, I would invest in renewable energy, technology, and alternative transport

  3. Sarah Benwell
    kalpana_s - If I had #20million, I would start developing a literacy programme that works in favour of African countries!

  4. Joe Knowler
    Joeyfr88 - if I had #20million, I would donate it all to mental health charities.
-- this quote was brought to you by quoteurl

This isn't a matter of the Pope being allowed to visit the UK as a religious leader, which of course he is entitled to do, but of the type of head of state whom the British government thinks it is appropriate to offer a state reception to.
There is a lot more information available at the links above if you're interested in having your say on the issue.

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