This year's Notting Hill Carnival once again cost taxpayers millions.
A 2002 study funded by Ken reckoned each one costs £6m in policing (10,000 officers required), plus £0.5m from the LB of Kensington and Chelsea, plus an unknown amount from other councils, plus "over £1m" in direct grants. So by the time you've added the fruitbat, you're probably talking close to £10m. Every single year.
And what do we taxpayers get out of it? Ken's report talks blithely of "economic benefits" of £93m, with 3,000 jobs. But setting aside their wild grossing up for indirect "multiplier" benefits, their own figures show the bulk of the direct spending goes on booze and fast food- the very things our Fitness Minister is trying so desperately to outlaw. And they don't even record the spending on substances.
Unsurprisingly, the organisers have consistently failed to find commercial sponsorship. Western Union are back in, but Lilt- even with that "typically tropical taste"- jacked it in after deciding they didn't actually want their logo caught up in televised street violence.
As we've said before, we have absolutely no problem with circuses like Glasgay or the Notting Hill Carnival.
But wtf should we have to pay for them?
PS Hey, you exclaim, is that Western Union as in aren't-their-200,000-agents-suspected-of-involvement-in-all-kinds-of-dodgy-money-transfers-from-drugs-to-laundering-to-9/11 connections-to-being-investigated-by-US-Federal-authorities-and-the-Israeli-intelligence-services-Western Union? You know, you may be right. Wonder if the Carnival organisers and Ken know that.