The Pope and Maternity Leave. Who would put those 2 points in the same post? Okay, as a Catholic I am maybe slightly biased about the Pope's visit. But, as some of you know me so well, I am a divorced Catholic - I happily practise birth control (if sending Jeff off for the snip counts?!) - you all know kids mean the world to me, so the abuse scandals horrify me - and I don't care what religion, minority, sexual orientation, blah! blah! blah! you're are made up of, as long as you're a kind person. I also don't think Catholics, or any religion, has got a 100% tie-in to Him Upstairs. But the Pope's role (not the man), in a nutshell, is to act as Head of my Church. I don't have to like him - jury's out on that - but I like what he stands for.
So I find the whole anti-Pope visit truly saddening. Okay, maybe his aide was a bit outspoken about us being a third world country. But the point about Christians (not just Catholics) being treated as second rate citizens carries some credence. How often do we read an article about how we can't do this, or we can't do that, for fear of offence. And actually, usually it's only the Policitcally Correct Prats that care, Joe Bloggs couldn't give a hoot.
Okay, so it cost approx 11 million for his visit. Two points. How much did the economy benefit? People flew - drove - bused - taxied etc to see him. I assume they didn't get free travel? Cafe's, pubs, sandwich bars? I assume the Pilgrims didn't all bring sandwiches and/or starve. Hotels, B and B's, the Pilgrims that travelled some distance would have needed somewhere to sleep. I'm not saying that the money was recouperated, but it probably gave some businesses a boost during this difficult time.
And onto point two. What about the 'Why should I pay for it' cries? Why aren't you creating a fuss about the new EU Directive which is being considered (note EU Directive, not UK) on Maternity Leave which will cost our businesses, and therefore indirectly employees) 2.5 billion a year! If you want to make a fuss, start shouting loud about that instead! Palls the 11 million into insignificance.