Why Did Anti-Cuts Rioters Attack Charitable Fortnum & Mason’s?
The Trustees would therefore be looking to make grants
of around £40 million as usual during the next financial year.
The grants made, as usual, support a wide range of
charitable activities, but the largest overall grants in
terms of value were made in the Art (total £5,680,500)
and Education (total £11,985,166) categories. These
included a lead grant of £3 million to the British
Museum for the new Research Institute for Science
and Conversation and a grant of £1 million to the Royal
Opera House towards core costs. A grant of £1 million
was also made to the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign
and a further pledge for that sum was made to English
Heritage towards the redevelopment of Stonehenge.
Cancer Research UK received a £500,000 grant for its
Clinical Trials Unit in Manchester and there were eight
other grants for this amount. The remaining grants
were mostly for £250,000 or less, thus enabling the
Trustees to provide core support for as wide a range of
projects as possible.
At 5 April 2010, the Foundation owned 79.2 percent of
Wittington Investments Limited, a company registered
in England. Wittington Investments is the ultimate
holding company of Associated British Foods plc, which
is listed on the International Stock Exchange, and
Fortnum and Mason plc and Heal’s plc.
Janet Street-Porter is right:
Occupying Fortnum & Mason and attacking The Ritz hotel smacks of class war, pure and simple. To quote one blogger: ‘Fortnum is a symbol of wealth and greed. It’s where the super-rich do their weekly shop.’
Associated British Foods plc owns budget clothing outfit Primark. Should that be attacked too?
Hardly. At Christmas the store is packed with shoppers buying tins of biscuits and chocs for their grannies — tins that will be treasured for years. It’s one of our biggest tourist attractions. I’ve yet to meet anyone doing a weekly shop there. It would take far too long.
People book The Ritz for tea to celebrate special occasions, and you don’t have to be a resident to enjoy a drink in the bar. In the future, presumably protest group UK Uncut would like prime sites such as Piccadilly and Bond Street to be full of pound-shops instead of temples to luxury and opulent living.