Lord Mandelson today accused the bankers of being the "unacceptable face of capitalism". Isn't this somewhat hypocritical, given that he wants the Internet industry to spend £500 million on an electronic fence to protect the rich in the music industry (ie, the Digital Economy Bill)? Is this acceptable when the country is virtually bankrupt?
A quick search of the Sunday Times rich list produces a veritable catalogue of rich musicians. These are the beneficiaries of the graduated response and website blocking measures proposed by Lord Mandelson in the Digital Economy Bill.
Estimates of the cost of Lord Mandelson's measures have been as high as £500 million. Moreover, the actual cost is not known, because ISPs will have to invest in new infrastructure to implement the measures in the Digital Economy Bill. That will take away money from investment in the broadband fibre network. And the Internet users will have to pay for it in increased subscription charges, as well as the threat to their rights to freedom of expression.
Moreover, an article in the Daily Telegraph today says that it will cost consumers £300 million as they will have to buy additional IT equipment to meet the obligation in Clause 14 of the bill to protect their Internet access.
I've pasted a sample of the the Sunday Times Rich list below, from the search results for musicians and others who have made their money from music:
|Rank||Name||Worth||Source of wealth|
|52=||Lord Lloyd-Webber||£750m||Entertainment, Music|
|120=||Sir Paul McCartney||£440m||Music|
|146=||Sir Cameron Mackintosh||£350m||Entertainment, Music|
|178=||Simon Fuller||£300m||Entertainment, Music|
|297=||Sir Mick Jagger||£190m||Music|
|322=||Sir Elton John||£175m||Music|
|333=||Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas||£170m||Films|
|388=||Olivia and Dhani Harrison||£140m||Inheritance, Music|
|388=||Sir Tim Rice||£140m||Music|
|406=||Jamie Palumbo||£130m||Entertainment, Music|
|406=||Sir Tom Jones||£130m||Music|
|426=||David and Victoria Beckham||£125m||Football, Fashion, Music|
|492=||Barry and Robin Gibb||£110m||Music|
To view the full list, go to The Sunday Times Rich List search page and type "music" in the search box.
Lord Mandelson's comments were reported by The Times .