||[Aug. 13th, 2016|11:14 am]
The old Duke of Westminster always looked a little apologetic- as if his wealth embarrassed him. As well it might. "But I can't give it away," he used to say, "Because it doesn't belong to me."|
Who does it belong to, then?
Who needs a pot of £9.3 billion? What's the point of it?
And why, if you found it such a burden yourself, would you want to hand it down to the next generation?
Which is what has happened. The old Duke died at a relatively young age and the new Duke- who is in his mid twenties- has been landed with the lot.
(As far as I can make out the Grosvenor fortune is the result of a singular windfall. One of them- back in the 18th century- married the woman who owned the swampy land and market gardens to the West of the City of London. Then came the Regency building boom. It's not exactly ill-gotten gains but ...)
Andrew Carnegie said, "A man who dies rich dies disgraced." That's the spirit. Mark Zuckerburg and his wife are giving away 99% of their huge fortune. Good for them.
Money is energy in token form- and a lot of money sitting in the bank is energy locked up. The proper thing to do with it is to keep it circulating. Irrigate the culture, do what good you can.
I saw some footage of him saying that "The only advantage" of being DoW that he could see was that he could get a good seat at a restaurant. This speaks of a lack of imagination, at the very least.
I went off him rather after hearing a story from my cousin (who was for many years his PA and to whom, to be fair, he was always generous and considerate). His son - the current DoW, I suppose - had been shooting in Scotland and had accidentally left his gun there. The Duke, annoyed, ordered his private plane to go up especially to fetch it back to Cheshire. When my cousin murmured something about the environment, he replied, "What's the point of being the richest man in England if you can't get your gun back when you want it?"
He could have commissioned art, produced movies, backed scientific research- and still had money left over for restaurant seats. As you say, it shows a lack of imagination.
The gun story is priceless.
Fwiw, other half got his doctorate via a Carnegie scholarship!
I'm a bit of a fan of Andrew Carnegie. Poor boy from a small Scots town, went to America, made a packet (OK he was a bit of a hard man) then splurged it all on libraries and concert halls.
Presumably it's in a trust, so it doesn't belong to the new fella either. How convenient.
In round numbers, it would make the interest payments on the national debt for about 3 months.
Well, every little helps....
That amount of money seems so gross in any way you formulate it.
They should use it to buy elections.
Put that money to work.