Hang on a minute

Yes, while these two stories do indeed show a gap in compensation, it\’s not quite the gap that this writer thinks it is.

What price a life that might have been? If you are an 18-year-old footballer whose chance of a professional career was ended by an over-zealous tackle that broke your leg, then it is £4.5?million.

If you are a young soldier who loses both legs and suffers brain damage in action in Afghanistan, then it is a fraction of that sum.

I do not begrudge Ben Collett the millions he was awarded in compensation this week, but can it be so readily assumed that every young sportsman or woman who shows early potential will go on to fulfil it, and earn accordingly?

Collett, now 23, and about to begin a degree in English at Leeds, has his health and an independent life ahead. The same cannot be said for L/Bdr Ben Parkinson, the most severely injured British soldier to survive a landmine explosion. His paltry compensation of £151,000 was increased after a media campaign.

The larger number is the total compensation for lost wages that the footballer received. His wages as a top flight footballer would have been large, I think we can all agree (about that sum per year probably) and have then been reduced by the probability that he wouldn\’t make it into that top flight.

The compensation received by the soldier is the immediate compensation. He also (unless I am extraordinarily wrong about how such things work) gets a pension from the Army.

Yes, I too think that his compensation is too low but we should at least be comparing like with like: full sums with full sums, not full sum without ongoing payments.

5 thoughts on “Hang on a minute”

  1. Yes, Ben Parkinson will be getting a pension from the Army. It probably won’t be much (and I can’t find my reference material – the Daily Hate reckons about £19k) – as a Lance Bombardier and without many years in.

    You cannot reasonably compare civil liability payments, such as Ben Collett’s and the (unamed) RAF typists, to those payable to servicemen and women injured in the line of duty. War hurts …

    Admittedly, the Broonian machine is not doing its duty to care for injured soldiers but that should be proper hospital treatment and subsequent rehabilitation (rather than relying on the well-intentioned but shouldn’t actually be needed “Help for Heroes” charity) rather than cash awards. I can see that paying for conversions to houses etc would also be reasonable but [rant=’off’]!

  2. I agree that my comparison is not a fair one and I regret using it now because my main point was to highlight the irresponsibility and unfairness of reducing state compensation for rape victims who consumed alcohol prior to the rape.

    Still, it must be frustrating for victims of violent crime to see such huge amounts paid out in private while they themselves are usually powerless to sue their attacker.

  3. Yup, it’s unfortunate that most of the people who commit violent crime are penniless thugs.

    Actually, that should mean that rape victims benefit substantially from the tort system, shouldn’t it? After all, it’s one of the few serious violent crimes commonly commited by people who *do* have assets and *are* worth suing…

  4. Well good point John but I’d imagine that many wealthy and well-to-do rapists don’t actually get a conviction on account of them being . . . wealthy and well-to-do. You know, best defence available etc..

    No conviction, no victim compensation, no private suing.

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