Defining a Monbiot

So, at least we know what amount a Monbiot is now.

£75,000 a year gross or thereabouts.

As opposed to a Toynbee which runs at £116,000 I\’m told, or a Rusbridger which is £500,000 plus bonus and pension contributions.

Entering into the spirit of things, my income from various sources:

From corporate paymasters, spinners and PR peeps: £0.

Freelance writing income*: £200 to £4,000 a month**.

Running the shadowy international scandium oligopoly: £0 – £40,000 a year***.


*This is everything from Anorak (beer money) the ASI (beer money again) to Forbes (beer money plus performance related), The Examiner (used to be good, now cat food money, performance related), occasional pieces for such as The Times, City AM, IEA, quite a lot at normal freelance rates for The Register and so on, including advertising on the blog etc.

**That top end is achieved very rarely. Like twice in the past three years.

*** Yes, amazingly, income from a small business is wildly variable. Feast or famine. Everyone else gets paid first, see?

What can be very annoying is that the feast and the famine in both the freelance and the metal income can come at the same time. Grr.

25 thoughts on “Defining a Monbiot”

  1. I actually feel a little sorry for him having to declare his five grand from his lodgers for everyone on the internets to pick over. Do these “interests” really need declaring?

    I’m more interested in “interests” that are connections to shadowy cabals of New World Order Repto-Zionists, or at least Greenpeace. I really think his lodgers and indeed his salary are his business.

    Am I getting soft in my old age?

  2. @Matthew

    The economic side of that argument has been misrepresented. The economist isn’t taking into account the subjective cost of the guilt at abandoning an old woman to die. Unless the economist is a psychopath, he will almost certainly value “saving the old woman” higher than “saving the Mona Lisa”. His error is comparing the value of the woman (subjective, unmeasurable) to the value of the Mona Lisa (measurable at last sale point) rather than the values of the actual actions (saving each), which was the actual question.

  3. Ian

    I must admit to the same sensation. Interests are not every last drop of blood squeezed from the homeless (although he could have let them stay free, couldn’t he?) or even his salary (until it hits Mme. Toynbee’s definition of rich).

    The nasty side of me does however begin to wonder about income in other years.

  4. Fair play for putting that out in the public domain.

    I would be interested though in how much tax he paid on this total income – being a freelance journalist must be quite a good thing to be in, tax-wise. A lot of what normal people have to pay for out of taxed income could be classed as ‘expenses’ to a journalist. Lets say you fancy a weekend away. You or I have to pay for travel and accommodation expenses post tax. A journalist could claim to be visiting someone or something (he’s a eco-journalist, there’s bound to be something of that nature he could be visiting virtually anywhere these days) and claim pretty much everything against tax.

    Hence his tax bill might be more revealing.

  5. @Matthew: The Mona Lisa is an interesting one, as weren’t artworks evacuated from cities that were bombed, or expected to be bombed, in WWII? Eg I recall that the National Gallery in London was evacuated to salt mines in Wales, or somewhere like that. And didn’t that mean that resources were diverted towards that that could have been put into things more likely to save people’s lives?

  6. Just a thought

    Might there be justifiable expenses met by a third party? We should be told!

    Also, Jim, I suspect that he can probably claim that his home is his office and a small percentage of his home expenses will also be deductible. Shall we ask Mr. Murphy about that?

  7. Tracy W. Slate mines actually, I’ve no idea how much this cost but I wouldn’t have thought that saving lives – I presume you mean ARP etc – was actually all that high a priority during the war as there was only a minimal amount that could be done. Opening up the tube as shelters probably saved more lives than anything that required a large spend. Still it’s an interesting question, utilitarianism and culture in time of war.

  8. @WMC: ecocide – its a bit OTT on the naming side but I can see the rationale. Surprisingly enough I suspect even hard nosed free marketeers such as me baulk at destroying whole ecosystems.

    However I suspect that such a law would not be aimed at those doing the maximum damage (have you ever travelled to China and India and seen what goes on there?) but at the West, where to be honest things are pretty good, environmentally speaking, these days. Our rivers and air quality is better than it has been for decades. Wildlife seems to be recovering too.

    This would just be another stick for the Left to beat the West and large corporations with. They wouldn’t bother with the areas that actually need protection. Try prosecuting the Chinese government for ecocide and see haw far you get.

  9. I’m a real cynic so the “(except from family and friends)” makes me highly suspicious. If I were to declare my income, I’d not need to make this qualification.

  10. Thornavis, I was thinking along the lines of better logistic support for people in the military, more firefighters, etc. Moving the pictures must have taken fuel, vehicles and able-bodied people’s time.
    Thanks for the detail about the mines.

  11. Does GM claim for anything at all? A bus ticket? A pencil? His computer? Travel?

    Thought so.

    Bloody tax avoider.

  12. Tracy W. Yes I imagine there was a definite conflict between providing more military support and equipment and moving the national collection of paintings. On the other hand there was a strong feeling that providing cultural outlets helped raise morale, the BBC lunchtime concerts were established for this reason and I should think that the loss of those art works would have had a damaging effect and handed the Nazis a propaganda victory. The amazing survival of St. Paul’s during the blitz is an example of how powerful these things can be.

  13. I, sadly, can only think of a ‘Monbiot’ as a distinct, measurable unit in terms of having been costive for a couple of weeks and then finally, after gripping the edge of the seat, gnawing the bottom of the door in the stall etc., expelling a bog-blocking monstrosity the size of a Trident submarine. The kind where all you remember is the last five minutes of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. You wake up to flashing blue and red lights and people on walkie-talkies and a pretty nurse sponging your forehead and telling you you’re going to be OK. You think, “Good God! What did I just do?”. You did a Monbiot, my friend. A Monbiot.

  14. Hey a mansion in the country is about £75,000 a year gross or thereabouts. A sort of (green) Buck House in Machynlleth. Somebody’s ‘god’ blessed the Prince of Wales

  15. Yes – if a right wing journalist or politician posted a list like this, monbiot would be all over him. Gifts are historically how corruption and lobbying operate, and excluding it looks odd.

  16. @DocBud:

    Since Monbiot’s family is rich, “family” should make you very suspicious. Money from family trusts, use of property owned by… etc. could tot up to an awful lot of income-equivalent.

    “Friends” is just weird. Who has income from their friends? Is this possibly a mealy-mouthed way of describing discretionary trusts? Or could it be a description of right-on types and organisations with whom he feels common cause, and are therefore deemed ‘friends’ helping his noble exertions out with grants and gifts, not employers or clients paying him for something?

    I somehow doubt there will be more clarity.

  17. Crimes being considered for prosecution in Friday’s trial include the extraction of oil from Canada’s tar sands, a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, fracking for shale gas in Nigeria and bauxite mining of Niyamgiri mountain, India. The real world parallels are not accidental, I’m sure.

    Oh lawd. These spastic have just welded two random subjects together: Nigeria and fracking. Nobody is fracking in Nigeria, as there is no reason to, they have plenty of conventional and associated gas and no market to send it to as it is unless you run it through an LNG plant. Why didn’t try just choose a conventional spill in Nigeria? Fuckwits.

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