The backlash against Salman Rushdie’s knighthood has (no surprise) begun.
I’m supporting Sir Salman. Care to join me? [I know – all you novelists stick together.-ed. You mean like Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal?]
UPDATE: FYI – from Parliament:
THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES
(HANSARD)in the third session of the fifty-second parliament of the
united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland commencing on the
seventh day of may in the forty-sixth year of the reign of
HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II
VOLUME DCXVII ELEVENTH VOLUME OF SESSION 1999–2000 House of Lords
9 Oct 2000 : Column 1
Monday, 9th October 2000.
The House met at half-past two of the clock: The LORD CHANCELLOR on the
Prayers–Read by the Lord Bishop of Hereford.
Mr Salman Rushdie
Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty’s Government:
What has been the cost to the taxpayer of the provision of personal
protection to Mr Salman Rushdie.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of
Brighton): My Lords, it has long been the practice not to disclose the
actual costs of protecting a particular individual. If those costs were
revealed, it would be possible to estimate the scale of protection.
That would prejudice the security of the individual concerned.
Lord Ahmed: My Lords, I thank my noble friend the Minister for his
reply. Now that Mr Rushdie is living in Manhattan, how long will we
continue to provide his personal protection in New York? Is the
Minister aware that Mr Rushdie charges 1 million dollars in advance for
his publications, and that he has recently signed a contract with
Random House for five books? Will he be paying tax to the British
Government or the American Government?
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, it would be invidious for any
Minister to discuss the tax affairs of any UK national. The level of
protection which will be provided to Mr Rushdie during his time in
America is entirely a matter for the American authorities.
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