Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tony Blair is overpaying for blood

The average human body contains about 5 litres of blood. When you donate blood a total of 470 ml is removed. From the 470 ml a single unit of blood (which consists of 450 ml) is extracted and made available to save someone else's life. So, a single human body contains roughly 11 units of blood.

According to the National Blood Service a unit of blood costs about £130. So a single human body contains about £1,430 worth of blood. As I write the BBC says that 331 British servicemen and women have died in Afghanistan and 179 in Iraq.

This week Tony Blair announced that he was planning to donate the £4.6m advance for his memoirs to the Royal British Legion. So, that's about £9,000 per serviceman or woman ordered into war by Blair who has given their life to protect Britain. He's seriously overpaying. Perhaps it's a penance ahead of the Pope's upcoming visit.

If Blair really wanted to make gesture he'd walk into a National Blood Service location and donate a unit of his own blood, instead of a drop of his fortune. Of course, Blair has already made a double donation to the Royal British Legion: first the injured soldiers, then the money to help them.

For my part I'll be doing what I've done for years: giving blood as often as I can and buying a poppy this winter to support the Royal British Legion.

And if you want to support the same charity consider the following. Blair's book costs £25 of which the publisher will probably get 40% of which Blair will likely get 15%. So, instead of buying the book, donate £1.50.

That's a good amount to give when buying a remembrance poppy as well. Come this November I'll look at those poppies and think of them as little signs that say "I donated to help one of Tony's injured soldiers instead of buying his autohagiography."

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If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.

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