I was watching the UK’s annual Comic Relief extravaganza last night. So far they have raised £74.3m and I’m sure there is much more to come before the final total is confirmed. Very laudable and worthy, of course, but why do we need it?
I’m always amazed by the charity of the ‘ordinary man in the street’ but I just can’t seem to get my head around why Joe and Jane Bloggs have to be cajoled, brow-beaten and badgered, over a whole evening’s broadcasting, to put their hands in their none-to-deep pockets to try and make a difference to the abject poverty in Africa and other countries, not to mention closer to home in the UK.
I’m not poo-pooing it at all, I’m impressed as always by how generous ordinary people really are. It’s just that if the organisers of these mega-charity events really wanted to make a difference, why don’t they approach the world’s mega-rich?
You know who I mean, the multi-billionaires of this world; the oil sheiks, the oligarchs, the businessmen, the bankers. The sort of people who could write a cheque for £75m and not miss it one little bit. How much money do these people need? How obscene does it have to get before they accept that something’s wrong? Why is it so difficult for them to realise that their ‘small change’ could wipe out poverty at a stroke?
If the UN can decide that Libya’s despotic regime needs to be reined in, why can’t they decide that the middle east’s outrageous oil profits need to be shared out a bit, instead of invading all and sundry so as to keep these profits for themselves? The gap between the world’s poorest and richest seems to be getting bigger all the time, there has to come a point when someone, somewhere says, “Enough!”
If the movers and shakers behind the showbiz ‘slebiddy’ charity events were to put their considerable efforts into getting these uber-rich individuals and organisations to donate their small change they wouldn’t need all these somewhat overdone media charity-a-thons, they could just work quietly behind the scenes and make the huge difference they so desperately desire.
Or could it be that there’s no fan-worship, publicity and media exposure to be had from working quietly behind the scenes?