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Children In Need

I heard Fred McAulay on Radio Scotland say something this morning that made me think. He said ‘Children in Need is great because everybody buys into it’.

What about you?

Let me say of course it’s great that people donate money and that it finds its way to many good and varied causes which help children (in need).

But…….

Am I the only one who finds the whole thing just a tad nauseating? Just when did charities and charity events become such a brand? Why should the fact that there are so many poor, disadvantaged, disabled, sick and abused children be a cause for an annual festival of chummy celebrity backslapping?

I like to think I give generously to charity and I pick my causes carefully. Heck we even fundraised at our silver wedding recently and thanks to our friends and family we raised a tidy sum for Epilepsy Action instead of a whole lot of presents we didn’t need. We were inspired to do this by BLFP corresponent Robbo who with Mrs Robbo did the same thing at their wedding.

However if  there are children in need on such a scale it should be a matter of governmental concern and priority, especially in the week in which we heard of the short harrowing life of baby P in Harringey.

How about adults maybe not giving Christmas presents to each other this year and donating the money instead to children’s charities?

It won’t happen.

It’s not zany or sexy or indeed a blast.

Once again it will be left to X factor runners up, previous winners of Big Brother, BBC Newsreaders, the cast of the Bill oh! and fucking Terry Wogan to gain yet more public exposure and to let the nation salve its conscience by chipping in a few quid for a night of inane shite on the telly.

Pass the sick bag.

There has to be a better way.

4 Responses

  1. It’s not just you. The whole thing makes me vomit.

  2. Jeez, Ben-Lo, this is spooky, I was quoting your thoughts almost verbatim last night !

    Some years ago I coined a phrase for this sort of extravaganza; ‘Designer Charity’, in which the act of selfless giving is turned into some sort branch of the entertainment industry, featuring as you say a cast list of very well paid media types in the guise of right-on socially aware citizens.

    And whilst I have no doubt that there ARE very many worthwhile causes aided by the likes of Children In Need I would ask just why these causes should have to rely on that source of funding in a country which has no trouble financing illegal wars, a Ruritanian royal family, Trident missiles et al.

    Of course that begets the question that I doubt Wogan, Jackie Bird and their well-remunerated chums never pause to ask themselves; just why in Britain in 2008 are there so many children in need ?

    Sure I’m being cynical and churlish, and left to the likes of me all those (largely middle-class it would appear – didn’t see many primaries from Possilpark or Wester Hailes mentioned) school weans would be denied the chance to indulge in some fun.

    It would also remove them as a fig-leaf for a whole army of cynical adults who relish their annual ‘Hey World, Look At Me/Us Throwing Cash At A Worthwhile Cause’ act courtesy of the BBC. Funny too, how remarkably few donations are made anonymously.

    Some years ago I met a fat, middle-aged prick from lower England who told me in no uncertain terms of how fed up he was of watching items about Africa on BBC TV news bulletins in which Orla Guerin or Feargal Keane led with the words ‘ they came in their thousands……’

    I’ll wager fifty quid he was a donor last night (winks).

  3. Oh, it’s great to find someone who agrees with me on this! Every year I have switched on Children in Need out of a sense of civic duty and I never last more than two minutes. It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion. The point that I switched it off this time was when the camera turned on a group of kids who were pretending to play the guitar like McFly; it was so obvious that they’d been told to do this as a cute kiddie thing. If they could even get a half decent band on to play; I haven’t heard Girls Aloud sing in tune yet, and McFly are just rubbish. It’s just all these guys from Eastenders being nice and you know they’re going to be effing and blinding and burying each other alive the night after. Anyway, it’s safe to come out from behind the sofa..

  4. As soon as I see “Children in need” in the TV listings I know it’s time to pick a DVD or go out for the night. Alas, even if you out, you’ll undoubtedly come across some arsehole in a bath of beans in the pub. Don’t get me wrong, I support charities of my choice, except I choose the time, place and amount. I don’t need semi-celebs ramming pictures of hardship and suffering in my face while they, proportionately give a far smaller sum of their disposable incomes to the very people they claim to passionately support. I wish they would give up on this annual guilt trip charade.

    I give by direct debit, every month to my choice of charity, so I feel I’m entitled to have my point of view on collection methods.

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