Now its not that I don’t appreciate the notion of charity. After all, I spent most of my working life working for a charity. It’s just lately that I’ve begun to feel mightily uncomfortable with some aspects of the whole grand charity appeal bandwagon. Specifically its the business of individuals and businesses giving large amounts for the purpose of self-promotion or aggrandisement. Now I know that perhaps that’s pretty naive of me but I can’t deny this tugging in my head.
As we listened to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show this morning we heard an auction bid in aid of Children In Need. Callers were bidding for the privilege of a weekend of gluttony and indulgence topped by the chance of one of them claiming a classic Ferrari in a numbers out of a hat lottery. The leading bids were coming in at figures ranging from £15,000 to £50,000. And I stopped listening. Previously in the news we were hearing of the predicament faced by many of the young people in this country – no job, no money and no prospects. What a contrast. Oh how we live in strange times. The haves can ease their guilt through a public show of generosity, while the havenots await the drip…drip….drip…. of deliverance. And I started to listen to a voice in my head telling me that some of these grand fellas who give so much could be the bankers, the very ones we have salvaged with, and here’s the rub, our own brass. In fact the money that they are giving to charity could actually belong to us. And then I started talking with Lizzi about the Bank of England printing money or “quantitive easing” as the experts like to call it, She said “Why doesn’t the Bank of England print some money and give a million pounds to every person in the land?”. Now there’s a cracking idea. In the grand scheme of things that would cost around £60mm – veritable peanuts! We could inject some badly needed cash directly into the economy, create sorely needed jobs and not least of all, put a massive smile on everybody’s face this Christmas! Now what’s wrong with that.
And now, as I gaze out of the window the moon appears to be falling out of the sky.