Posted on February 24, 2011


patronising scroungers

patronising scroungers

The latest round of televisual charity nonsense is about to hit our screens and I for one am here to say I don’t give a camel’s hump about a bunch of “celebrities” trekking across a desert.  I hope they all wither away in a slow and painful death. Except for Kara Tointon because she’s a good dancer.  Yes, I know I am nearly on Lorraine Kelly’s Christmas card list [see Betamax for justification to that statement], but I’d happily watch “One of Britain’s favourite breakfast faces” die on the telly and it would save me a few bob in stamps.   Just what does the BBC’s Red Nose day website mean when it describes Lorraine Kelly as a “breakfast face”?  I have a few breakfast faces myself, and the one which most closely resembles Lorraine Kelly is my post-breakfast face.

I’m not anti-charity per se, in fact I am currently doing my little bit for Childline.  I’ve always felt I owed Childline something after phoning them up as a child for a laugh.  I laughed so much in fact that I wet myself, soaking my parents bed covers in the process – an act in itself that almost required the services of Childline ironically enough.

I just can’t stand a lot of the tactics and activities employed by charities.

Let’s take a wee look at Red Nose Day.  Who’s paying for these celebrities to go on the holiday of a lifetime exactly?  Is it my taxes in the form of the TV licence fee or is it donations to Red Nose Day?  Either way, all I can say is what a waste of money, effort and energy.  Why do the patronising people at the centre of these charities think that us idiot donators need to see a bunch of self-aggrandising people from the telly go on a jolly in order for us to “understand” the plight of the unfortunate poor people (presumably also idiots who will be partonised at the point of aid being delivered) who will be the benefactors at some vague point in the future, after expenses have been deducted of course.

These so-called charities are so far removed from their initial roles that they seem to have lost the plot.  Which brings me onto the subject of “High Street Charity Muggers”.

Charity Mugger

Charity Mugger

These people are a blight on the high street.  In Bristol they operate in gangs of up to a dozen irritably bouncy and pious young folk who try to stop you in your tracks, usually when you are running late for something.  It’s a bit like British Bulldogs, except for the fact that the last thing I would do if one of these people touched me is join them!  I’m reliably told (well I’ve been told) that in order for the charities to break even each mugger needs to take in excess of £100 in donations a day.  I hope that Childline doesn’t employ this tactic, although I bet it does, as I have a credo which dictates that any charity that does this goes straight to the bottom of my list of good causes which will get some of my hard-earned cash at some point in the future when I’ve got cash to give.

I would rather see these people wasting government-given handouts on a lavish lifestyle in the local pub than see them on the street harassing people, especially when the person that’s being harassed is me.  I have developed a tactic now whereby I tell them I’ve currently got a monthly direct debit in place for charity “X”.  They’ve wised up to this now and they ask me how much my direct debit is for?  What am I supposed to say to that, “Have a look at my bank statement you crusty-looking, smarmy faced irritant!”?.  It’s none of their business how much my imaginary donation amounts to, is it?   I’ve told them in the past that it’s £50 a month, just to see the look on their face, but do you know something – the crusty little beggars don’t bat an eyelid before responding, “Have you considered doubling that value?”  At this point I give them the Lorraine Kelly breakfast face, kick them in the shin and run.

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