So here it is again - Red Nose Day infesting my peripheral vision. It's that time of year when I can't set foot in Sainsbury's without the Comic Relief junk disturbing my tranquility.
All I want from Sainsbury's is to get in out of the cold, load up with groceries and find a bit of culinary inspiration. I don't want a red plastic nose thanks very much. Neither do I want to feel curmudgeonly for not joining in. Thanks for that one too.
There is something about the whole caper which rubs me up the wrong way and that's quite an achievement because I'm not an uncharitable person.
In my book, charitable giving is a private and usually anonymous business. It's one of the few areas left where we have complete discretion - because that's the point of charity. Take away the discretion and it isn't charity - to my way of thinking it really is that simple.
It's not as if Comic Relief is a genuine charity. Being part-funded by the BBC, I'm giving to Comic Relief on an involuntary basis anyway. Involuntary charity - now there's a modern, caring idea if ever there was one.
From Wikipedia :-
The July 2010 accounts for charity registration 326568 show grant payments of £59 million pounds, net assets of £135 million pounds, with an investment portfolio held in a range of managed pooled funds and fixed term deposits. The average full-time staff was 214, with 14 staff paid over £60,000 with remuneration for the year, excluding pensions, for Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive of £120,410.
Critics of Comic Relief and other BBC charity events say that the BBC is diverting funds from well established charities and smaller charities, there is no accountability for who decides on where the money is held or spent, and the main beneficiary is the BBC – goodwill and free programming – the bankers who hold the funds – and especially the celebrities promoting themselves on prime-time TV for free.
The critics are right, although I don't really class myself as one in spite of this post. I just find it distasteful.