Monday, 11 March 2013

Red Nose Day

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. 


Sackerson said...

Help me with reading the accounts:

I see £11 million raised via voluntary income and activities for generating funds, and £17.5 million costs of generating funds. Seems it would be better to cancel fundraisers and concentrate on getting and spending grants.

Macheath said...

There's something chilling about enforced jollity at the best of times, but, on this scale, it becomes essentially tyranny.

I've always felt slightly uneasy about the 'dumbing down' element of it; perhaps I'm being over-sensitive, but I find something distasteful in a bunch of well-paid Oxbridge graduates at the BBC sitting around looking for ways to extract money from the general populace using overtly infantile behaviour by celebrities.

Demetrius said...

Ve haf ways of mekking u laff.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - I'm no accountant but it looks that way to me too. Perhaps they'll run through the accounts during Friday's extravaganza.

Mac - yes, the dumbing-down aspect is almost weird. Don't they look at what they are doing?

Demetrius - not the red nose, anything but the red nose!

James Higham said...

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.

Are we increasingly curmudgeonly or do we just want to be allowed to get on with our own lives, unimpeded?

A K Haart said...

James - I think it's the latter because we remember.

Longrider said...

Sainsburys do every yetanatherthon going. Last year it was the execrable Sport Relief. This year Red Nose Day. They expect their serfs to take part, although if they don't there is no adverse outcome for the refusniks. The night staff never took part, so we must all have been curmudgeons.

I have never given to any of these dreadful mass fundraising events. I object to the causes they support and there is a lack of clarity about where the money goes. Besides, I am not going to be guilt tripped by a load of well off celebrities who should put their money where their mouth is instead of trying to get me to divvy up. Never have. Never will.

A K Haart said...

Longrider - I've never given to the mass events either. In fact I'm wary of all big charities these days and tend to support small local ones. RNLI are sound though.