Saturday, 15 March 2008

Not such a Sport Relief


I was watching Sport Relief last night with the two children I was babysitting for when I started to think; is this charity at all?   I am in no doubt that the work done by the charities that are supported by the public's donations do incredibly useful and life saving work but is it the right thing to just throw money at problems?

Many people today obviously think it is a solution; just look at the Federal Reserve pouring money into Bear Stearns  in order to keep the economy afloat and, on this side of the pond, the Labour government burning money in the NHS.    

But there was something that turned my stomach when watching a clip of "Sport Relief does the Apprentice":  Louise Redknapp, a rich pretty wag,  was persuading one of her "celebrity" friends to buy a ticket for an event they were running as part of the show.  "£100,000 for three tickets?  Oh you're a rockstar!" she yelped.  Quite sickening.  Injections of cash may help charities incredibly but won't eliminate poverty or social problems.  These things can only start to be eradicated by changing the attitudes of individuals so they can then influence the governments who have the real power.  It's a shame that the BBC didn't think about what charity can be like without vast amounts of money and glossy programs to dress it up.  After all, charity begins at home. 

2 comments:

wolfeman said...

I think the thing that really sickens you is the public nature of the donations, not the idea that vast sums of money are a simple panacea. Am I right? Indeed, the Sport Relief hours are always chocka with examples of micro-projects which account for the sums spent.

Grace said...

No I don't think you are right. If people want to give money to charities then their generosity is applaudable, whether they give publicly or not. It's the way people give vast sums of money seemingly without questioning why people are unfortunate enough to be in dire situations as shown on the tv. If every famous person on that programme followed their vast donations up with the same amount of political lobbying then we might see sustainable results. Of course money is needed to help these people but money will not last, policy will.