Posts Tagged ‘charity’

What with christams, new year and well life, it’s been a few weeks. But I hadn’t forgotten. So here’s another Friday fiver.

This week I saw a tweet from someone I follow on twitter

Now, I find Skip funny and provoking. Not to everyone’s taste certainly. But following the link i saw this charity.

Soldiers off the Street helps all branches of the forces. They provide practical and sound help to get people back on their feet and with a fighting chance of a decent life. Not a lot to ask for guys and girls who signed a blank cheque to the nation for everything up to and including their life is it?

The fact that this is needed shows what politicians really think of the forces. There to be discarded when inconvenient. Take a moment for a read, and if you can spare the price of a pint they even take paypal… go on, you know you’ll feel better for doing it.

So after last weeks inaugural Friday Fiver, this week I thought we would stay seasonal.

For this Friday Fiver November has become Movember around the UK. The objective,

by growing “Mo’s” to “raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. As an independent global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.”

A good buddy is once again joining the ranks of the hirsute. It’s not easy, but it must be said he goes for it with some elan. So first of all kudos is due and so is your support!

For those of you interested in donating, why not here? Give a buddy some support. After all he’s giving up looking like a woman for a whole month! (no way you were getting away without something)

So for Paul, and every other MoBro or MoSis out there. Bravo Zulu.

Carry on.

poppyI feel like bricking the TV at this time of year. The news with it constant parade of politicians wearing poppies, laying wreaths and talking of sacrifice when the closest most of them come to it is forgetting to claim their latest heating bill.

An endless stream of hypocrisy wearing as sincere a face as possible before returning the following day to sip coffee and consider their latest foreign adventure to rescue oil or rare metals from the evil clutches of those who demand too high a price from their financial backers.

These same politicians are happy to spend money on their own housing portfolios but neglect to buy enough body armour for young people they send to war. They would rather send overseas aid to countries with nuclear weapons and space programs rather than buy enough helicopters for troops forced to slog through hostile country. They would rather spend money on covering up NHS blunders rather than provide adequate treatment facilities for those troops who give their bodies in service.

They have cut all the forces beyond the minimum. We have a Royal Navy without ships, a RAF without aircraft and an Army lacking in troops. We even rip up the covenant and discard those that have served nearly their entire working life to save a few pounds to throw away elsewhere. Perhaps spending £1000 on an investigation into who embarrassed a mayor by publicising her disdain for those serving, rather than actually learning to show respect in the first place.

Yet they are happy to keep joining conflicts so they can feel important at diplomatic functions.

The hypocrisy does not end there. Bad things happen in conflicts.

All friends now

All friends now

Afterwards it appears that amnesties and forgiveness can be extended to our enemy. But not to our own troops.

It is not even just those in uniform that are cynically used. Those that work in support can be spent like ammunition in pursuit of political ideology. Jobs and livelihoods culled to buy votes.

So forgive me if I consider simply wearing a poppy, or retweeting a photo barely absolves us of our responsibility towards those that fight in our name. Yes they do a professional job that they agreed to do. But they deserve more than the faux platitudes of hypocritical politicians.

So, rather than dig out a few copper coins and buy a poppy because you feel you have to, next time you see a homeless soldier don’t just spare some change spare a couple of minutes to say hi.

The more thinking amongst you may be saying “great, but what’s this guy doing as well as spouting online?”

Fair point.

Well obviously the Royal British Legion get my support. One of the local shops allows you to round your purchases up to make a donation so I’ve been doing that all month. Help for heroes make really good t-shirts that feel good whilst allowing you to do some good.

However I had some crap news today and so in memory of someone I will miss I though I’d start an irregular piece on here. I moan and heckle a lot I know. So rather than just be negative all the time I will start the Friday Fiver.

Five of your actual English pounds...

Five of your actual English pounds…

I’m not rich by any means, but I reckon if I can afford hobbies, computers and mobile phones then I should be able to do more regular giving. So occasionally I pledge to donate a fiver on a Friday, and spend some time and effort promoting a charity on here.

So in memory of the only other sailor in my family, I thought I’d start with something nautical.

Seafarers UK is maritime charity that supports and promotes the many organisations that look after seafarers in need across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines, together with their families.

Their website is far more eloquent than I can be on their works. Please visit it and have a read. They make it very easy to donate. They even accept paypal. So be better than a politician and actually do some good. If not the seafarers, then make a small difference for the better somewhere else. Never know it may just make a difference.

Two news stories that have been dragging on that to me share some bleak and disturbing similarities.

First up Jimmy Saville. Now bereft of headstone, reputation and venues named after him, despite as yet being convicted of nothing. It is alleged he carried out decades worth of abuse of children and vulnerable adults in places such as the BBC, Great Ormand Street, Leeds hospital (where he was a volunteer porter), and numerous other places.

Now a multitude of voices crawl out of the wordwork to pour fuel on the flames as they stoke up the witchburning. Now the man is dead, now the abused children are damaged, now the accusers have nothing to fear, now the horse has well and truly bolted, they speak out.

That Saville was a weirdo and probably a molester is no surprise I think. What shocks is the sheer number of people that must have known, must have covered the facts, in effect must have facilitated his abuse.

If you knew what was going on, truly knew, and did nothing, you are an accomplice. You left children and sick young adults unable to defend for themselves to the clutches of an abuser. You put your job or career before them. You should be named and shamed.

Second story is that of Lance Armstrong. Wonder boy and darling of the new super-sport cycling now exposed as drugs cheat and bully. He is alleged to have systematically doped and encouraged others to do so. He is alleged to have threatened other riders to capitulate to his demands, threatened reporters who wrote articles he disagreed with or that threatened to tarnish his teflon reputation as the hero who defeated cancer. Again people knew, and did nothing.

But the thing that really joins the two events, the thing that makes my blood boil, is the defence I have seen on more than one occasion.

“But think of the charitable work they did”

They got away with their crimes in part because they raised cash for good works. They were shielded and tolerated because they helped fund hospitals, or research. They used photogenic kids in dire medical need as a cover for their activities. In effect, allow me to carry on or little timmy suffers. People rationalised the harm they did as it allowed them to keep their job, or carry on their research. They put their own goals first and profited from the crimes.

The fact they raised a few million that was put to good use does not absolve them from their crimes. Or do we just put a price on abuse? Million quid per small child? or 2 years of drugs cheating?

They perverted what should have been good and noble activities to be little more than covers, and if you use that answer in any way as an excuse for allowing them to continue you were an accomplice too.

I believe that “but think of the charity they bring in” will now be termed the Armstrong-Saville defence…

Give us your money

Give us your money

Several large charities combined forces at an event in London to lobby parliament for direct funding and an increase in overseas aid. It was organised by the usual worthy aid agencies ActionAid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children and Tearfund in an effort to secure an increase in the UK aid budget.

Basically that means instead of money being given voluntarily to charities either directly by people or via voluntary participation in schemes such as the national lottery that money removed from us by threat of force in the form of taxes is given direct to unnaccountable charities with their own agendas.

I’m sure it’s all with good intention blah blah blah, but lets look at where overseas aid goes.

The biggest recipient is a democratic country with a government directly elected by the population that chooses to spend it’s money on items such as;

A developing space program inculding the intention of manned missions
A indiginous nuclear weapons program
A naval fleet including operational aircraft carriers capable of deploying fixed wing assets

All things we in the UK do not have.

Their government has decided these sort of programs are their priority ahead of education, social security, health care and so on. The population elected their government and continues to do so. So why excatly do we send best part of a billion pounds their way a year?

Charity should be voluntary. I decide what organisations I want to give money to. It is simply wrong that unaccountable charities demand a “robin hood” tax where a tax is levied on any transaction you or institutions you use make that is then given away according to politicians priorties.

Do not misunderstand, I applaud chairities on the whole, and I choose which I support. what I object to is the centralist idea that I should not have a choice. That the reward I work hard for, studied hard for and invested time effort and money in being able to acheive should be forcibly removed from me and given to others to redistribute as they see fit.

Charities should live or die on the supprt they receive. If the public are not willing to support them then let them wither and fade, If people decide that they do not want to support foreign regimes being able to spend all their own money on nuclear weapons then they should be free to decide that.

Otherwise they are no longer charities. They are simply people who think they can spend your money better than you.

There is the usual rhetorical guilt complex that we are comparitivley rich etc. Try telling that to families whose children we can no longer afford to send to university, or pensioners forced to decide whether to eat of heat their house. tell it to cancer patients who face a postcode lottery of treatment, Tell it to the armed forces denied adequate kit, leave or accomodation. Tell it to social services who do not have the manpower to care for all the children at risk. All people that have contributed to a system that now tells them we cannot afford these things but we can afford to send £16,000,000,000 a year abroad to fund programs their governments view as less of a priorty than arms and corruption.

What they mean is the type of person usually involved in the charity in comparitevly rich. Look at the person demanding you give them your money to be redstributed and you can usually find they are from an affluent background. Good for them, I congratulate them on their philanthropy.

Now leave me alone to decide how I wish to contribute with mine.

Having a good one? Picked up a copy of Call of Duty? or maybe a few pints down the pub? possibly won that auction on eBay? Or maybe just planning the next airsoft outing with that bag of pyro you’ve just treated yourself to… What did it all cost? £30? may £100 for a couple for a couple of things in the last fortnight?

Then get your hand in you pocket and spend a fraction of that on something important. It’ll be painless for you and might help someone who you know deserves it.

Norris Atthey is chairman of Morpeth Red Squirrels, he has worked tirelessly to protect the native breed from extinction by combatting the advance of the alien grey species.

He has just spent 10 hours in police custody after claiming to have drowned a grey squirrel in order to support the case of another man last month who was prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by drowning a grey squirrel in a water butt.

Now that in itself is dubious, what really annoys and causes keyboard punding is that it was all at the behest of a charity, the RSPCA.

They turned up at his house demanding he co-operate with their enquiry, when he refused they had him arrested. Northumberland policed when questioned abdicated responsibility as “the RSPCA are leading the investigation”


An unelected, unaccountable body, that even the government refuses to fund has the power to direct the police and use public resources such as police stations, police officers and vehicles against members of the public?

Who are they to determine drowning was crueler than trapping? What size rebate did we get when local authorities and the police gave up carrying out part of their duties?

Piss off you do-gooding Power crazed Bill-oddie wanna-bees.

I am not especially cruel to animal. I eat them as do the majority of people. I shoot them (in a humane manner by killing them a lot faster than the way anything you may buy at tescos died). I think that people who abuse animals should be investigated and prosecuted – by the Police or other Public Authority, not a secretive charity who rely on donations to exist, with their own agenda.

The Law belongs to the population who delegate it to accountable bodies on their behalf. Not a bloody charity.

First, hat tip to Old Holborn (always worth a read)

Comic relief are advertising for an intern, now cards on the table time, I dislike the idea of interns intensely. They are a way of a) getting cheap labour to do work and b) a system of ensuring the old boy network persists.

Internships do nothing to ensure the most able get into the best positions. Internships working for charities, quangoes and MPs are usually targetted at graduates, and how many of them can seriosuly afford to work for free without a priviliged background? They enable the wealthy to give jobs to other wealthy peoples spawn to propogate the inbred incestuous sinkholes of power that already exist.

Anyway, back to the cheerful, red nose wearing, it’s all for charity folks, comic relief, they want a Public Education Intern who will carry out work including;

Campaigns include the Robin Hood Tax, malaria, maternal health and climate change amongst others

Hang on. This is the charity set up to campaign for “just world free from poverty’. We all give that annoying tit in the office a few quid to help stop famine, help prevent treatable diseases, promote care for the homeless and those in need. Since when did a charity decide it was up to them to campaign for certain tax systems and climate change debates? I must have missed Lenny Henry in his oh-so-whacky suit describing how we need to launch political campaigns to target certain sectors of the economy. Which part had Griff Rhys smegging Jones doing another heart warming piece on whether climate change data should be free for all scientists to use in their calculations or jealously guarded and perverted by Government sponsored hacks

It doesn’t matter whether I agree with those things or not. It is not for them to get involved with political campaigning without openly admitting that’s what they use our money for.

Until then, my pennies will go elsewhere.

Article on the BBC, apparently one the biggest group of intern users by percentage is to investigate the use of interns….

Intrigued? Thought you would be. Unfortunately though this is a shameless plug for a buddy raising cash for Movember.

“Movember?” you’re thinking “WTF is that?”… It’s growing Mo’s in November, hence Movember (geddit?!)

Basically, he agrees to try to grow some manly hair. (believe me, it’s a real test for him!) and in return for the opportunity to laugh at, ridicule and embarrass him people cough up some cash in the name of the Prostate Cancer Charity. A worthwhile and for some blokes, damn necessary organisation. So to help fellow blokes basically have less of a pain in the arse part with a few quid now. Come on, you lose more than that in the pub and not even realise.

You can check Pauls page out here complete with pics and links to donate.

Movember - Sponsor Me