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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Children in need. Tell me about it?

I know I am in the minority here, but I'm not happy with 'Children in Need'.

I never am.

I have many reasons.

One is that we live in an affluent country in comparison to many, and we simply shouldn't have any children in need at all.

Yet no one seems to be asking why we do.

We are donating money to solve a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place.

Similarly we shouldn't have homeless people, mentally ill individuals contemplating suicide due to benefit cuts, abused teenagers slipping through a safety net, elderly folk freezing to death in winter, and much much more.

Should the solution to these issues really be voluntary funded from our individually tightly squeezed incomes?

Haven't we already contributed enough?

When we consider what our tax contributions are used for, are there any of us that wouldn't look at one expenditure and think 'Oh, that would keep a hospice open?'
We already putting cash into a pot that should be used to fund these supports?
Isn't children in need just a second dip into out pockets?

It's a con that we are supporting. It seems to be that we are in fact the mugs that are born every second.

This year a record breaking thirty one million was donated - and while we should take some collective pride in how this has been managed in such a horrible economic climate for a huge swathe of our society - there is a bit of me that thinks that someone is sitting right now at a large table in an office in London and laughing at us.
Meanwhile the same sort of wanker will take our generosity as proof that we have more money that we are letting on.
'Over sixteen million for those in the Philipines, another thirty odd million for this and you say you are skint?'
That will be the angle taken and lets not pretend that it wont.

The truth is that many of us don't have the money.
I didn't have the £10 that I feel was guilt tripped out of me from my daughters school, but they got it.
That's £10 of food, or gas, or electricity gone out of my monthly income.
Now I appreciate that some may say it's only a tenner, and I will freely accept that I am not going to starve or freeze now that it is gone, but others are having a harder time than myself and my heart goes out to those who couldn't find that money and had a kid attending school who was excluded from the entertainment that their peers were providing.
I also feel heart sick that there will be someone somewhere who has put their own children in need to support other children in need.
It's messed up.

What we should be aiming for is Children in Need as a concept to become obsolete, and to do that we need to look at where our money goes and demand that it is spent on what we as a society require.

I am well aware that some will consider that I am a curmudgeon, and a sick one at that.
I mean how dare I tilt at this windmill.
I can already hear the horrified cries of 'think of the children', but I am.
That is exactly what I am thinking of.
I want them to be supported, loved, cared for and nurtured.
I want every single vulnerable person in this country to be looked after.

It's just that when I think about how much cash is running towards the government I also think we can afford to bankroll a caring society.

The system is benefiting a minority.
It's lining the pockets of those who least need it.

Our increasing participation in supporting charities isn't solving anything.
It's just allowing those at the top of the tree to absolve themselves from the responsibility of looking after us all.

It's time to wake up.

(Here's something to think about. If a union calls a one day strike we are told that the impact can be devastating for the company. Yet once a year many companies allow the workforce to down tools to participate in Children in Need. What's the difference in the income loss?)

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