Saturday, 19 November 2011

Children in Need

It's not the newsreaders dressed as Lady Gaga that annoys me. It's the millionaire celebrities hounding us, the recession-ravaged masses, to contribute to the cause whilst they and their television executives collect enormous salaries at our expense. I am a compassionate man. I care about children in need, but something here smacks of hypocrisy and inequality.

I watched Children in Need last night from start to finish. The music and dancing was, for the most part, mildly amusing. The short clips of children in need were truly heartbreaking. I can't deny that shining a spotlight on what some children in this country endure promotes both awareness and a real sense of perspective to our own problems. That element of the programme is vital. The constant begging for donations however, is at best, unsettling. The fact that it is done by an organisation synonymous with institutional child abuse is truly disturbing.

If we as a nation really want to help our Children in Need we could raise far more by implementing a progressive charity tax. Progressive in the sense that contributions are made proportional to earnings, say, at 0.5% of annual salary. I'd pay about twenty five quid. Wogan and Cotton would pay a couple of thousand each. That seems a bit fairer and I'm pretty sure the amount raised would be far greater.

The Children in Need programme could still continue, dedicating more time to awareness and or fancy dress cabaret acts, if desired. And we could all watch it, lightly entertained and badgering free.

Better still, why don't all Premier League footballers donate a weeks salary? Then we'd top the billion pound mark.

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