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Suddenly, we’re generous to a fault


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 13 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Suddenly, we’re generous to a fault (Guardian)

This is a very interesting piece, seemingly suggesting that many people have donated to the various charities supporting those caught in the Asian Tsunami are doing so for the glory and pride of doing so, rather than to actually support the people.

A new Populus poll for the Times has suggested such widespread eagerness to appear generous that avowals of altruism occasionally precede the actual act. Over the weekend 83% of the British public claimed that their household had made a donation to the earthquake appeal, the average sum being £33.28. Which, if true, would have added up to more than £800m. In fact, the sum raised by last Friday was a respectable, but more modest, £100m.

I certainly think that there is an element of this going on, though I suspect that it was bound to happen as soon as the celebrities got involved. Once one pop group support the charities, another looks bad unless they do the same. I’ve not seen this happen on a person-to-person level in the community, but perhaps that’s just me.

I personally worry about the amount of money given to this one campaign, and the money that has been diverted from other charitable campaigns. I think it would make more sense to highlight charities that are working in the areas and not have special campaigns, since this would mean that those on the front line in different emergencies can use the money most appropriately. That way, the money donated to this campaign could also be directed to the people dying of HIV and AIDS in Africa. But would people be as likely to donate? Probably not. Or maybe I’m just being cynical.

This 195th post was filed under: Tsunami 2004.

More posts worth reading

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TV I’ve been watching lately (published 9th January 2018)

New video of Mr Hussein (published 13th June 2005)

Michael Crichton: Airframe (published 1st March 2005)

Birthday message… and a bit of a whoopsie (published 5th November 2006)

Pie in the sky (published 4th February 2005)

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