On Comic Relief and charity generally: make charity history!

Here’s a post I wrote two years ago at the time of the last Comic Relief Day in 2015. I re-read it and it still resonated with me, so I’m reposting here.

Sorry I’ve not been writing. I will start writing again soon on some thoughts about the nature of ‘post-truth’ and how to respond.

Let me know what you think.

Best wishes,



  2 comments for “On Comic Relief and charity generally: make charity history!

  1. John H.
    March 25, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Yes Joel. Your words of 2015 still resonate; how could they not?

    I’ve just seen a short film in which a celebrity, having visited a foreign hospital, tells the story of a child’s death from malnutrition. In appealing to the audience, the celebrity said something very like:-

    “Your donations will provide emergency aid so that children like [name] won’t die. It’s as simple as that.”

    The implication is that we, as humans, are in some unavoidable scenario wherein “emergency aid” for malnourished children is part of some kind of solution to the problems of these foreign lands.

    I could accept such appeals if the stated aim was a temporary alleviation of the children’s suffering while we work on eradication of such poverty. That poverty is, however, presented only as a reason for “giving to charity”.

    It’s not on. We must, as you wrote two years ago, “take an approach that is at once more radical and realistic”.

    • March 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Dear John,
      Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Needless to say, I entirely agree with your words. I got some other personal replies too and it seems as if it’s one of those ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ issues where we’re all standing there thinking this can’t be right, but it requires one or two to call it out publicly to reassure and embolden us. If only those one or two were people with significant public influence.
      Best wishes

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