CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Editor’s Comment November 2015

PUBLISHED: 09:49 12 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:40 13 October 2015

Humanitarian food for children in refugee camp

Humanitarian food for children in refugee camp

Archant

Cotswold Life’s Editor, Mike Lowe discusses how our inbuilt British values of caring for those in need is in danger of being eroded forever.

The collapse of the Kids Company charity is already causing alarming ripples across the rest of the giving ‘industry’. The scandalous revelations of private school fees for the children of the boss’s driver, the seven personal assistants, the purchase of mansions and swimming pools and the exaggerated claims regarding ‘clients’ – in Bristol, 600 ‘vulnerable’ youths ended being 34; the emergency phone line set up to help prevent rioting in the streets (thank you, Mr Yentob) received just two calls – will surely see someone getting the six o’clock knock before long.

 

And it’s not just this particular charity that is souring our sentiments. The disgraceful judge-and jury prosecutions conducted by the RSPCA, the ineffective and expensive activities of chuggers on our high streets, the selling-on of the details of the vulnerable elderly who might be leaned on for a monthly direct debit and the mega-salaries paid to charity bosses – usually more than the Prime Minister – have all combined to undermine our confidence.

 

(Incidentally, shouldn’t “paid more than the PM” now be added to the lexicon of useful media measurements which has always included the “size of a football field”, “the length of two double decker buses”, “as tall as Nelson’s Column”, “enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool”, “an area the size of Wales” and “the distance to the Moon and back”?)

 

This personal disenchantment became apparent when I sat down at my computer to make some kind of contribution to help ease the suffering of the tens of thousands of refugees flooding into Western Europe. There were plenty of organisations to which I could send money, but how was I to know how that cash would be spent? How much would actually go to the needy after admin and salary costs had been siphoned off?

 

OK, let’s send them some clothes instead. I’ve enough spare clobber in the back of the wardrobe to kit out an entire football team. But then TV pictures flash up of Calais warehouses stacked to the ceiling with boxes of shoes, clothes and tents, with no apparent infrastructure in place to distribute the stuff, so what’s the point?

 

Well, we could at least offer a refugee family some food and shelter. We’ve a spare guest suite in the East Wing that would be perfect. But then, who would we accommodate? Would we get to choose the ‘lucky’ recipients? I wouldn’t mind looking after a nice professional couple, but I don’t want a pair of ruffians who would do a runner with the family silver at the first opportunity. And I can see an unworthy form of caring one-upmanship springing up in these parts, particularly from the Waitrose Women: “Oh do stop banging on about your nice Syrian family, dear. I’ve got an Eritrean in the attic.”

 

As ever, there are no easy answers. But one thing is certain. Unless charities get their act together and start behaving in the manner we expect, our inbuilt British values of caring for those in need may be eroded forever.

*******************************

I do feel a bit sorry for Jeremy Corbyn, whose every action has been used to demonise him by the mainstream media, but you have to admit that he hasn’t exactly helped himself. By appointing militant vegan Kerry McCarthy as shadow secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, he couldn’t have shown a more demonstrative two fingers to the countryside unless he personally came round and crapped on our compost heaps.

 

Ms McCarthy is vice president of the League Against Cruel Sports, is anti-shooting, anti-hunting, anti-badger cull and on the verge of wanting horse racing banned. She once branded livestock farming as “dirty and cruel”, says farming causes “immense suffering to animals” and claims that farmers cause world hunger by using crops to feed animals rather than people.

 

Mr Corbyn might think that he’s being a bit of a smartarse with such an extraordinary appointment. He might want to think again given the number of Labour voters who still exist in rural communities.

 

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search