I wrote yesterday of the cynicism of Donald Trump’s ‘offer‘ to make a $5million charity donation in return for Barack Obama’s college records. It’s yet another example of how charity, supposedly a selfless, generous act is cynically manipulated by people who wish to create a smokescreen to conceal agendas and objectives that they wish not to have closely examined.
I’ve come across another delightful instance of this in the last 24 hours or so. On a rather smaller scale than Trump’s, but equally gross.
The local paper in Birmingham is running a promotion called the Birmingham Mail Charities Wish List. Basically there are 212 charity, volunteer and local groups all vying for a share of a pot of £25,000 donated by the paper.
The amount of the pot they get depends on how many of the daily vouchers they get from print copies of the newspaper, i.e. the more papers they and their mates buy, the bigger the share of the pot they will get.
So, just to be clear, charity groups are in direct competition with each other for money. They are being made to fight amongst themselves at the behest of a local ‘benefactor’. It’s like some kind of Randian nightmare.
Now I’ve done my maths and £25,000 divided by 212 is about £118 per charity. Seeing as all the groups are guaranteed a share of the pot the sums involved per group will actually be trifling and the people who will collect the vouchers would quite literally be better off saving the money they would spend on the paper and instead donate it to the charity or group of their choice.
One can assume that the increase in sales (and presumably as a consequence advertising revenue) the paper will see across the city will more than offset the money the Birmingham Mail is donating.
So just to be clear, the Birmingham Mail is actually using this supposedly kind act to make money and increase their readership.
The cynicism is breathtaking.
But it’s for charity, so that will never get pointed out, naturally.