Saturday, 23 January 2010

Of charity, financiers and witch-doctors

Some readers may know an old joke summarising the readership of various UK newspapers. It’s the one which starts off saying the Times is read by those who run the country and the Financial Times by those who own the country, going through Guardian readers (think they should run it) Telegraph (used to run it), Daily Mail (wives of those who used to run it), Morning Star (think it should be run from another country) and ending with Sun readers who don’t care who runs the country as long as she has big knockers.
In the Isle of Man the Times and FT readers would be finance and private sector workers, and the Mail and Telegraph readers would be the voluntary sector. As for those who actually run the place – sadly I’m not sure they can read at all.
I mention this in case it helps explain the huge gap between the way doddering voluntary sector blunderers and finance sector doers understand reality in general, and a specific frustrating experience I had this week.
Without going into detail, a while ago I agreed to stop pointing out on this blog the worst mistakes of over-sensitive civil servants and charity workers if they would start talking to proper civic groups, not just their church buddies. Then this week another Manx charity decided to seek new helpers and committee members exclusively via churches, and to emphasise this by having the Anglican bishop open their new premises.
Unfortunately, the next day I and another atheist were due to meet hard-headed finance sector types who, for the last year, we have been steering away from the usual recipients of corporate charity and towards one which, though badly run (predominantly by evangelical halfwits), is the sole hope for those with one awful Manx problem.
That day, these no-nonsense corporate MDs should have been signing five figure cheques, to be donated anonymously to the charity in question. But they point blank refused.
As a blunt Yorkshireman put it: ‘Why should anyone trust their hard-earned cash to a charity run by bampots who ask a witch-doctor to bless their office?’
Good question. And at some point somebody in a Manx charity really should think about it.

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