Friday, 22 January 2010

They should know better - no.47

This week, the British Film Institute.

The BFI is normally the bastion of interesting cinema. It chooses diversity in a way that no other cinema in Britain is able to do.

It is no surprise that it supports women filmmakers by putting on a festival to highlight their work.

It is a surprise to find it's called "Birds Eye View".

Something went wrong at that meeting.

This is not philanthropy

Cowell, estimated fortune, £100 million.
McCartney, £825 million.
Stewart, £100 million.
Barlow, £30 million.
Williams, £75 million.

Other wealthy people are involved are involved in Chairman Cowell's charity cavalcade. These are just names mentioned in this article from the BBC. Some of the other names do not yet have multi-million pound fortunes.

I do not have a fortune in the multi-millions, millions, hundreds of thousands or thousands. Nor, I suspect do the people who may be tempted to buy the charity single.

I still have absolutely no idea why people need a product in order to make them give. Or why those who have are not tempted to give money without demonstrating their piety.

According to the BBC, Band Aid raised £75 million between January 1985 and November 2004. Comparisons between era are usually difficult but even if we put a figure of £100 million on it, those involved could save themselves the bother and just give the money themselves.

Of course, they shouldn't have to. But then neither should we. Can I suggest a compromise. I'll get together ten of my friends. We'll record a single and then the 50 wealthiest people in the country can buy it for £1 million each.

Then at least we might be spared the posturing of Mr Cowell and Co. Bless 'em, they'll raise lots of money. Jolly well done. But this is not philanthropy.

So far, £38 million has already been raised by the British public in under a week. That speaks volumes. Superstar charity should go through the traditional route.

Cowell and co should give here, give often and without publicity:

DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal