Sunday, August 09, 2009

Telethon- It’s safe to turn your TV back on!


Telethon is over! Anyone who had the misfortune to watch this dismal attempt by minor celebrities to keep sparse audiences entertained over 23 hours will surely hope that it won’t be back for at least another 15 years. But the really dreadful thing about Telethon is that it needs to happen at all. What kind of society do we live in where tens of thousands of children have to go to school without shoes, coats or food? And what kind of society is it where the only way they can get those basic necessities is by people dressing up in chicken costumes to raise money?

Charity events like this show that ordinary people do care about each other, and are not fundamentally selfish or greedy. But they also expose the hypocrisy of the capitalist system. Without a hint of irony, the telethon that was supposed to address child poverty shamelessly plugged consumer goods and cut to endless adverts for the show’s sponsors. Equally shameful is the government’s response to the disgrace of child poverty. All week we have heard how important it is for MPs to receive thousands in expenses every week on top of their inflated salaries because of the children. Their children. Not the children who go to school barefoot, or without breakfast, or who live in damp garages.

The total amount raised by telethon is just slightly more than the $1.7m given to MPs each year in expenses for which they don’t even have to provide receipts. Anyone else think we should take the money from the MPs, give it to the children, and put something decent on the telly next year?

- Comrade Nicola

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