Wednesday 29 December 2010


Apparently the government in London wants banks to ask people to make a donation to charity when they make a withdrawal of cash. Shops and restaurants could also ask people using a card to make a small donation, perhaps rounding up to the pound, under the proposals. Under legislation expected in the spring, people could be asked to give money when they fill in tax returns, apply for passports, driving licences and other state services (social security?).

So basically they will guilt you into making a charitable donation. And those who are a bit embarrassed about seeming mean will probably make a bigger contribution than they want to. A guy with his g
irlfriend may be persuaded that she would fancy him a bit more if he was generous rather than mean, whether or not he can afford it.

As so many things at priced at £x.99, people would feel incredibly embarrassed about donating a penny, so they might feel obliged to make it up to the nearest fiver! Do that in 5 shops every Saturday and see how you last till the end of the month.

Hilariously, the spur to encourage bigger donations will be that the donor would be rewarded with a letter from a Minister ....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And National Lottery winners who contributed a large sum would be publicized on television...!

What? I thought that television channels decided what was publicized, not the government!

Francis Maude, the minister who will launch this idea, which is alrea
dy operating in Mexico and Colombia, wishes to foster a culture of charitable giving. He wants to change social attitudes that encourage giving, which is strange, because the UK has an excellent record of giving to charity; in fact it is rated 8th most charitable nation in the world with 73% of people giving money a total of £10.6 billion per annum.

(Before we get too big headed, Britons are much less generous at donating their time by volunteering compared with many other countries possibly because we work longer hours than most other people.)

Mr Maude said: “If we can agree as a society the values that underpin helping each other we can unlock huge potential for a stronger, BIGGER society.” He said that he didn’t want to compel people to give, which is very very kind of him. But, you have to wonder, is it the next step?

Ministers apparently have concluded that individuals and businesses need to be reminded of the “warm glo
w” that results from helping others.

Oh have they?

How come we need to be reminded of that when 73% of the population already gives, and therefore presumably already feels the warm glow? Duh!

I actually checked my calendar when I read the article in the Telegraph. Was it, I wondered, April?

How bloody dare they? Like the majority of Scots I already make my charitable donations to organizations for which I have huge respect; organizations where I know that 100% of what I give will be used to help the target population.

I’d no more entrust my charitable giving to a bank, and thence the government, than I would paint the Scott Monument orange. Imagine entrusting your money to the Roy
al Bank of Scotland, or Tescos... for them to pass on to George Osborne!!! Yeah right!

They’ve come out with some halfwitted ideas so far; this just has to be the most insulting and ridiculous yet.

Pics: (1) The fabulous Scott Monument in Princes Street in Edinburgh. (2) Chuggers, or Charity Muggers in the street; they pick the vulnerable and won’t let them go till they have a donation. This will end up the same. (3) Francis Maude: If you had a son and the family name was Maude, would you call him a gender ambiguous name? Just a thought! (4) This kind of charity collection is intrusive, but easier to avoid if you don’t have faith in the organization, than being asked for a donation at the point of sale. (5) Maybe it would be better for Francis to encourage us to DO more rather than pay more. There is a far rosier glow from activity and that is where we have a shortfall on other countries.


  1. I just read about this a wee while ago Tris. Whatever next? I hope people are strong enough to say NO. Enough of our money goes where we don't approve.

    As for volunteering. These days there are so many hoops to jump before you are even on a short list, it's just not worth it. Gone are the days you could nip up to Age Concern to help with the weekly lunch club.

  2. SR: I think we should get t-shirts printed saying JUST DON'T ASK BECAUSE THE ANSWER IS NO.

    This idiot (remember I thought he was dead?) has to realise that we wouldn't trust him and his lot with our charity giving. It's a hugely personal thing. A mate of mine gives to Cancer charities because his mum died of it when he was little; my mum is deeply involved with Ghurkhas because of what they have done for us, and got little enough thanks. Others care for kids, animals, the homeless, etc, etc, it has to be what touches each of us, but above all we must trust that it's not going to fund a massive office for the chief executive or his big car or travel expenses first class.

    What I can’t understand is why he is reminding us about the rosy glow. WE ALREADY GIVE. The few among us who don’t are small children, very elderly or those who are so incredibly hard up there is no money to give.

    They just want to reduce funding to things and guilt us into paying.

    Hateful lot!

    And you’re right; the red tape is incredible for volunteers. Sometimes a CR check can take up to 4 or 5 months to be cleared. They are going to have a job when they start getting long term unemployed into charity work. I’ve tried. None of the charities would touch them. And they won’t touch people sent be the courts either. Another project heading for the can!

  3. What the Hell is wrong with the government? I don't think I know a single person that doesn't give to charity at least semi-regularly, and I'm a student. These hare-brained schemes must have some motivation beyond the stated, because they can't honestly hope that they'll actually work.

  4. I'm called UKIPer and that's why I drinkDecember 29, 2010 2:06 am

    We already give to charity . India uses our money to build nukes, buy up our steel and car companies and explore space. Africa uses the cash to provide fleets of Mercs and BMW's for the elite. Pakistan uses the cash to build nukes and fund the taliban. China uses the money to shore up it's currency against the dollar collapse and to build more coal powered stations.
    I suspect that multi millionaire MPs' like Maude will eventually be slaughtered in their beds. It will take a few years but their time will come. Bastards.

  5. Oh no Tris, as far as half witted ideas go (and this coalition is good at half wittedness if nothing else) I much prefer the one to privatise the forensic science departments of the police because they apparently don’t make a profit!

    I didn’t realise everything HAD to make a profit!

    The royal family for example don’t, why don’t we put them out to tender or float them on the stock exchange?

    And our UK government is awfully expensive why don’t we see if France or Spain couldn’t do it cheaper? Also the House of Lords: why don’t we see if Santander, Kraft or Nestle could do that cheaper? We could sell advertising space on the red and green benches, sponsor an MP or a Lord and they could wear their sponsor’s logo.

    For cuckoo ideas you have to go a long way to beat “call me dave” and his pet poodle Cleggums and their crew!

  6. Laz: They know that. They have the figures that 73% of Brits do give money. Yet they say it's time we relearned that rosy glow that comes from giving.

    The people that don't give now either don't want to, or just can't, because they have nothing left to give.

    I just hope people will say NO. Because it's not clear what will happen to the money. It could go to these massive charities which spend half their money on admin, in London!!

    I don't want to give to them. I want to give to local charities where I can see what little I give do some good.

    I think the motivation for this is that Big Society is David Cameron's one idea. it cannot be seen to fail. He will likely only have one term to make his legacy. If it won't work voluntarily then he will push us into making it work. He's already looking at unemployed, sick and prisoners doing good works by force, not we are being embarrassed into giving money.

    There will be so much rosy glow going on you'll be able to see us from Pluto!

    As to what’s wrong with them? They all live in another world where, when they buy their supermarket shopping at Harrods or Fortnum’s food halls and it comes to £635 for a week’s essentials, making it up to £700 for them, is like me saying “put the penny in the Oxfam bottle” at Morrison’s when my shopping comes to £19,99!

  7. Well, I’m not surprise you drink with such a name Kipper.

    Now you are confusing government giving with personal giving.

    Government giving is high because giving a certain percentage of your GNP is a requirement for membership of the G8. It is not, as some might suppose, having the biggest economy. Therefore, in order to give the PM a chance to strut around with the American president, not only do we have to go to war when he says so, but we also have to prop up the most preposterous schemes with aid, when it should really be the UK that is in receipt of aid.

    In order to make it look that the UK still matters like it used to, we give EVEN MORE!

    Aid should be targeted at countries where the poverty is so grinding that people leave in droves and risk death to get out of the place, in order that perhaps, if there was work and some money, they would stay, and not end up on the colonial master’s shores.

    This post however, was about personal giving. That is giving that you or I would be likely to do, measures in a few pounds, not the billions handed out by that British Virgin Islander Andrew Mitchell (who must have been miffed at not getting Vince’s job).

  8. Munguin: I admit that is a corker:

    Inspector: We ‘as a murder Sir; we ‘as a body in the ‘igh Street Sir, what should we do?

    Superintendent: You’d better get a team of constables to phone round the forensic labs and get the best quote in for the post mortem and scene of crime examinations.

    Inspector: Yes Sir, but Sir, in the middle of summer like wot it is at the moment, in the middle of the ‘igh Street, it’s gunna be a bit of bother Sir wot with the smell an’ all.

    Superintendent: Can’t help that Inspector. The old system wasn’t making money. The shareholders weren’t getting any dividends!!! Can’t have that can we, in the Big Society now, can we? The people will just have to put up with the smell.

    © Tris Rendell 2011: ‘Murder in the smelly ‘igh Street’. A Superintendent Waxcloth mystery.(Copies of which can be purchased from the blog. £22,50).

    You’re right. If everything must make a profit, I expect that the armed forces will have to be tendered for. Maybe the Swedish Royals would be cheaper than the English ones. Although I heard that Boris of Bulgaria does a really good BOGOF deal.

    There’s a House of Chiefs in Nigeria I think, that wouldn’t mind branching out, and of course wouldn’t be any more corrupt that the present lot...

  9. I’m thinking of taking “call me dave” and the Tories seriously when they burble on about enterprise and starting up small business to take up the slack in econmy. I’m going to start up my own forensic science and scene of crime business. I will make sure my bids are the cheapest by cutting corners and not doing things properly. After all how many ways are there to say “he’s dead, my bill will be in the post”?

  10. Ah Munguin...are you looking for a partner. I have a teddy bear that's looking for interesting business opportunities.

  11. Tris

    The Superintendent Waxcloth mystery sounds like a Bremner, Bird and Fortune sketch. It may yet come true, remember BB&F did a sketch about the UK having more Admirals than warships, now we have about ten Admirals for every warship.

  12. Francis Maude is a contemptible Europhile, one of the architects of Maastricht. This is just a bit of displacement activity to distract MPs and the public from their powerlessness vis a vis Brussels. It is something that the EU will permit Parliament to legislate.

    It is on a par with Cameron in his pre governmental days, telling us to save the planet by not overfilling the kettle before boiling, as he cycled to work with his man following behind in the car with his papers and tidy suit.

  13. It's not a bad idea, really. We already have collection boxes next to tills and things so we can get rid of the one, two and five pence pieces often left over after purchases - rounding up the pound, as it were - this new scheme simply carries this concept forward into the age of the debit card.

  14. it will never replace the lotto for raising money.....

    you have to laugh a Government based they say on individual freedom to choose and any policy(seems like all of them so far) which the people involved reject and next thing you know......

    sawn of shotgun stuck in the mush!(just like swinneys council settlement).

  15. Dubs... you flatter me. BBF are geniuses. I, on the other hand am only an immense talent... lol

    I love the one about the Admirals.

    PAY THEM OFF!!! What is it about Admirals? Don’t their backsides fit on DWP chairs?

  16. Mr S...

    Cameron was hilarious about that. Then if I remember he went all the way to Northern Norway, leaving a carbon footprint as big as the Sahara, for a wee bit of publicity on the telly, proving that he, in his own way, was saving the world.

    Him and Gordon Brown. I wouldn't trust either of them to make a decent cup of coffee never miond run the country.

  17. Hello North Briton. Welcome to Munguin's Republic.

    Sorry I disagree with you. When there is a collection box there, you can give or not give as discretely, or otherwise, as is your fashion.

    It's like leaving a tip in a restaurant. I usually do according to the level of service, but I hate it when they ask if I want to add 10% on to the credit card payment. I hate being pushed into it, and as a result, regardless of service, I don’t.

    Many people though feel pressured into making the payment and it will be the same with this. And I think that that is wrong. Some people will be shamed into making payments they can’t really afford for things they don’t really care about, and often half the money will go to big offices and fat salaries for the top people... who are probably friendly with the likes of Maude Francis

  18. Niko: You're dead right.

    What about the nanny state now? They even make sure that we have a warm rosy glow.... goodness, they will be coming to tuck us up shortly. (Maybe I'll get Theresa in her wellies!!!)

    The thing that got me the most is that they seem to think that people would be impressed if they got a letter from a minister... woop de do... I got a letter from Jeremy 'Unt!

    As for Mr S's settlement, I can't see what is wrong with them. If the councillors stopped having all their drinking parties and receptions and taking the staff on away days to learn how to be politically correct should they ever meet anyone from Mars, they would be able to fund everything.

    At least the council tax isn't going up!

  19. This hairbrained scheme will only suit the bankers and large charities meaning less money going to those who need it most the poor.

  20. Typically they haven't worked out how it will be done, but for sure, the tiny little project in Dundee that feeds folk who have no food, and the little 'very sheltered' complex just down the road where the staff try to make the residents' lives as happy as possible by arranging trips and parties, won't benefit.

    So the big London charities will get more money, and they are the people that Camerclegg meet at social functions, so he will get praise from them, and the little charities will be even less well off...

    But Mr Cameron will have a Big Society no matter how mcuh we don't want it.

    I'll not give a penny this way, but many will because they will simply be too embarrassed to say no.

  21. Yea, 'Big Society' seems to mean the same as 'big government,' in that it is heavily centralised, all the benefactors are centralised... the only difference from a socialistic government seems to be that Cameron is doing it on the cheap...
    As far as I'm aware, most charities that will benefit from these could afford to give up to 70% more than they do, stop putting on fancy dinners and paying for executive cars, etc. The only real charities that work are community organised and non-hierarchical.

  22. Yes Laz, that's the kind of charity that does a fantastic job. I'm happy to give to things like that. But because people will be too embarrassed at the tills, with people behind them, to say 'no' to the charity question, they will give, and give as generously as they can, and that inevitably will reduce the amount that they can afford to give to the smaller local charities.

    Typical of government ministers to forget that some people can't afford very much. We're not all on £120,000+ a year!