Just 2 years ago a post here ‘Charity, Overseas Aid, Volunteering – all worth it or not?’ outlined and identified how the major charities had simply become major cash-cow “businesses”, run and staffed by fat-cats each raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds in salaries, expenses and accommodation costs, from the over-generous British public’s “donations”, given in the rightful expectation that their hard-earned cash would actually be used by dedicated humanitarian relief workers only for the good causes that was the intention to support.
It may have come as a shock, but certainly as no surprise, to those of us who now view the major charities with some cynicism, to see the Oxfam scandal of sexual misconduct exposed a month ago, did it?
No, but it is a telling fact that the exposé didn’t come about through the diligent actions of the correct or appropriate functions and authorities like say the ‘head-in-the-sand’ Government, nor the ‘toothless’ Charity Commission [there is no rigorous monitoring of charities’ activities], nor the ‘protection challenged’ Independent Safeguarding Authority, not the Department for International Development (Dfid), nor any other blinking ‘blindfolded’ regulatory body, eh?
No, the truth about what goes on ONLY came out, as often seems to be the case in the biggest and worst scandals, through dogged investigatory journalism – on this occasion by The Times newspaper, the charity’s former head of safeguarding being a whistle-blower.
The initial reports concerning sexual exploitation, use of prostitutes (even possibly children), the downloading of pornography, bullying and intimidation, have been further amplified by yet further revelations about the secret seedy side of aid work with numerous allegations rape, sexual abuse, sex parties and the like, that involved many other major agencies in addition to Oxfam, all operating within a culture of impunity
[it is quite worrying that moves are afoot just now at Parliament to introduce data protection laws changes that would halt that kind of publication in its tracks, whereby the freedom of the press is threatened in a way that would muzzle it to make it impossible to expose the likes of what happened at Oxfam – surely representing a gift horse to perverts?
Oh yes, Oxfam at the top knew full well about what was going on as of eight years ago when they hushed it all up, brushed the failures of the organisation under the carpet, and worse still, not only allowed the perpetrators to get away with it but ‘knowingly’ allowed them to ‘move-on’ without a stain on their characters to the fresh pastures of other ‘unsuspecting’ charities to adulterate and contaminate them as well –sometimes working in even more senior and higher paid roles, disgusting, surely? They now claim the reason for their unacceptable “cover-up” was ‘to protect their missions’. That is of course a bit disingenuous because a prime motivator was without dou8bt to protect their own massive indulgent salaries and future careers, don’t you think?
Many of us have long since “given-up” on giving our money to the big-boys of the charity sector because those mammoth organisations have become so focused on themselves that they have lost sight of their true objectives, their targeted missions and their endemic self-respect – all in favour of business growth, power and influence, personal enrichment and gain, self-gratification and enjoyment.
They are now stuffed-full of hard-nosed, morally corrupt, money grabbing morons, who have destroyed the good name of the organisations they have imbedded themselves into. You just have to look-at their progressing charity backgrounds and you will see that invariably they consist of a cynical career path with one smaller charity simply becoming a stepping stone to a bigger totally different charity, with no loyalty and zero commitment shown to the one left behind, nor indeed the new one.
Many of us are reeling from the obscene unwarranted the profits creamed-off by the likes of Camelot (National Lottery), as well as executives’ ‘snout in the trough’ salaries and spend of the biggest charities.
[Average UK salary is £27,271 according to the parliament’s ONS: Average Amount paid to the highest earner working for a general charity is £186,000 and the Median Average is £165,000: our Prime Minister’s total salary is £149,440].
You see, the senior people and those at the top of the massive currently ‘unaccountable’ charities, are very powerful indeed, and we know full well that ‘power corrupts’ and moreover it creates an illusion of sexual ‘entitlement’ – we have the glaring USA examples from the past of sleazebag Presidents like Kennedy and Clinton, together with the more recent Hollywood sex scandals, outing and bringing-down of titan power players like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner.
It is well-known that sexual predators, paedophiles and the like, deliberately head for careers where they can systematically apply for jobs and lurk there unnoticed, while successfully presenting to others with a caring, charming, attractive, hard-working, and competent image while winning affection and trust, then to employ the tactics of implied force and threats to abuse the vulnerable. That is exactly what they have done within charities and why there should have been properly effective vetting systems there and stringent governance procedures in place.
However, most of the ‘true’ aid sector workers (many of them unpaid volunteers) are people to be admired and lauded, but when it comes to the dominating power of senior executives,there is a power imbalance in need of urgent correction to ensure each organisation meets its duty of care to both their staff and some of the world’s most vulnerable people they serve, whence the roles of child protection or safeguarding experts needs to become paramount, doesn’t it?
The juggernaut charity outfits basically con the British public and indeed our government [0.7% of gross national income goes on aid spending] plus other populations, to pull-in some 10 billion pounds by manipulating the feelings of caring people using emotive heartstring-tugging expensive campaigns on television, in newspapers, with mailshots, use of the internet and employing all other media in all imaginable ways – when a large volume of cash donated doesn’t end-up at the intended destination.
Solicitations do successfully pull in enormous funds by use of pleading, aggressively, overbearing and persistently public requests [Will bequests, bank standing orders, telephone calling, giving programmes, mobile text donations, street collections, face-to-face doorstep cold-calling, charity events or functions].
Meanwhile the media are currently even under attack by some charities’ lawyers in attempts to block articles and publication of allegations of harassment or inappropriate behaviour towards women.
The terrible saga brought about by Oxfam’s crass behaviour has not only blighted the UK charitable sector’s reputation and destroyed the already fragile confidence of the public in it, but has done untold damage to people’s confidence in the work of major aid agencies as a whole.
The charitable sector needs to be honest about past mistakes and urgently correct them. It must do all it can to win back the trust of the British public, because the money its caring people are prepared to give, can help to save many thousands of lives and alleviate widespread suffering]