"Well they do say that Charity begins at home"....
I have always wondered who these mythical 'They' are when people utter such bland aphorisms?
I also wonder why it is that these old chestnuts always seem to trot out of the mouths of middle classed, can't be arsed to fight back against the criminality of The Elite, mealy-mouthed little Englanders, who would not piss on a poor man if he was on fire? You know the kind of people I am talking about, people who accept the given Right-Wing propaganda horse manure that is pushed into our faces on a daily basis via The BBC or The Daily Mail - that anybody using a Foodbank must be 1/ Careless with their money. 2/ A Drug addict [because addicts don't deserve our compassion in 'The World According to Dacre']. Or 3/ Lazy Scroungers who are just scamming free food to pig out at our expense despite all evidence to the contrary. Those kinds of people...
And yet these are also the same type of people who will phone in and donate [rather generously at times] to scams like The BBC's 'Children in Need' or buy a god awful recording of 'Feed the World' by Saint Bob 'fucking' Geldof, and why, why do they do that, why are they willing to fund some celebrities singing a song about Christmas in Africa but will walk past a homeless man begging on the street ignoring his plea?
The answer of course is because they don't really have to sacrifice anything or put themselves out in any meaningful way when they donate via the telly, and because we are all fearful of becoming the begging man in a society which cares nought for the life of a begging man, that's why!
Thus it is that some look at The Trussell Trust Food Bank and other community based Foodbanks which are less... shall we say 'Franchised' - Charities who warned us all that in 2013 - 13 Million British People were living below the poverty line - here in the UK, and say in response to these appalling statistics "These people should get an education and stop being lazy, work will set you free" (or words to that effect)...
And I am not making that up, I have seen such vitriol and it's like scrawled across various social media sites by right wing arseholes a number of times in recent years, and not just from nonentities like myself, but also from so called 'Important People'.
And yet according to The Government supported Trussell Trust Food Bank 'In the period from 2013 to 2014 Foodbanks fed 913,138 people nationwide. Of those helped, 330,205 were children'. And what were their given reasons for this appalling rise in Foodbank usage here in the UK? Rising food and fuel prices, static incomes, underemployment, changes to benefits, things which are more often than not, beyond the fault of the individual.
The Trussell Trust alone has over 420 Foodbanks spread nationally and this is not counting the independent Foodbanks set up by local people to help local people in their local community... and yes - that is a lot of 'Locals' for one sentence, but you get the picture and I hope the point?
So when people like Michael Portillo go onto Andrew. F. Neil's stinking BBC 'This Week' propaganda fest and calmly in bland voice avows to the nation that he 'can't seem to find any evidence of people going hungry in the UK' my thoughts return once again to another less well known quote about 'Charity' by Norman MacDonald which goes " Some men mistake generosity for charity: these flatter themselves that they are giving gratuitously, whilst they are merely rewarding secret services offered to their vanity".
Let us not forget who and what Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo is. This is an avowed Thatcherite who seemingly loves 'The Death Sentence' and who supported Murderous Regimes across the world. He was a member of the board of the Kerr-McGee Corporation (Big Oil). He was a non-executive director of the multinational defence contractor BAE Systems (Arms Dealers). He voted in favour of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I am not certain Mister Portillo knows what 'Charity' is. But perhaps I should not be too hard on him, after all I think perhaps that most people in this Nation of ours have a very mistaken idea of what Charity actually is, or have forgotten its true meaning; so let us address that.
Charity has come to mean in the last 40 years, something very different from what it used to, this idea of Charity that people currently have, is either that of an organization which has been set up to provide help and raise money for those in need or, (take it away Saint Bob) or the voluntary giving of help, characteristically in the form of cash, to those in dire straits. Now while these efforts are laudable aspects of the word 'Charity' they alone are not what the word means.
What the word 'Charity' actually means is 'To act in accordance with our Human Nature'.
Humans did not develop claws, or huge canine teeth capable of puncturing and killing our prey. We did not evolve with thick hides or an armoured skin to protect us from our Prince of Darkness [the big cats who regularly feasted on unwary hominids]. No - we hominids evolved as a cooperative charitable mammal, deeply interdependent upon each other to both learn the skills to survive, and pass on those survival skills to our offspring. We needed each other to beat off the attack of very dangerous predators, and further - to hunt enough game to feed our families which in turn enabled us to become the dominant species on this planet.
Make no mistake - The Earth is called 'The Earth' because of 'Charity'.
Without 'Charity' - that which is best characterised as - 'Having a kindness and tolerance towards others. To possess a Love of Humankind. To be lenient and less judgemental and forgiving toward our fellow Humans' then there would be a very different animal ruling this planet. Without these charitable aspects of our humanity, so vital to our survival as a species, Humanity would have ceased to exist long, long ago.
Let me be clear - 'If Charity had not been the vanguard characteristic of our human makeup then our ancient societies would never have come into being and Homo Sapiens, that fragile, thin skinned, unarmed hominid, would have passed into myth devoured by creatures infinitely better acclimated to the ancient Pliocene world which was inhabited by true monsters made colossal by nature'.
Thus it is that 'Kindness' alone is that which wrought our survival. Thus it is that 'Fear of the Other', the habitually propagandised ideology of the far right extremists who daily abuse us with their misanthropic rhetoric of hate via the means of an Elite controlled News Media, are acting utterly hostile to the very nature of mankind. We must therefore consider such hatreds and oratory as 'Deviant Behaviour', and measure their words and deeds as conduct which is abnormal and contrary to the survival humanity.
That is what the word 'Charity' means Ladies & Gentlemen, it mean survival, not only of the individual but also of the species, for without Charity mankind is doomed.
As to Michael Portillo? I am remind as I sit here and write this that his father 'Luis Gabriel Portillo Pérez' was a man whose Republicanism and Lefty Politics saw him oppose everything that Franco's Fascism stood for. It truly boggles my mind that such a man as he, having such a father, could have fallen so in love with Margaret Thatcher and Neo-Liberalism? Perhaps instead of being an evil little Fascist Tosser, Michael Portillo is instead just a misguided fool who for all his urbane charm is not as worldly as people like to think?
So I will offer Mister Portillo some of the 'Charity' of which I speak here and forgive him his peculiar and illogical statement on The BBC's 'This Week' program about Foodbanks and the type of people who are forced into using them. Instead of chastising him further I will put his ignorance down to a life made easy by affluent circumstance and forgive his insulting comments... because after all Ladies & Gentlemen, 'Charity begins in the Heart'...