UK Radio Aid
UK Radio Aid is the British radio industry's bit to help with raising cash for the tsunami fund. My employers will, like many of the rest of the UK's commercial radio stations, join forces next Monday for 12 hours to simulcast a telethon featuring the great, the good, and the possibly not-so-good of the UK radio pantheon.
All the day's profits will be for charity, and listeners will be invited to contribute an hour of their wages to the fund.
Incidentally, I'll happily admit that the radio industry is being equally as guilty of the same thing that I was levelling at The Vicar of Dibley - that is to say, adopting a charity and running it in a big way, steamrolling over any other charities in its path. A comment I heard on the radio from a telephone caller over Christmas expressed what I'm worried about. The caller wondered whether the new Band Aid single would be sending some of its profits to the Tsunami appeal. I have to ask, "why should it?" The starving of Sudan and those dying daily of AIDs related diseases also need the cash.
With Band Aid style records being recorded, and a Live Aid type concert in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, you can't say that a lot isn't being done (personally I don't see why you don't just chuck four quid in a collection rather than buy a single that props up certain musicians' egos, and reading some of the articles celebrating 20 years after Live Aid, you can't help but feel that a lot of artists did rather well personally out of it. I won't begrudge Live Aid however, since it brought home an awareness that otherwise mightn't have been there. In this instance the awareness most definitely is there). But whether that squares up with other life-threatening issues that may not quite have the power of terrifying home-video footage, I'm not so sure.
I know that all of this makes me sound really callous about people doing good work, and I really don't mean to sound like that. These events do raise lots of cash of for great causes - but set against £100m+ already raised by the public, they need to go a long way to better it and prove their usefulness. There's a vicious video put together by the guys at B3TA over the Christmas period, which you can't help feeling has an element of truth to it.
UPDATE: Having said all that, am I the only person who thinks that having only 9p out of every 50p spent, going to charity on Celebrity Big Brother is utterly pathetic? Can someone tell me who's coining the other 41p please?