Overwhelmed by it all? Crowdfunding versus luxury cars

IMG_0921Much controversy and ridicule swirls right now around excessive government spending on luxuries and the proposed crowdfunding  to help pay for the fight against  cholera. Aren’t we a bit overwhelmed and deadened by it all, like this house in the Namibian desert?

Crowdfunding is defined as raising money from a large number of private, ordinary folk like you and me who each contribute a relatively small amount, mainly via the Internet and social media channels. It is used by charities and deserving causes, toddler Johnny’s life saving heart valve operation and that sort of thing. It is meant to stir the heart strings of ordinary folk like us.

To raise cash this way for public health delivery, the responsibility of the local and national authorities, is galling, given the millions being spent from the public purse on luxuries – not least, chartered jets to and from health facilities in Singapore for the deposed Mr and Mrs Mugabe and brand new cars for parliament members and Cabinet ministers. 

Maybe Kirsty Coventry should use a nice, big 4×4 to promote sport in distant, difficult and deprived areas, just as David Coltart did, then at the helm of education, to give him access to rural schools. 

IMG_0920One of my perspectives on the issue of big cars comes from the days when I did a lot of charity work for AIDS orphans and disabled children, sitting on committees and raising funds for them. The black corporate executives we mixed with saw me rolling up in a beaten-up 1970 VW Beetle which was soon to die a death by fire when the air-cooled engine overheated and blew up.  But, “How can anyone take you seriously in a car like that?” said the the big executives of the Mercedes, BMW and Lexus brigade. (VW file picture. Mine was the same colour but far less polished.)

I saved up and bought another old Beetle for its reliability and economy. The do-gooder fat cats kept me on because I had the skill of writing shorthand and did the onerous minutes of board meetings. But I was soon withdrawn from ‘frontline’ fundraising and that worked well. It suited me fine. The donations from all corners of society rolled in much quicker than before. It’s all about respect and being, er, taken seriously, they said.

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