Saturday, September 03, 2005

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

I was appalled to learn this morning, while watching the CNN coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, that in the list of countries donating to relief efforts, there was a glaring omission from the list. Sri Lanka, one of the world's poorest countries still reeling from the effects of the tsunami, had donated $25,000, yet the big GB has offered up not a pence. Blair is apparently happy to send his people off to kill and be killed alongside the Americans in Iraq, but when it comes to monetary aid for his bedfellow Bush, his humanitarian spirit runs dry.

Which simply goes to highlight how darn CHEAP the people here are. My friend Catherine was recently soliciting pledges for her Breast Cancer walk this month, and of the large multinational list she sent her email solicitation to, sadly lacking among the respondents were any of her British friends and coworkers. Meanwhile, the Americans were tripping over themselves in their efforts to donate. We spent a few minutes mulling over this curious fact in the pub one night, but were never able to reach any conclusions as to why there exists such a great cultural divide in the giving spirit.

Meanwhile, my friend Meg and I were accosted in the tube yesterday by a lovely little old lady who noticed our accents and went out of her way to say how sorry she was for the disasterous state of affairs going on in our country at the moment. So I guess it just goes to show, humanitarianism here is not exactly dead, just hiding out in the hearts of British grannies.


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