Sitting on the tube last night, a couple of posters for Oxfam’s current ‘I’m in’ campaign caught my eye
They also caught the back of my throat and left me with a wanting to vomit all over myself kind of feeling
‘It really hits home when you hear that poverty will kill 50,000 people today. my £10 will help change that.’
No, no it won’t.
I haven’t felt quite so nauseated by a charity fund raising poster since the Bono-sponsored ‘Red’ campaign a few months back
Red still wins hands down but Oxfam’s current effort is still pretty special.
I haven’t seen posters that seek to nurture and exploit white middle-class guilt quite so effectively for a long time...
And you don’t even have to get off your arse to pay it.
Just send a text message
Surely your pampered cosy white boy conscience is worth a mere £10?
… brought to you by the same kind of people who told you last year that getting pissed and sitting in a park listening to bands would save the World.
… the kind of people who lecture us about what to do with our money whilst merrily dodging tax, investing in Forbes magazine and spending $1,700 to fly their favourite hat first class.
The usual response to people like me heaving their guts up over this kind of nonsense runs along the lines of
‘It’s better than nothing’
‘What’s the harm of using sophisticated advertising and PR techniques if the results serve a higher purpose?’
Personally I’ve never been a big fan of the Noble Lie concept. If you practice that kind of tomfoolery you end up forgetting what the Truth is pdq.
And the Truth is yes, a regular contribution of just £10 a month and the occasional purchase of some crappy sweatshop-produced bracelet that you can nonce round with in public to show how fucking great you are will help save the (Corporate) World.
As well as easing that nagging sense of personal guilt at modest cost, your contribution will enable campaigning groups to
- Support debt relief tied to ‘economic reforms’ dictated by the World Bank; including abolition of employment rights and sale of infrastructure to privately owned multinational companies
- Ensure that drug companies continue to receive shit loads of money for toxic drugs needed to treat a disease that might not even exist
Remember, global poverty and suffering is the fault of every individual in the Western World, especially you Middle Class types. All those fluffy multinational corporations, politicians, has-been rock stars and NGOs are just trying to clean up after you and they need your money and support to do it. But even more important than the money, they wan't to liberate you from the tiresome burden of thinking things through and reaching your own conclusions about why the World is fucked up.
Just send the text message and don't worry about it.