I was doing my morning exercise time at the gym. I have given up the struggle to lose weight, all I wish is to keep supple in my joints, and what remains of my muscles, including my heart. I was listening to the morning BBC Today Programme, suffering as I did so, mainly because of the interminable left-wingery which dribbles out of those talented people. But the programme terminated three minutes early, so that a call for funds for the pakistan flood relief effort from the DEC could be made by John McCarthy; at which point I switched over to my selection of classical music, which never fails to soothe me.
The DEC, or to give its correct title the Disasters Emergency Committee, and its interminable calls for help, money, blood, sweat etc., I shrug off as a mere aural insult. If you want to give to one of thirteen organisations who all are intent upon ‘doing good’, you go for it! You wouldn’t be listening to the likes of me telling you otherwise anyway, so why should I even try?
But if, like me, you have delved just a little way into the financial reporting structure, you would find that they aren’t so much Charities as once perceived, but more like big business. When you are World Vision, and can state that you have £8 million-odd cash in the bank, and are earning interest of £205,000 last year alone, that ain’t hay! But also, when you see the pictures of the flooded villages, of the vast areas still under water, and that incessant voice-over calling for your cash to help plug the dyke; and then handing over the cash, you are also helping to pay Justin Byworth’s salary of £86,127.00. Maybe he is worth every penny; but there again, maybe not!
There were two reasons for my switch-over from broadcast to recorded music; the other was the sheer agony of being forced to listen to John McCarthy’s voice-over. All the time he speaks, I am reminded of the only reason for his fame, or should that be notoriety? He was kidnapped by ‘jihadi’ clowns in the Lebanon, despite several warnings that he would be targeted; and held for five years. He won, by a close margin the title of the ‘World’s most boring voice’, the other contestant being the equally fatuous clown Terry Waite, who was also held hostage in Beirut after moving into the then ‘most dangerous place in the world’, and expecting that he would not be touched because he was ‘Terry Waite’!
Both men later accepted that the same title of ‘The World’s most boring voice’ should be awarded by acclamation to the third contestant, who emerged from total obscurity when kidnapped in Gaza and only released after 114 days; this being Alan Johnston. There are two queries about the ‘kidnap’ of this man. The first is simply that there has never been a more fervent apologist for the excesses of Hamas than Johnston, so the question is why on earth would they kidnap him in the first place? The second query is how he came to survive so long while in ‘captivity’, as close contact with the sound of that voice for more than sixty seconds would drive any normal person towards thoughts of mass-murder, if not genocide!