We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

This, I think, is my main objection to Band Aid 30: it is all predicated on a belief that the British public are mean-spirited and uncharitable, when in actual fact nothing could be further from the truth. It’s time the likes of Geldof stopped asking us to give money, and like Adele, started donating some themselves. Charity, after all, begins at home.

Bryony Gordon

The whole article is a magnificent demolition of celebrity “charity culture” and the cant that is associated with it. Given how some people, such as that now-dead monster, Jimmy Savile, used charity as a shield to ward off questions about his behaviour, and given that at a less odious level, people with interesting personal tax affairs like to go on with charity efforts to get good PR, this sort of analysis is overdue. “Sir” Bob Geldof should perhaps tend rather more to his personal family affairs, which appear to be in a bad way, than making sneering remarks about someone who wants to get on with developing her career as a singer. How selfish of her!

18 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Simon Gibbs

    Adele is, it seems, following your suggestion to Geldof.

    “Adele, with her peculiar un-celebrity desire to sod the limelight as she brings up a toddler, is a selfish little woman who must be publicly humiliated.”

  • Rob

    If we all ignore celebrities, will they go away or just get louder?

  • Most of us are ignoring them as it is, so I’d say the latter.

  • RAB

    She’s bringing up a family, you know.”

    Geldof did a blinding job of bringing up his own, didn’t he?

    And if you want to see his head explode, tell him that at least 50% of the original Live Aid money went to buy guns not food.

  • Vinegar Joe

    And if you want to see his head explode, tell him that at least 50% of the original Live Aid money went to buy guns not food.

    If I’ve got an AK-47, I can get the food.

  • If I’ve got an AK-47, I can get the food.

    Sadly it was the Derg who were getting the AK-47s. That said I gather there is some doubt the Derg actually got much of the aid, contrary to the BBCs claims at the time.

  • Mr Ed

    I was watching the news with the Sage of Kettering when the Derg were overthrown. The news was that the new rulers of Ethiopia were ‘The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’. Said the Sage: “There’s a name that inspires confidence!‘”.

    Quite what was the difference between the two was opaque. Perhaps they argued about stringing counter-revolutionaries up from different ends of meathooks, but at the end of the day, until Africa creates a permissive environment for private property and the accumulation and import and export of capital and goods, there is little than can be done to help with anything other than ‘sticking-plaster’ remedies.

  • Tedd

    Mr Ed’s got it right. Love the line about stringing up from different ends, too.

    I confess that I know almost nothing about the Derg. But I do know that, in Africa, if you have the guns then you’re probably getting a large portion of the aid, too, regardless of what the official paperwork shows.

  • Laird

    “if you have the guns then you’re probably getting a large portion of the aid, too”

    Precisely correct. In many of these countries the government insists that all foreign aid flow through it (so it can siphon off most of it to enrich its own and their cronies); some even charge fees to the Red Cross and other groups seeking to provide humanitarian assistance. These “aid-fests” are often worse than useless, as they do little but help the present cleptocratic governments remain in power. Geldorf is a useless, self-absorbed and arrogant wanker who is oblivious to the real harm he is causing.

    But I don’t give a whole lot of praise to Adele, either, as she chose to make her donation to Oxfam, another totally worthless quango.

  • Well, nobody’s perfect. And, at least she can sing.

  • Stonyground

    With so much discussion about charity going on at the moment, correcting those who insist upon selectively quoting Thomas Fuller is becoming like a game of whack-a-mole. What he actually said was “Charity begins at home but should not end there” basically the opposite of what those who misquote him wish to express.

  • JohnB

    Can I verify that 50% of the previous Band Aid went on guns?
    That would be a most interesting statistic to promote and needs to get out to the wider public.

  • John Mann


    Interesting. But did the saying originate with Fuller, or was he just making a comment based on a popular saying of the day?

    A quick google suggests that “The first use of the phrase “Charity begins at home” in print is found in Thomas Browne’s 1642 book Religio Medici,” and the way that Browne uses the phrase suggests that “charity begins at home” (without anything about not ending there) was already a popular saying at the time.

  • Stonyground

    So, it appears that Fuller added ‘but should not end there’ to an already known saying and I am in fact completely wrong. Oh well, I do come here to learn stuff after all.

  • John Mann

    And of course, it was because of your post that I googled and learned that myself!

  • CaptDMO

    But…but…I thought the bestowal of the Title “Sir” was based on how much cash one
    ultimately brought into the Crown’s coffers. NOBODY SAID it had to be their OWN cash,
    although the “implication” that massive income means actual massive taxes MAY buy
    “entertainers” a lot of “…’cuz if you’re rich they think you really know”.
    (From Fiddler on the Roof)

  • CaptDMO

    “And if you want to see (their heads) explode,….
    Gosh, how much of actual “charity”, recognized by gub’miunt, goes to “management”,”supplies”, and “miscellaneous expenses”? 5%? 10%?
    Now, let’s chat about “charity” ENFORCED by gub’mint…..

  • RAB

    I plucked the 50% figure out my… er.. armpit, so to speak, but I had in the back of my mind articles like this…


    And having met him briefly back when he was just about to become a one hit wonder, and not liked him very much, I really would like to see his head explode. 😉