Yesterday, as you cannot help but know, was Red Nose Day – the day when merchant bankers celebrate the death of humour.
Hypocrites seem to confuse building a compassionate society and living with regard for others with an hour of throwing money they don’t need at problems they refuse to deal with.
Here, instead, is some real good news involving people who actually give a toss and are way too cool to demand a name check.
On another blog I used to run, one of the last topics I covered was the blocking by religious bigots of attempts to help the homeless and others who this septic isle’s ‘great and good’ consider ‘damaged goods’.
To be more specific, a cheery bunch of hippies found a way to collect and cook up surplus food from local farmers and wanted to use the town’s biggest church hall to run a weekly lunch for such folk. While the church in question likes to claim it is vital to the local community, somehow the idea of dreadlocked dudes with no religious affiliations feeding some obviously downmarket locals was all too much, even if they were renting the space for a few hours at commercial rates. These despicable religiots (who include this burg’s most prominent citizenry) actually called a special meeting of the parish church council in order to not only block the proposal but bar anyone involved in the project from renting Hate Hall …. for life.
Undettered by these petty-minded pondlife, my hippy chums have quietly found other premises and established their project. They have an open house session one weekday afternoon, and also a regular Sunday lunch and social session for the town’s dispossessed which now gets at least 25 per time.
To put that in context, it is bigger than the usual congregation of the church which hates the poor and the attendance at various state-run or heavily subsidised projects to help the mentally ill combined. I say this with absolute confidence, having checked with attendees and staff at both.
So, without fuss, the most troubled souls in my neighbourhood now have a safe place to call in, socialise and find discreet support. None of that support comes from either government employees or vacuous ‘Third Sector’ professional busybodies, so it is safe to say that it works.
The hippies have no plans to formalise their work as a charity, to ask for public money or private donations, or indeed to involve any of the elements in Manx society which screw up people’s lives under the pretence of ‘solving’ social problems which, to be blunt, their bigotry and sheer cretinism caused in the first place. They will get by with a little help from friends, who wish to remain anonymous, because that is how really cool people operate.
Now that is what I call a result.