Saturday, March 7, 2009

Miranda Devine, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Christian Charity and Labor mates

Oh the poor Salvation Army. Frozen out of its charity work by the new Labor apparatchiks, it seems.

Does it have anything to do with the way they shamelessly sucked up to the Howard government and got into bed with them to extract cash? Surely not. We know Christians are never political, especially the Sallies. Shameless sucks, but in a non-partisan way.

Why is the Red Cross, a more secular organization, being given all the hard yards stuff to do in the Victorian bushfires? It's been nominated as the official 'partner' of the federal and state Labor governments. The Sallies have been left off a bushfire advisory panel. Shock. Horror. Could it be that it's all just Labor mates?

Who will plead the Sally cause? Cue Miranda the Devine of course, entering stage right in a towering rage of indignation with Blood ties stronger on fire panel.

"The Red Cross has basically become a de-facto arm of the Labor Federal Government. They're using it as a PR vehicle," according to the Devine, quoting a Sally source.

"Behind the scene everyone's very upset but being careful and polite in case we end up on the outer even more", the Sydney source said to the Devine.

So abusing the Red Cross to Devine as a lick spittle lackey of government is being careful and polite?

And how's this for logic? 

"It is not a healthy development to have one of Australia's biggest charities so entwined with government, and it does not bode well for the rest of the welfare sector - or the people it helps."

Except when it was the Salvation Army and all the other Christian charities making out like bandits under the Howard government, as it got rid of as many of its own charitable activities as it could and outsourced them to Christians who could barely resist slobbering at the mouth at this manna from heaven.

So it goes guys. When you sit down to dine with politicians, one day you're kingmakers, the next day you're feather dusters. And leaking to the Devine isn't going to help your cause. It's just going to get up the noses of the guys who control the purse strings.

The Devine wonders if its the 'unfashionability' of the Salvation Army's Christian ethic that's the problem, or its dalliance with the Howard government Tough on Drugs strategy, or having Lucy Turnbull, wife of Malcolm, as the head of the Red Shield Appeal, or having a go at the Ruddster's abstruse and likely unworkable plan to cut homelessness in half by 2020.

Actually guys, if you think whingeing to the Devine anonymously by senior members of the organization is the way ahead, it might actually be your political nouse, your strategic planning, and your sense that the public gives two tosses about charity politics. You know what Clive Hamilton, professor of ethics, thinks about this kind of unethical behaviour? It's un-Socratic and has poisoned the intertubes!

Charity's charity, and who does the job, providing there are no rorts and it reaches the target in a sensible, strategic way is all that matters. Christian charity ain't got no special privileges, it don't make it any better, and in some cases - since this country is largely peopled by secularists - it can make it offensive or unsettling. And charities competing for public money, whingeing and backstabbing and moaning to right wing loons is even more unsightly. 

Me, I should have an anxiety attack about the Salvation Army? Meh, go bother god.

Take it from the sharks, about to suffer a shock and awe bombing of the beaches if the Devine has her way, when you get into bed with loons, then skilled lobbying goes out the window, and all that's heard is the shriek and howl of the loon.


Ilago said...

Cheers Dorothy. Another arrow hits the target :)

dorothy parker said...

thanks Ilago. Reading your piece, you're much more polite and logical than I am (likely nicer too), but keep up the good fight on internet censorship. If Conroy has his way, we'll be back in the stone ages with Clive and Steve Fielding, and then if Clive thinks anonymizing is an issue now, wait for all the proxies and anons that'll produce down the track. It'll be like underground alt culture in the nineteen fifties. The loons never learn. Cheers.