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Charities and Politics

I’m a big Radio 4 listener so Friday mornings mean Desert Island Discs. It was an  interesting programme this morning’s guest was Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty , an organisation whose work I admire in defending our individual liberties against the authoritarian tendencies of the current government.

Rather late in the programme she mentioned that Liberty was a charity, which had never really ocurred to me. I suppose I assumed it was some sort of pressure group with a paid up membership. Having checked their website, I now know there are both paid members and a charitable arm which seems a reasonable approach. I made a donation via my CAF card and then had some doubts – not about the purpose and value of my contribution, but whether this was something that I wanted to come out of my charitable giving.

I normally like my giving to be targeted at specific projects and to think that it leads to tangible items being delivered to people in need. I have a innate distrust of charities who appear on the news just a little too often, usually commenting on news stories that appear to have been generated by their own PR. Although Liberty, in shape of Chakrabarti never appears to be off our screens I hadn’t thought of them in this way. I want Liberty to be effective and support them but don’t want this to be at the expense of my donations to “real” charities.

So the upshot of all this personal confusion on my part is that I have just topped up my CAF account to the value of the earlier donation to Liberty. Sorry if this post doesn’t make sense, I am not sure if it does to me either.

 

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