Archive for the ‘Banter and Humour’ Category

Woke up to a Joke

Who is the Joke On?

In a ‘Dave’ poll the winner of the best Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe was Sweden’s 8th best comedian Olaf Falafel’s gag, “I keep randomly shouting out ‘Broccoli’ and ‘Cauliflower’ – I think I might have florets”.

But a support  charity Tourettes Action, Reg Charity no: 1003317 aka Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association for people with Tourette’s has taken offence.  Suzanne Dobson Chief Executive has highlighted the gag as “cheap” and said it did little more than to reinforce stereotypes of those who are “extremely stigmatised”.

Next in line for criticism was Garry Lineker and the BBC. The offensive banter quote was ‘It’s a strong start to the Premier League season. Real hair-raising stuff at time…  unless you are  Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy’ . This caused at least one minor complaint to the BBC and for charity  1111304 – ALOPECIA UK to talk to a newspaper.  A spokes person is quoted in the Daily Telegraph ‘jokes about physical attributes are extremely outdated and this includes banter about hair loss’.


  • If you subscribe to the views that ‘The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.’ and ‘All publicity is good publicity.’ then managed outrage can give a charity a useful public platform.
  • It is unlikely that public awareness would have increased about the medical conditions if the charities concerned and the media had not risen to the bait.





Rag or Raise And Give

Raise And Give a student organised, charitable fund raising event generally of one weeks duration. They required lots more in time, planning and organising the collection of events that make up the whole. Not least of these was the publication of a Rag Mag full of politically incorrect jokes cartoons and paid for advertising.

A ‘Rag mag’ is a small booklet like those above, traditionally  sold to the local community during Rag Week.

Students saw RAG as their way of making a difference. For 2/- in 1966  the Bradford Rag mag supported half a dozen charitable organisation including the  Physically Handicapped – Able Bodied (PHAB) club, The |Guild of Help, Bradford Red Cross, The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Police Widows and Orphans Fund and the Court Mission. The need and organisations are still largely in existence 50 odd years later.


Times have moved on and my latest copy of a rag mag was a private enterprise trading on nostalgia for the old style. There was no sign of any charitable support except perhaps for the printers and publishers. The street vendor no doubt took a cut of the (cheap) cover price in the mode of the Big Issue.


An exmple of the 50 year old humour.’ What is long and red and comes at you from all directions? – stereophonic rhubarb.

If you don’t know what 2/-, stereophonic or even rhubarb is, ask a pensioner. Hint 24d or what you can afford.

Donation for Homeless Used by Salvationist

Major Nottle the leader of the Salvation Army in Australia has defended his organisation’s actions after his daughter was given tickets to a Paul McCartney concert  that had been donated to give ‘a bit of a lift’ for homeless people. Chris McDonald, the donor and a former homeless person was surprised to see two well-dressed people in the allocated seats and he discovered they were  Major Nottle’s daughter and her partner. “I have been a recipient of their relief so I know how important the work they do is, but the golden rule is never to dip your hand into the donations – it calls the integrity of the entire organisation into dispute.”

Denying the Unacceptable

  1. “It had absolutely nothing to do with me,” Major Nottle told Radio 3AW. Thus spoke a true leader.
  2. “The manager did the ring around of other homeless people and volunteer staff and wasn’t able to move them [the tickets] because it was so late.” And also because most homeless people do not have telephones.
  3. “When you’re working with homeless people, to be blunt, do homeless people need tickets to Paul McCartney or do they need a roof over their head?” Well the donor had personal experience and this sort of comment is crass.
  4. The Salvation Army will reimburse the donor for all seven tickets, Nottle said, adding that concert tickets were not an appropriate donation for homeless people. Guardian There is an implication that this will come out of Salvation Army Funds? Major Nottle’s comments and actions will put off other creative donations.

In the words of Paul McCartney songs now it’s the time to Let it Be because All You Need is Love (and a roof over your head). Still there is Hope of Deliverance.

Slogans that Work or Not

 Working Slogans

  • ‘Oxford Committee for Famine Relief’  the original that has done what it said on the tin.The original name of the global poverty alleviation charity  Oxfam 202918
  • ‘Put your foot down…’ MAG mines 1083008 – The Mines Advisory Group with £37m a year spent clearing mines
  • ‘Sometimes you need help from above’  – London’s Air Ambulance 801013
  • ‘On the shelf’   an auction in aid of   The National Literacy Trust 1116260
  •  ‘We’ll go through it with you’  Samaritans  That is suicide they were talking about  – I don’t think so.
  •  ‘always there for you’ Macmillan Cancer Support no matter how hard they try they can’t always be there – too much expectation!
  • Whatever it takes to save a child.   Unicef
  • Holding Power Accountable  Common Cause

Environment Slogans

  • Turtle hero
  • Bee cause
  • Because the earth needs a good lawyer  Earth justice
  • No Fin to Declare a petition calling on the EU to ban the personal importation of ALL shark fins to Europe. Bite-Back, the UK shark and marine conservation charity

Charity T-Shirts

  • When it comes to charity; many people stop at nothing.
  • Don’t delay give today!
  • There is no I in team but there should be U in volunteer
  • Welfare over wealth
  •  Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.
  • Sleazy does it!
  • I’m perfect


Please send us your witty or pithy slogans.

Trumps Double Bogie

Is fake news, like my golf handicap,  the result of being a bit of a bandit. Lets tee off with a double bogie and two Trump foundations that could be an albatross for many  Americans . Talk about flying like an eagle even if the foundations are turkeys.  There is no fairway to putt a slice of this story into context so there may be a hole in one line or another. (too much Ed.)

Did the Trump charitable foundation pay the Trump golfing business $100,000+ for charitable golf tournaments despite promising they would be free?  The jury is still out on that one – like other Trump matters. But the ‘hook’ from Forbes magazine provides more insight:

Did the Eric Trump Foundation donate to other charities & organisations so they could run and pay for golf events at Trump golf part of the Trump Organisation . Mmmm an interesting use of donated even if not used for golf with funds where donors were told their money was going to help sick kids, but more than $500,000 was re-donated to other charities’.

All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors. It also raises larger questions about the Trump family dynamics and whether Eric and his brother, Don Jr., can be truly independent of their father.

At first the extra bills did not cost the Eric Trump Foundation anything. Shortly before the spike in costs, the Donald J. Trump Foundation donated $100,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation–a gift explicitly made, according to Gillule, to offset the increased budget. Thus, the Eric Trump donors were still seeing their money go to work for kids along the same lines as previous years.

The Eric Trump Foundation declined to comment on that donation. In effect, though, this maneuver would appear to have more in common with a drug cartel’s money-laundering operation than a charity’s best-practices textbook. That $100,000 in outside donations to the Donald J. Trump Foundation (remember: Trump himself didn’t give to his own foundation at this time) passed through the Eric Trump Foundation–and wound up in the coffers of Donald Trump’s private businesses.

It’s hard to imagine how the early incarnation of the golf tournament–big hauls, understandable costs–would have any problem continuing to spew out millions for years to come. Last year, the Eric Trump Foundation donated $2.9 million, according to St. Jude.

But in December, Eric Trump said he would stop fundraising. Running an event with an increasing commingling of business and philanthropy created the kind of conflict-of-interest (not to mention image) concerns that similarly plagued Ivanka Trump’s aborted attempt to auction off a coffee date on behalf of Eric’s foundation.

More recently, the foundation has rebranded itself as Curetivity. A spokeswoman for the organization said it would continue hosting golf tournaments to raise money for St. Jude. A Curetivity event was held this past May outside Washington, D.C., with Eric Trump in attendance, at the Trump National course.

IN ORDER TO understand the Eric Trump Foundation, you need to understand the Donald J. Trump Foundation. The president was never known for giving his foundation much money, and from 2009 to 2014, he didn’t give it anything at all. Outsiders still donated, though, allowing Trump to dole out their money to a smattering of more than 200 charities as if it were his own, with many of the donations helping his business interests.

Eric Trump Foundation now known as Curetivity is still  under investigation by the state attorney general’s office according to The Hill   part of the News Communications Inc founded by  the Unification Church  and leader, Sun Myung Moon.

Helping Children Enjoy Reading

Seven Stories 1056812

Is it a book, is it a museum no it’s The National Centre for Children’s Books? (with thanks to Chubby Checker and Hank Ballard 1960 for the twist.)

This charity is celebrating Britain’s heritage of children’s literature in a visitor attraction located, you guessed it, in a seven story building in Newcastle. Sustainability is built around income from the visitor attraction, learning programmes and a wholly owned trading company. A sister charity is building a collection of contemporary British children’s books and related original artwork, manuscripts and archives. This a should not remain a secret seven.

‘Volunteer Reading Help’  296454 Operating as Beanstalk they recruit, train and support volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. The Duchess of Cornwall has been the Patron of Beanstalk since their 40th anniversary

‘Literacy-focused charities and organisations are celebrating Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall’s upcoming 70th birthday by giving 70 primary schools across the UK a set of 70 children’s books and specially designed bookshelves. The duchess is patron of  the  organisations involved – the National Literacy Trust, Beanstalk, BookTrust, First Story, Roald Dahl Literary Estate and the Wicked Young Writer Awards. The 70 schools selected to receive the books have all shown they are committed to promoting reading for enjoyment, and many are in disadvantaged areas of the UK.’

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a free book-gifting programme launched in 1995 by the country singer. The Imagination Library sends a book in the post every month to each enrolled child. The scheme begins at birth and ends on a child’s fifth birthday. Various Council districts have launched this programme to improve literacy and reduce exclusion. Funded largely by The Dollywood Foundation and participating local authorities.



Shortage of Tree Planting

Four main government quangos responsible for planting and maintaining the British tree-rich landscape are a bit stumped.  According to new information from the Forestry Commission less than 900,000 trees were planted in 2016 the lowest number for 40 years. According to the Daily Telegraph it is believed that during the year three full-time professional tree planters could  exceed this total. That is where they are going wrong, t’ree fellas are not what is needed.

Government Assistance & Bureaucracy

1. Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in England and Scotland. Budget £55m pa. They have launched  The Woodland Carbon Fund  scheme to boost the rate of woodland creation that sits alongside the grant support available via Countryside Stewardship. DEFRA’s Forestry Innovation Fund is a nationwide £1 million fund to support schemes that will promote the growth of the forest industry

2. Natural England  is a £200m pa non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the 2000 staff promote nature conservation, protect biodiversity and enhancing the landscape

3. The Rural Payments Agency is an executive agency of the UK Department for Environment paying out over £2 billion in subsidies each year.

4. Countryside Stewardship Scheme now part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which targets £3.1bn of government support for agri-environment and forestry.

Charity’s Contribution

294344 – The Woodland Trust  a £37.5m pa charity with the following objectives: ‘to conserve, restore and re-establish trees, in particular broad-leaved trees, plants and all forms of wild life in the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland and thereby to secure and enhance the enjoyment by the public of the natural environment of those territories.’

279000 The Tree Council works towards making trees matter to people; more trees, of the right kind, in the right places; better care for all trees of all ages and inspiring effective action for trees.  An umbrella body and a forum for tackling issues relating to trees and woods, it  promotes the improvement of the environment by the planting and conservation of trees and woods throughout the UK with a comparatively modest budget of £378k pa

1032154 – Trees For Cities spends £1m pa for trees in inner cities.


  • What happened to the bonfire of the quangos? No wood to get the bonfire going?
  • Charities fight bureaucracy on a regular basis not least when they want to organise and fund local tree planting.

Strawberry Field a Gated Community

It’s no secret that former Salvation Army children’s home Strawberry Field was special to John Lennon. 50 years ago it inspired one of the Beatles most memorable songs

‘Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever’

The Salvation Army  a Church and registered Charity  214779  have launched a fundraising campaign on the 50th anniversary of the UK release of Strawberry Fields Forever.

The children’s home dates from 1870 when it was owned by a wealthy merchant. His widow sold the estate to the Salvation Army in 1934.

In 1936 Commissioner Catherine Bramwell-Booth, said ‘We must save the children because they cannot save themselves! They cannot open the gates to fairer and better things.’

‘The original house was later demolished and replaced with a smaller purpose built home which opened in the early 1970s and closed in 2005 . The special ornamental gates were removed for a time leading to ‘Gate Gate’ but they are now replaced and will feature in the new development.
The Salvation Army’s plans for redevelopment will provide vocational training for young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities. In a break from tradition there will be areas of the grounds and a café open to the public. ‘Alongside the café will be a heritage exhibit which will explore the history of both The Salvation Army’s provision of child services and Strawberry Field.’


Prior to researching this post I didn’t realise The Salvation Army has a subsidiary and their own insurance company Sagic. ‘Ethical Insurance, Supporting the work of The Salvation Army’.

Trust in the Lord but take out insurance cover!

Charity’s Lifeboat Sold on eBay by Thief

In March 2017 the ex-treasurer of Cleethorpes Rescue Service was jailed for 2 years .  From 2007 to 2012 Roxanna Bridgland was the treasurer of this local charity after reportedly engineering the departure of the previous treasurer and chairman.

  • She has been found guilty of systematically stealing and defrauding the charity.
  • The lifeboat was sold on ebay.
  • Radios, safety equipment and other items were traded during  visits to Cash Converters.
  • The ex-treasurer also defrauded the taxpayer of £6,000 by making false claims for gift aid.
  • Admitted five offences of fraud, three of false accounting but plead not guilty of stealing cash.

The thefts caused such a “lack of trust in the community” that donations  dried up and subsequent rescue attempts failed. What could have happened if the lifeboat had been needed?

Charity Commission

  • When questioned by the Charity Commission investigators Roxanna Bridgland denied  responsibility claiming to be helping  as public and business donations to the charity declined.
  • 1085020 – C.O.A.S.T CLEETHORPES OBSERVATION AND SAFETY TEAM has now been removed from the register of charities.
  • Previous and alternative names include~:
    Cleethorpes rescue and lifeboat service (old name)
    Cleethorpes vigilante inshore lifeboat (old name)
    Cleethorpes rescue service (working name)
  • The charity has not submitted any accounts since  March 2011.


When a lifeboat goes missing,( via eBay ), many folk must have known. A charity needs local support and involvement in more than funding.

The ‘warning’ this case could give others has been diluted by the slow justice.

As the Judge said ‘this has all been a result of your greed’.  Vigilance and applied commonsense needs to be maintained.

Just Because You Can – Osprey Gate

It doesn’t mean you must or should just because you could.

Since 1982, the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust 512390 has been the leading voluntary organisation promoting wildlife conservation in 19 nature reserves showcasing of some  the finest remnants of prime wildlife habitat in the county. The umbrella organisation  Royal Society Of Wildlife Trusts 207238 aims to …..’ educate the public in understanding and appreciating nature ……’

Osprey Gate

Web cams, YouTube and a special Osprey project have shown nature in the wild to an even wilder audience. Ill and injured chicks have been left to fend of themselves but some criticism about the lack of intervention has been vitriolic.

At least the media attention is going partway to fulfilling the educational aims of the trust. One of the best quotes was this ‘is not Disney World’ and just because you could intervene may not mean you should.

Clicktivism for Slacktivists

Book Cover

Clicktivism versus Slacktivism

Clicktivists and Slacktavists are both sides of the same bitcoin. They are using a range of digital media tools that are making it easy to show support for causes and charities. Activists seeking social change use the methods but may find slacktavists are not the most dynamic.

Businesses, politicians and NGOs now think nothing of using Clicktivism for marketing or campaigning.  A cynic may think the hidden purpose may be to get personal details, names, email addresses, phone numbers etc etc.

Clicking to ‘like’ on facebook or retweeting on twitter takes minimal effort and arguably has little effect. Thus it is more a form of ‘Slacktivism’ or actions in support of a cause without effort.

Charity brand building and awareness development uses slacktivist tools and paraphernalia such as ‘pins’, badges, balloons,wristbands or bumper stickers. Clicktivism can’t generally achieve the same effect from a digital device’ but try harder on the click baiting.

Slacktivism is often used to promulgate the world’s reaction to major disaster when social media spread the message. Charities hone their campaigns to take advantage of social media’s ability to proliferate the message and seek donations.

Charity can ‘Clictivise’ in many ways to gain supporters, collect donations or develop awareness of the cause.

Slacktivists may  favour a product  due to it’s reputation or  history of supporting a charity and that is easier than researching options.

Clicktivism is part of social media or browsing fodder where you can ‘click a link, like a post, donate money, feel good, go back to looking at cute cat videos ..’

Be an Actionist

Read ‘Click2Change a better world at your fingertips’ for a range of topics where an individual can help create a better world using digital media.

Search  on ‘click to donate’ you will get a large number of results (I got 5million results). Then filter out the outrageous and marginal.

Search for ‘web shopping for charity’ (I got 10.4million results). From that you can consider your shopping options with a charity kicker.

Searching ‘petitions for social change’ that achieved over a million hits of which six hundred thousand were for climate change petitions.

Join in as a slacktivist as and when you feel the urge or selectively be a dynamic clicktivist for those causes you support.



Not to be confused with the UK charity 1107328 – CLIC Sargent  for children with Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood (CLIC) They benefited with other cancer charities from the £32m Text Santa  fund raiser – textavist or what?