Political concept of charity is perverse.

I sent this to the Daily Express (3/4/14), after a piece on privatising the NHS. I didn’t really expect it to be published because many of our political commentatorswent to the same public schools and did the same PPE courses:
It puzzled me that the organisation calling for charges to be made for NHS services was stated to be a charity.
For the vast majority of people this does not sound either very charitable, or something that would issue from a charitable body of people.
The best accepted definition of charity is ” the provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.”
It has the same root as the word “care” and in Christianity it is synomynous with Love of God.
But not, apparently for our politicians.
Government has its own definition of Charity, which is the basis on which the Charity Commision awards organisations with charitable status.
At a stroke sanctifying the organisation and, at the same time, exempting it from taxation (ironic in the case of an organisation demanding a new form of taxation).
Apparently their definition of charity is that of “providing a public benefit”.
Such a flexible phrase, open to whatever interpretation is politically desirable.
Millionaire’s are member’s of the public and a benefit is anything that does them good.
In theory anyone donating money to a political party could claim to be a charity.
Eton public school could claim to be a charity.
Anyone providing hospitality suites for public servants, at major sporting/cultural events, could claim charitable status.
Is there any hope that we may, one day, have a Government, who not only notice this anomaly but also realise that is the public that has the right definition and, then, re-organise the charter of the Charity Commission to use a definition more consonant with that accepted by the rest of The World.



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