This email has been doing the rounds on the web of late:
Shame on you GREAT BRITAIN..we have children going to bed without eating..elderly going without needed medicines..mentally ill without treatment..troops without proper equipment..yet we donate millions to other countries before helping our own first..99% ppl wont have the guts to copy and repost this.!!!!!! WILL YOU ???
I’ve seen various versions of the same email, some that begin with “Shame on you AMERICA”, etc.
If I’m honest, I don’t get it.
I understand the concept of charity beginning at home, but it seems to me that people comparing poverty in the West, to poverty in third world countries are either off their heads or off their meds. Or both.
The fact is, poverty is relative. A poverty-stricken child in England just cannot be compared to a poverty-stricken child in Sudan.
As far as I’m concerned, children going to bed without eating in the UK, is often down to parents who are either too strung out on drugs and alcohol to care, or too selfish and lazy to want to provide adequately for their kids, in which case, the government usually intervenes. Now compare that with the fate of the children who were unfortunate enough to be born into squalor and poverty, the likes of which, few of us in the West are familiar with.
The elderly going without meds? I’m sorry, but this is total bullshit. The elderly get free meds over here. The system isn’t perfect in the UK, but it still doesn’t really compare to the plight of elderly people in the most ravaged parts of the world.
Troops going without proper equipment? Quite frankly, we entered into this war without a proper exit strategy. This has led to billions of pounds being spent on fighting a war that is beginning to look increasingly, un-winnable. The money has to come from somewhere, and with so many people out of work, and the current economic situation, the military budget, along with other public spending is inevitably going to be impacted.
Mentally ill going without treatment? Whilst this is true in some cases, in my experience, the ones who go without treatment are the ones who refuse to be helped. Unless these people commit actual crimes, there’s only so many times you can section them under the Mental Health Act. Also, in most cases, somebody has to notify the authorities if they suspect that a person has mental problems, and unless it’s reported, how are the authorities meant to help?
There are lots of Brits who will nod vigorously at the points raised in the email above, but as far as I’m concerned, this kind of bullshit only encourages xenophobia.
There have been some key times in history that we as a nation have needed help from others. Where would we be if those countries had decided to turn their backs on us?
What say you?