Like many others, I do my bit for charity, or so I think.  I pay my taxes, and as the government is fond of reminding me, international aid is ring fenced.  I also bung a few pounds into the collection box when it is rattled in my face in the shopping arcade, and I make a contribution through the Church for good causes as and when they arise.

Of course it isn’t enough when set against the poverty of the third world, and the millions of children who die needlessly because they don’t have access to food, or clean water, or proper medical care.  The very excellent charities are continually pressing me to do more in their many marketing campaigns.

Against all this, there is still the urge amongst the very poor to have as many children as possible, knowing full well that many will die.  So ‘families’ for want of a better word, will number 8, or 10 or 12 children, with 2 surviving to adulthood if they’re lucky or unlucky, depending on your perspective.

If poverty stricken countries get their act together, with sufficient food and water and medical care, there is bound to be a population explosion, and the strain on finite resources will become unsustainable. The obvious solution, adopted with limited success by China, is to limit the number of children per household.  Surely this must be the way forward.

I would far rather my charitable contributions went to family planning and birth control, otherwise it becomes a vicious circle.

 Finally, I remind myself that India and Brazil are two of the emerging economies that are being courted by the British government for lucrative contracts.  But once you stray off the boulevards and manicured avenues, the poverty is there for all to see, including the Indian and Brazilian governments. I do not understand why I should be asked to clean up their mess when they should be perfectly capable of cleaning it up themselves.

Something about glass houses and stones!


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David is an English barrister, writer, public performer and keynote speaker. His full profile can be found on his website.

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