A charity, a lady, a scandal
By Michael Ezra,
May 31st 2011
A charity is often a very good cause. Whether it be assisting the aged, abused children, mentally handicapped, a repair for a local place of worship, cancer research, starving kids in Africa, or a plethora of other causes, we can understand why someone is shaking a tin for loose coins or requesting a cheque, a standing order payment or a prize to be auctioned or raffled to raise funds for the charity. If we have not heard of the charity, possibly because it is small, but the cause sounds reasonable and those associated with it include the great and good, then we may make a donation without much further investigation. This could be a big mistake.
I bring to your attention the charity PACT: Parents & Abducted Children Together. The website of the charity informs us that PACT “works with the government, the police and other NGOs to improve the way in which missing childrenís [sic] cases are handled, so that they can be rapidly located and retrieved unharmed.” Abducted children: a fine charitable cause. Tesco is associated with the charity. Among others, the trustees of the charity include the author Barbara Taylor Bradford, a former head of Special Branch in Northern Ireland and Sir Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to the United States. This is not all because the patrons include both Cherie Blair, wife of a former British Prime Minister and Laura Bush, wife of the former American president. A very credible selection of people.
Those that donate money to charity, however wealthy they are, have limited funds to donate. A donation to one charity means a smaller or no donation to another. If asked by a friend or acquaintance for a donation to PACT, a charity founded in 1999 by Lady Meyer, the wife of Sir Christopher Meyer, one might have done so in the belief that their donation was doing good. But was this really the case?
As the accounts of the charity show . . . more