The Big Eye, December 2, 2014: We must not let the latest tragedy trump ongoing need

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Life and death struggles have been the theme of recent news.

However you consume it, this depressing topic has been a common thread this week.

Hours of media space and time were dedicated to the sudden death of an Australian cricketer who died after being struck by a ball.

Sombre comments from his Prime Minister and team mates have dominated the airways and all of Australia seems to have been rocked to the core by this sportsman’s untimely demise.

Running behind this story on my Friday evening news bulletin was the latest report from the ongoing Ebola plague.

A story that has become a little less emotive and shocking to us all than the cricketing disaster because we’re all far too familiar with scenes of doctors in germ warfare suits in the blazing sun piling bodies onto pick-up trucks for incineration.

Sadly, these victims are nameless and numberless and we only estimate them to the nearest thousand and because there’s no way we can relate to this unimaginable devastation we become indifferent to their plight although many souls continue to donate to charities who’s volunteers risk their own lives to relieve Africa’s intolerable burden.

Closer to home, my local news channel featured the Duchess of Cambridge spending a day visiting and promoting the hospice at Quidenham that cares for desperately sick children.

This local hospice near Norwich has started a massive project to raise over £10 million to build new facilities to enable more little children to come for respite and care.

To secure these funds they’ll be relying on the generosity of thousands of people to raise the money in the usual ways with sponsored head-shaves and baths of baked beans provided by the big-hearted nutters and coffee-morning ladies who will put their own lives on hold to support this amazing facility.

Self-help seems to be the only option to raise money for disasters and projects on our doorstep and while there are kind locals willing and able to get stuck in and do the hard work, I don’t suppose the people who collect and spend our taxes will do much to back us up.

The grandees have bigger fish to fry and with the national debt now in free fall and a desperate need to keep up with our rich neighbours in terms of how much we hand over in foreign aid, it is improbable that ‘fripperies’ like children’s hospices are likely to get much support from further up the food chain.

However, we do have sources of money closer to home in County Hall but as we’ve witnessed recently, these scary people seem to have lost the plot as far as the county’s budgets are concerned after effectively flushing three Quidenhams down the toilet in one abortive incinerator fandango.

We must not let Ebola or hospices slip off our radars and just become another news story like the young cricketer but County Hall and Whitehall need to start supporting the people not incinerators, and charity begins at home!

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