We look back 4 generations to the enormous divides between the rich and poor and wonder how the upper classes could wander around and do nothing.
Sure, a few set up schemes to help a few, but the structures of society, politics and economics kept the masses in their place. It took two world wars and the growth of public education to redistribute that wealth. I know we’ve got a growing gap between rich or poor,
I know we’ve still got the superrich and the sprawling masses, but to my untrained eye things have changed.
So when I watch Comic Relief, as well as happily putting my hand in my pocket, I can’t help wonder what it’s going to take to even up the gap between us and (for example) African countries. I hope we can learn the lessons of the past and avoid another couple of wars to get there, but if I’m honest I’m not hopeful.
And I do worry that, unlike Jubilee 2000, people are urged to donate, and then go back to their lives, thinking that they’ve done their bit for the next two years. And while the relief continues, the structures that mean the relief is need continue as well.