A Senior Moment: This is just a new way of begging

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Do my eyes deceive me or are we witnessing the birth of yet another joyous benefit from the marvels of modern technology? It’s called ‘crowdfunding’ apparently. The idea being that you put out a sob story appealing for funding on your website and hope to find enough suckers prepared to fork-up sums of money to provide what you need.

Personally I’d call it begging but then I’m old-fashioned in the belief you should earn your own living and not rely on the generosity of others. Unlike it seems, a certain Oxford graduate - obviously far too posh to sit on the pavement (complete with dog), who graduated in human sciences but has been unable to find employment and wants now to take an MSc in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology, which will presumably giver her another couple of years-worth of obscure knowledge but few job prospects. What then I wonder? Another Sc I suspect.

To this old codger, the whole idea seems uncomfortably close to the myriad of scams already appearing on the internet. And they just keep on coming. The latest attempt on me recently, was that hoary old appeal from “a dear friend”, desperate, tearful and stuck in Rome with the children after being robbed. The only difference this time being that they hadn’t even used a name I’d ever heard of!

I suppose it really isn’t too surprising these low-life chancers continue to flourish. Why not? Everybody’s at it – or so it would seem. From politicians to bankers and back again we now live in a culture where there is brazen contempt for decent standards of behaviour. We put up with lies and deceit from those in high office, corruption is rife in local and national government, big business and even the police have their rotten apples.

And it seems, the more power these people have, the greater the contempt for those less fortunate. What else could explain the head of Britain’s largest energy supplier saying Centrica wouldn’t cut prices, claiming customers want “stable” rather than cheaper energy bills as his company clocks up another £900 million profit in six months – in spite of dissatisfied customers falling off the trees like apples. And what else could explain the king of the F1 road, buying his way out of a bribery charge with a £60 million settlement, then saying he was “a bit of an idiot” for doing so. £60 million from a fortune of £2.5 billion - about the same as fifty quid to you and me? Cheap at the price I’d say!

Personally I fear the day is fast approaching when the sheep stop bleating and start biting. It makes you wonder if this is why police in Scotland are routinely armed and three officers turned up to a minor disturbance at an Inverness McDonalds, complete with Glock semi- automatics? With Alex Salmond’s battle for independence coming up next month, it puts a whole new meaning on the words Big Mac!