I was alerted by a tweet that used the hashtag 'blacknoseday'. I'm not sure about the hashtag, but I understand the sentiment. David Cameron, the man responsible for cutting welfare benefits for the most needy in society, is going to ruin everyone's night by playing a cameo role in a Comic Relief video.
To make matters worse, Cameron is encouraging us to donate to the charity by waiving VAT from sales of the song and covering this loss to the exchequer with money from the Overseas Budget. So now those people overseas who would have won direct government funding are relying on the UK population downloading a One Direction track.
So the man who has brought real poverty to this country is playing a role in the charity that seeks to eradicate it. The whole scenario is as ironic as Elvis fronting an anti-drugs campaign at the White House while stoned out of his mind.
It would be hilarious if it were also not offensive. How will those people who have seen - and will see - their benefits cut feel when they see David Cameron's shiney, smiley face beaming out in the video? Even when Jimmy Savile was still presenting 'Jim'll Fix It', the BBC would not allow him on Children in Need, so how can it allow Cameron to offend poor people he is victimising on Friday (other than for the carrot of a VAT cut of course)?
But what about donations? Will the publicity stunt really pay off? Is it really likely that people will phone up a number and donate once they see 'Dave'?
It is well known that the people who give most to charity are not well-off themselves. Cold callers from charities don't bother to tap on the gleaming gold-plated knockers of mansions and prefer to pound the doors of housing estates. The people who give most to Comic Relief are likely to be those who are struggling most with government cuts, not the millionaires who will receive a 5% cut in the high rate of income tax from April. Will the most charitable people in society be tempted to contribute to a Comic Relief including shiny-faced Dave? I doubt it.
Not only is Cameron's appearance on Comic Relief offensive to many, but it is likely to see fewer people contribute. For this reason, I have set up a petition asking the BBC to edit out David Cameron from Comic Relief.
When I announced I was starting a petition, a few people contacted me to say it is a cheap gimmick. I'd say that sums up Cameron's appearance on Comic Relief perfectly!
You can sign the petition for the BBC to edit out 'Dave'here.Suggest a correction