Chris Geiger

The Cancer Survivors Club

Charity Begins at home!

FIRSTLY I APOLOGISE TO those who think I've become too serious since winning my columnist award. It's purely coincidental that I've chosen subjects which require a little 'respect' lately; rather than waffling in my normal mischievous manner.

Trust me, I'd rather put my fingers in a bacon slicer than deal with the backlash if I even attempted a joke about assisted suicide or retailers selling sexualised children's clothes.

Another subject that I know gets readers' blood pressure higher than an Icelandic ash cloud is foreign aid; which I totally understand. We've soaring living expenses, record national debt, raised tuition fees, increasing unemployment, and both Income Tax and VAT have gone up too – and let's not forget public spending cuts, the winter fuel allowance reduction, etc etc etc.. I’m limited on space to list everything.

However, the coalition thinks nothing of giving away millions in foreign aid. In fact they have just pledged an additional £814 million to vaccinate children in poor countries. Now call me unkind, feel free to fill my inbox with insulting e-mails, yet charity really should begin at home.

I question the fairness in withholding expensive lifesaving cancer treatment to UK taxpaying patients purely because of lack of funds. Yet David Cameron is comfortable to throw our money at the rest of the world.

I could fill this column arguing that actually very little foreign aid really reaches those who deserve it, and does little to tackle Third World poverty. For example, why give aid to India, who are rich enough to afford a space and nuclear programme? One of the biggest beneficiaries of our aid is Pakistan, who have thanked us by creating training camps for British Islamist terrorists. Even a charity run by the BBC gets £15million a year, enabling them to create awareness in Africa on climate change and create soap operas for Indian radio.

It’s absolutely bonkers to send money to India, who have ordered hundreds of aircraft from Russia; A good use of our taxes? I don’t think so.

Apparently even finding funds to enable alcoholics and drug addicts to continue their self-inflicted habits isn't a problem, despite them being incapable of working and contributing to the public purse. Yet many cancers aren't self-inflicted, but sufferers are sometimes refused treatment or made to jump through hoops before receiving any financial assistance.

We should direct our funds and resources to those who need help and who have not knowingly caused their own health issues, rather than pamper the obese, excessive drinkers or drug users. More obviously, when our public finances are in such disarray, charity should really begin at home.

Sorry for the lack of humour again, but those being refused cancer treatment aren't laughing either.


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Bad Cells

Bad Cells by Chris Geiger - Newspaper Columns

Bad Cells is a collection of Chris Geiger’s thought-provoking and witty newspaper columns. His weekly column rapidly grew in popularity, eventually earning him the prestigious Columnist of the Year award.

Bad Cells includes Chris Geiger’s wide-reaching Guinness World Record column, published on World Cancer Day and an excerpt of his top selling book The Cancer Survivors Club. It also includes an exclusive and moving article, titled Bad Cells, describing his thoughts when first diagnosed and receiving treatment for cancer.

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