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I should have this job. Seriously I should:

  • Are you a no-account supermarket tabloid dweller with a nine-figure net worth?
  • Can you wobble your lip and put on a sad voice at will?
  • Are you the sort of self-serving attention whore that everyone, by rights, ought to despise and everyone wishes you'd get your mug out the papers for one moment?
  • Have you ever bought a child?

If so, we would like to hear from you! Apply by CV and covering letter to UN Human Rights Commission, Geneva. Please note that only those invited to audition, sorry, interview, will receive responses. No time wasters or people who actually understand the realities of the situation.

Like a lot of celebrity charitableness, it's a position by, for, and of, luvvies and other meeja trendies who occasionally pilot a desk in Geneva in return for the world's glossy magazines lining up to tongue their balloon knot. Of course, nobody dares to suggest that they might be, I don't know, capitalising on your emotions for their own ends, for fear that said journalistic fellators will pounce on them and accuse them of being heartless, Big Oil-funded, Israeli-armed neocon propagandists. "How can you possibly criticise this display of utter selflessness?" they cry. "They're raising awareness, which cannot but be a good thing!"

Of course, the fact - and this is an indisputable fact, by the way - of the matter is that there's only so much awareness one can raise. I dare say there's not a person alive who's not had their heartstrings tugged at (well, more like lashed to a Range Rover that's driven off at high speed) by the endless awareness-raising that goes on by these types. Yet I dare say that if you summoned Angelina Jolie or Giorgio Armani, gave them a shovel, and pointed them at Darfur with instructions to dig an artesian well for the refugees and victims of the Janjaweed militias they'd run a mile for fear of breaking a nail. No, believe you me, when Richard Gere (piss be upon him) began his speechifying ove the destined-never-to-end (for reasons that will be explained elsewhere) conflict in Palestine with "I'm speaking on behalf of the entire world," all right thinking individuals reached for the sickbags for fear of leaving Pavement Pizzas where they stood. Because he wasn't. He wasn't speaking for me, simply by dint of the fact that I never gave him leave to. Chances are, neither did you. It was just a stunt arranged by him and/or his PR types to line their pockets with your wages.

But what does a Goodwill Ambassador do, other than occasionally grace charitable junkets with their presence? Not much, truth be told. They get paid for "raising awareness" like I said and, well, pontificating. The idea is that by getting a famous face taking about how something Really Is Appalling, the great unhosed can be guilted into getting out their chequebooks and buying themselves an indulgence. Upon where they'll forget about it, the money will find its way into the pockets of the Goodwill Ambassador and his/her/its entourage, and the remainder... well, foreign aid goes from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries, n'est-ce pas? Once they've paid off the local warlords, kleptocrats, petty officials and others with an interest, very little really gets done. Certainly the poor slobs out on the ground digging wells, manning field hospitals, and dodging bullets from the local Government/rebel (delete as appropriate) death squads in areas with humanitarian crises aren't seeing a bloody penny. But as long as Angelina Jolie and her Pokédex family gets in the paper, she makes out like a bandit.

With money that you thought was going to the displaced, the dispossessed, the hungry, the abjectly poor, and similar.

In the words of Friend Computer's girlfriend: "Nice job wrecking it, hero."

I think that's quite enough. If you think I'm some sort of sexist death merchant as a result of the above, then I honestly couldn't give a rodent's rectum.


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