Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm sorry, but it does matter where the poppies are made.

Ok, I totally get the RSA position. They have a limited income that is effectively fixed,

The more cost they can take out of the organisation, the more money there is available for providing benefits to their members.

If this were a case of, say, staff flying Jetstar to save money, we'd all be applauding.

But some decisions have a hidden cost, and a moral dimension.

Imagine a continuum with one end highly moral and satisfactory, like making the poppies in a sheltered workshop in earthquake ravaged Christchurch. It would be difficult to think of a more worthy supplier.

Using the cost justification argument means that next year the poppies could be made by slave labour in North Korea.

If the RSA executives are not prepared to do that, then they are saying that there are considerations that override cost saving.

So what we are discussing is how far we are prepared to go down that slippery slope before we cry off.

Making the poppies in China goes too far along that scale for me, and apparently for a bunch of people in Queenstown .

What's really interesting in that article is that the RSA president criticises the public because these weren't actually Chinese poppies, they were left over stock from last year.

I'm unhappy that the RSA has put me in the position where donating endorses the decision and boycotting hurts the wrong people.

I am donating this year but I won't take a physical poppy.