“The intensity and the ferocity of the attack makes you wonder, what did we do? We murdered babies in their cots? Certainly, the scale and the intensity of the attacks feels out of proportion to the level of culpability.” To read these words, from Oxfam CEO Mark Goldring, you would think that some loon was making blatantly false allegations against one of the biggest charities in the world. That is not the Case though, what has been alleged is truly mortifying and should be taken deadly seriously. Of course, Mr Goldring is right, the accused didn’t murder Haitian children, they just (allegedly) paid them for sex.

And that cannot go unanswered.

There must now be a full and proper investigation and the usual standards upheld, for there is no other way to obtain justice, into what is going on in these charities. But, the horrifying implications of what this means, that millions of us who donate, buy cards and second-hand books from Oxfam have possibly funded sexual abuse, mean that we must demand a change from Oxfam.

Higher standards

Mr Goldring has suggested that his words are being “manipulated” and that people are unwilling “to listen to explanations.” What does he expect? These allegations are deadly serious and Oxfam looks ridiculously turgid in response. And, that is the sad thing. We have already seen that donations are plummeting and celebrities are distancing themselves.

The accused won't suffer, the poor will.

Certainly, this organisation does an awful lot of good work, work that is undeniably admirable, for many in the developing world. It will take a massive undertaking within Oxfam to change this situation, the entire culture must be overhauled if people are to be won back over. Rightly so, for who would want to support a body that has facilitated such activities?

We are told not to give money to beggars, now we cannot trust charities to spend our money in the correct way. What a terribly dark development this is.

'thou shalt not harden thine heart'

With Oxfam now coming under scrutiny, it seems prudent to evaluate its relationship with government. Oxfam has been the recipient of International Development funding, which has been halted by Penny Mordaunt, and this only further undermines the Foreign Aid policy.

Certainly, it is in need of revision not only by weaning charities off government support. Firstly, the arbitrary 0.7% of GDP target should be scrapped, if only because it results in money being shovelled into the furnace at the end of the year to meet it. It should be obvious that funding the Cambodian Ken Dodd, or whatever it is that the press picks up on, will alienate the public. Secondly, the department should be folded into the Foreign Office to shrink the size of government and tie in spending with foreign policy objectives. Furthermore, we would do better to use this money to invest in developing countries and thereby bring tangible benefits to them and to silence the naysayers by producing a return for the taxpayer.

We need not be tight-fisted when Britain can benefit from foreign aid as well as assisting the economic futures of potential trade partners in the post-Brexit world. In the same way that we must not begin to treat charities as something to be suspicious of and thereby deprive the poor and needy of vital works. To avoid that, Oxfam needs to prove that it has learnt from this situation because 'God loveth a cheerful giver', but that does not mean that we should unquestioningly hand over money to condemn others to sexual exploitation. That is not charity, that is just cruel.