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16 March 2007

How I destroyed a family

Causing a schism for Tembaletu

By Ben Davies

It’s not often an article you write destroys a family so it’s with some pride I can announce that – almost entirely accidentally – I have caused a schism between a father and his son.

Alas, I can only claim part of the credit. It stems from an article I wrote in this week’s mag about buying an argument at an auction. The professional contrarian I hired, Tony Barnett, then spent nearly an hour insulting the whole concept of blogging (that’s a slight exaggeration). As it happens his son writes a blog and his almost immediate response can be read here. What fun…

Unfortunately, after this experience, Tony says he won’t be offering his services again which is a shame because he is very good at what he does.

Anyway, you probably ask, why hire a LSE professor for an argument? Well the short answer is I couldn’t afford one from UCL – London University’s greatest college and my alma mater.

But mainly it was to help Tembaletu school in South Africa which provides education and much, much more for disabled children who live in the townships around Cape Town. Mind you they describe their pupils as
“differently abled” which I like a lot.

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THANK YOU

I’d never been to a charity auction before but this one was fantastic – the person wielding the hammer was actor Miriam Margolyes which in itself made turning up worthwhile. You can a read a bit more about the evening by clicking this link.

Oh and I should mention that most of the credit for this fundraising achievement should go to Brenda Goldstein and her team who organised it!

If you want to support the school, donations can be sent to Friends of Tembaletu, 138 Middle Lane, Crouch End, London N8 7JP.

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