On Air Now
Lucy Beresford On Sex And Relationships 8pm - 10pm
13 February 2018, 11:48
This is Maajid Nawaz's epic response to a caller who complained that the media coverage of the Oxfam crisis.
Several Oxfam executives have been sacked or resigned following allegations they held sex parties with prostitutes while in Haiti following the earthquake which killed 220,000 people.
Today's revelations in The Times claim that harassment and abuse is rife in Oxfam's shops in Britain.
As Maajid Nawaz was discussing the topic, Tom called from Liverpool to say he is a volunteer for Oxfam and is angry that the way the charity is being portrayed by the media will reduce the amount of money that can be spent on vital projects.
He said: "I see young people who are completely dedicated to their work and are inspirational.
"I'm concerned about the tenor of you and other media outlets, the feeding frenzy that you're operating on this story. Every word you say could be taking food out of the mouths of a child. I'd like you and your colleagues to be mindful of that when you embellish stories."
Maajid accused him of being inflammatory said he believes this story is serious because a former senior Oxfam executive said in South Sudan, 7% of staff were raped or subjected to attempted rape.
Tom got very angry at the use of a percentage, rather than a number, even though he didn't know the number himself.
Maajid asked him: "You do realise we're talking about rape and attempted rape? You don't sound like you think they are serious."
After a long, often fiery conversation, Maajid had enough and told him: "You sound like somebody who has an excuse for every allegation of endemic corruption and abuse.
"It's because the media spoke about it that Oxfam were finally, all these years later, made to offer a full and unqualified apology.
"If it wasn't for the media intervening, one would assume that Oxfam wouldn't have issued their full and unqualified apology. Their Deputy Executive wouldn't have resigned. None of this would have come to light.
"If you had your way Tom, all of this would have been kept hidden.
"It's such a shame that someone like you has called up claiming to represent Oxfam's grassroots activists, because what you don't realise is it's attitudes like yours are shooting yourselves in the feet.
"You are giving further ammunition to the people saying the International Aid budget should be scrapped.
"You are your own worst enemies."