THE generosity of the great British public never ceases to amaze me.

In recent weeks, you have put your hand in your pockets for the Poppy Appeal, the Philippines typhoon disaster and Children in Need. And let’s not forget the ongoing appeal for those affected by the civil war in Syria.

It says a great deal about us as a nation that no appeal for help goes unanswered, with both cash and expertise offered without question. And all this comes at a time when many households are still feeling the effects of the banking crisis, crippling inflation, no pay rises, cutbacks in public services, redundancies and soaring energy bills. It seems we still have the humanity to want to do the right thing for those identifiably worse off than ourselves. Yet there are aspects of charity I am becoming more than a little uncomfortable with.

I find it very difficult to watch Children in Need from start to finish, as I might have done once. To be honest, I dipped in and out on Friday and found myself cringing more than once. I don’t want to appear brutal but as entertainment, huge chunks of it were pretty dire.

One Direction may be a pop sensation but their pieces to camera, filmed in the Queen Vic on the Eastenders set, had the animation of a Year Seven school play – and they weren’t the worst, by any stretch of the imagination.

One of the most difficult things I have ever had to watch was ‘national treasure’ Sir Terry Wogan basically saying he knew how generous everyone had been for the Philippines typhoon appeal but that Children in Need helped needy children in our country.

It was really uncomfortable viewing.

In 2010, Channel 4’s Jon Snow found himself at the centre of a row when he declined to wear a poppy in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.

He said it was a matter of personal choice if and when he wore his poppy and he complained about a wave of ‘poppy fascism’.

At a much lower level, I have a little inkling of how he must have felt.

There are some charities I just won’t give to. The RSPCA is top of my personal list but I decline to give to animal charities in general.

I prefer to give my money to good causes that help people, not animals.

Once, I tried to explain my position to the animal rights person collecting in Northwich but it wasn’t a discussion the animal supporter wanted to hear. She was intractable and would not accept I had a valid point of view. I walked away shaking my head, feeling just a little sad.

And then we have ‘chuggers’ the so called charity muggers who haunt our town centres with their indefatigable cheerfulness and persistence.

I like to think I am an easy-going and polite person and I resent being forced into rudeness just to get away from them.

What I do with my money is no one’s business but mine.

What you do with your money is no one’s business but yours and no one has the right to tell you what charities you should give to.

For the record, I bought two poppies this year but I didn’t wear it in public all the time. What kind of person does this make me?