I have always had a huge amount of respect for Richard Branson, he comes across as a genuinely nice guy and has done tremendously well in life to build up his business from selling records to the £billion brand that he know owns. Nobody can doubt his spirit and flare.
He was visibly moved yesterday when he paid his respects to the members of his team who were lost in the accident the other day. The pilot of the test flight was killed and the co-pilot remains critically in after there craft exploded shortly after take-off.
Immediately after paying an emotional tribute to his team, Branson vowed he would persevere with Virgin Galactic his project to push the boundaries of existence and make space travel and tourism a reality. I have no doubt with his spirit he will set out the archive his goal, whatever that maybe.
There is a part of me cant help from thinking about the vast sums of money that are being spent on this, sums of money far bigger than I will ever get my head around. For every billion he spends on Virgin Galactic and pushing the barriers of space, I do wonder how much food, shelter, vaccines and medicines that could buy to the save the life’s of some of the most desperate people on earth?
We live in difficult times. Hundreds of thousands of people have been dispossessed through war in the middle eat, in Syria and Iraq and many go without food, shelter, and medicines. I’ll never forget the Ewan McGregor made at the start of the Commonwealth Games on behalf of UNICEF and the children of war torn countries.
I don’t expect ever to be in a position of having an income large enough to contemplate my own priorities for philanthropic giving. I would like to think however that my priorities might lay with the sick and dying here on earth, rather than pushing the boundaries of space that won’t benefit the whole of mankind but rather a few of the super rich who will get their thrills. But there again, who am I to say?