Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bono, Geldoff, Blair, Bush, guns and chicken drumsticks.


George Monbiot, in the Guardian 21 June 2005:

"At what point does Bono stop pretending that George Bush is "passionate and sincere" about world poverty, and does Geldof stop claiming that he "has actually done more than any American president for Africa"?

"At what point does Bono revise his estimate of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as "the John and Paul of the global-development stage" or as leaders in the tradition of Keir Hardie and Clement Attlee? How much damage do Bush and Blair have to do before the rock stars will acknowledge it?

"Geldof and Bono's campaign for philanthropy portrays the enemies of the poor as their saviours. The good these two remarkable men have done is in danger of being outweighed by the harm."




British arms sales to Africa have risen to record levels over the last four years and have reached the £1 billion mark, The Observer revealed.

Analysis of official figures shows annual weapons sales almost quadrupled between 1999 and 2004.



For every dollar to be dished out to Africa at the G8 meeting next month, another is snatched away by Western protectionism, reported Raymond Whitaker in the Independent, 21 June 2005.

Examples of what is happening:

"Frozen chicken drumsticks: African countries have seen a dramatic rise in imports of cheap frozen chicken parts from the EU. Since European poultry farmers are able to feed their birds on subsidised grain, they can undercut local producers by half. Thriving poultry sectors in countries such as Ghana and Senegal have been hit by the forced opening of their markets."

"Maize: In many parts of Africa maize is the staple diet, often ground into meal to make porridge. Subsistence farmers as well as larger operators used to sell their excess production to local poultry producers, but that market has collapsed. Not only have imports of EU-subsidised cereal meal and pellets shot up, but chicken farmers (see above) have been wiped out by competition from Europe."

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