03 July 2005

Selfish, Selfish, Evil People

This morning I am sickened by the blogosphere.

There are people expressing genuine concerns that aid given to poor countries might not go in through anything as sensible as one of the aid agencies, but end up on the black market, or giving el presidente a gold liner for his swimming pool.

Fair enough, if you think our world leaders are actually that thick.

There are others who are whingeing about their tax dollar, about reinvestment in schools, about charity beginning at home.

A baby dies every three seconds, the equivalent of the population of a medium sized western town just ups and dies, wiped out, every single day
  • because western pharmaceutical companies have no restraint on their pricing in the third world, and even the workers earn about $2 a day so they cant even afford an aspirin
  • because trade is set up so that the West can subsidise its farmers but the third world isnt allowed to
  • because toxic chemicals and unsafe items that are banned in the West are still cheerfully made and sold in the poorer countries by the western multinationals who rake in profits
  • because theres no such thing as fair trade
  • because when people are poor and desperate they are often at each others throats, which makes the western arms manufacturers very friendly to governments that do nothing
and some sanctimomious, self righteous tosser comes on the blogosphere to whine about their precious tax dollars.

I hate the fact that there are people who think that charity should begin at home, as long as its someone else providing the charity and its their home. People who want better education and better deals for the homeless in their own country, but havent given a single homeless person a single hot meal in their lifetimes.

People who are scared that maybe the cable TV would have to go back, or they couldnt afford a foreign holiday this year, if it meant helping other human beings.

I have names for them, but they're all unprintable. Excuse me while I sign off to go PUKE because this bloody self centred attitude has made me feel thoroughly sick.

If you are NOT one of these poor, blinkered umm (oh I'm sorry, whats it called in your country when you watch a murder and do nothing?), then pop on over to live8live.com to sign the petition, or AT LEAST go to Oxfam.org.uk or makepovertyhistory.org to see the truth, and what else could be done.


Antonio A. Figueroa (London) said...

"There are people expressing genuine concerns that aid given to poor countries might not go in through anything as sensible as one of the aid agencies, but end up on the black market, or giving el presidente a gold liner for his swimming pool.

Fair enough, if you think our world leaders are actually that thick."

I'm not saying that with ALL the money and some other help given, but it has been well documented how the Swiss accounts of some African dictators and other authorities get fat by the efforts of world charities, and how the food is sold out of the vans by the local armies as loot.

Hopefully not all the help and efforts are lost, but we won't finish with hunger and poverty until we take those dictators and militar villains from their thrones of fear.

In the wake of the Live 8 events, I'd like to recall those who are suffering of hunger and poverty out of Africa: How can we call ourselves civilized when we cannot finish with poverty in our own countries? There are lots of people in the UK, the United States o America and Russia suffering from the effects of capitalism: the uneducated, living on benefits, those who can never access a better life because of lack of help. Think twice when you reckon that only Africa or Asia have the ones who suffer of hunger...

Cheryl said...

Hi Antonio
Thank you for an honest answer.
To take it point by point:
1. Misdirection of a portion of funds - that needs sorting out, but is it reason enough to NOT double the amount of help that does actually get through?
2. Agreed, but how can we do that when they hold up IMF loans and crippling interest as an excuse for their country's poverty? We need to get rid of their excuses, the propoganda they feed their starving people about the evil West being the cause of the suffering. We need to scrap the debt.
3. Absolutely agreed BUT what this petition can do is at least curb international bodies - the IMF, the multinationals that abuse the lack of protection for half our world population - they get away with making and selling cheap carcinogenic materials there to keep their profits high and their stockholders happy. Stop them. The evils that go on in out own countries are appalling too, but a matter for individual governments. Why not sign the live8 petition about pressuring the worldwide authorities and then ALSO petition you own government to rescue the situation here?
I heard once that just the costs for the party at the world superbowl would pay off the third world debt. I heard that years ago, before concessions were made.
Why rescue one people at the cost of another? I agree with you. Rescue both.

Ally said...

I just wanted to acknowledge that I'd visted this morning and that I agree with you. Changes need to be made in the way aid is donated, but that doesn't mean that we should stop giving.

And the people who complain about their 'tax dollars' should try living with nothing for a while, and see how they feel then. Selfish bastards.

Martin said...

I work hard for my money and I have a say where my tax dollar should be spent. I make many donations during the year and I help with the local soup kitchen once a month. I feel sorry for the many people who are starving in third world nations but I am even sorrier for the many children who are starving at home.

For you to think that the money we give to the various governments for aid actually gets to the people who need it makes you naive. How do you think that the leaders of those countries stay in power? Not because they are helping the people. It is because they are rich and have the backing of their armies. People don't get to choose who their leaders are. Until we cut off aid to these dictators and do something about helping set up a democratic government, nothing will ever be better.

Giving aid is not going to solve the problems. Live Aid 20 years ago started raising our awareness and billions after billions have gone to the third world countries and they are still in the same boat. Instead of cash we need to send people over to teach them how to farm so that can grow for themselves. We need to teach them how to find water and dig wells so they have access to clean drinking water and water for herds and farmlands.

So there is no need to call those of us who are concerned where the tax dollar goes sanctimonious and self righteous. I believe that we can help those that need help with our tax dollars. But until someone becomes accountable for the money we give to make sure it is being used where it is supposed to be used I want my tax dollar spent at home. Have you seen the homeless people in your city? Have you helped them? Why must anyone wait in a hospital emergency room or doctors office for hours to be seen? Governments need to spend money at home to fix these problems. How can you justify spending billions in Africa while the government closes hospital beds? How can you justify tripling or quadrupling the cost of post secondary education at home while making rich dictators even richer? I am not advocating cutting off what is given in foreign aid. I want it to be accountable and I want the money that is supposed to be used to double the aid to be used at home first. Why is that wrong? Are you telling me that the poor and homeless of our own countries are worth less than those of third world countries?

I do agree with canceling the debt. It is money we will never see anyway.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for an honest, frank answer.
You work hard for your money. Obviously you should keep it, I mean pot luck put you in the right country and to hell with those who work much harder for dirty water, disease and slow death. Right?
Yeah why should anything unfair happen in this world - I am with you all the way. My answer is to sort the worst first, you seem to be implying we should get life perfect for the lucky few and then help some others if theres anything left.
You obviously do count your blessings, and do your part but I bet you anything you'd do a site more if just one of those children was dying on your own doorstep.

I may be removing this post tomorrow, its my diary and my opinion.

You are not one of the people I was on about. I mean the ones who point the finger at corrupt people diverting the funds as an excuse to give none, to not sign the petition. Thats kind of the pot calling the kettle black, you think?

Cheryl said...

BTW I see where you got that wrong impression, but if you look at times, I posted this before my first (now deleted) comment on your blog. You at least put some thought into your stance, some moral judgement. I havent made any remarks on the blogs that hurt me.
Surf around, people have some vacuous, pathetic, self centred reasons out there, I think even you would feel like banging your head on a brick wall.
Thanks for the debate!

individ said...

I give to charity all the time. I work with the inner city poor, weekly. What I object to is your reaching into my pocket to support YOUR favorite charity. I am a REAL PERSON. I CAN make my OWN choices. I am not just a mere member of your collective, ripe for plunder by you and your so precious world leaders. I do not abdicate charity to others. I. Give. My. Self.

I cannot believe this elitist Leftism that masquerades as "high morality", all the while denying the dignity of others by treating them as so stupid that they cannot give to charities on their own. live 8 should be trying to convince INDVIDUALS to give, raising people's consciousness.

when was the last time that government money, stolen from its citizens, raised people out of poverty? Sounds like "feel good" leftism to me. Rational thought, the scientific method, SHOWS that Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty in China, and it has been a product of capitalism, not a redistribution of wealth to rich despots and their Swiss bank accounts. FACT. It is good to "feel", but you also have to THINK. I believe it was Bertrand Russell who said: " The good life is inspired by love, AND guide by knowledge.

doris said...

You've done well Cheryl. You've raised some good points. I've been out all day and so haven't surfed the blogosphere post Live8 but can imagine some of the comments out there.

I do not think you are being in the least bit naive in your arguing. Nor are you just being a lefty and you are entitled to your views.

We must not abandon our efforts because of the politicians who abuse them; nor should we stop just because we haven't sorted out our own backyard. We have to deal with our backyard but also, we have to help further afield. I don't think anyone knows the answer and I don't think there is any one answer but by us all actually working together and making a committment then answers will be found.

It is sad when people hark on about our own problems as if to say we should not help elsewhere.

And as it happens, I don't agree with exporting our brand of medicine, drugs, education or farming methods. But that is another kettle of fish!

Cheryl said...

I hope you were as snotty about it when they spent billions playing toy soldoers and getting our boys killed in Iraq just so Bush coule get reelected - or havent you read the Downing Street Memo?
Doubling aid would be such a drop in the bucket to rich nations that you wouldnt even miss it.
And for your info I have spent years as a single mum on income support and sponsored two third world children all that time, out of benefits, because I dont believe I can sleep easy under a roof the English benefit system gave me, when someone else doesnt even have that.
Me me mine mine I should choose, thats what you sound like. No you shouldnt. You are in a country where you have choices and freedoms down to Gods good grace or the luck of the draw.
Pah. YOU come across like one of those people that made me puke.

bart said...

Well written my dear, you've mirrored my thoughts more than you could ever imagine...
Being critical is about being sensitive and caring, not taking in a political position or trying to please others so you can look good yourself... only with genuine compassion can we hope to go forward and make the world a nice place for everybody.