03 July 2005

Radical Thinking

What have live8, the school run, climate change, cheap t shirts and starvation got in common?

People go to live8 on Saturday, feel good about themselves for a day; go to pick up their children on the school run on Monday adding to climate change in their cars and 4x4s; marvel at three t shirts for a fiver on Tuesday and have forgotten all about the starvation our distorted world economy is causing.

To solve the problems of the world is going to take a big change in OUR livestyles. Are we willing to use less energy? Are we willing to have fairer trade rules? The signs are not good. Oil is heading up towards $100 a barrel precisely because our appetite for more is insatiable, and are we any happier with our cheap gadgets?

Live8 unfortunately seems more likely just to appease our guilt rather than actually achieve its organisers' laudable aims. It has at least brought the issue to public attention although it has created the impression that the G8 needs to be generous to help stop starvation rather than just stop oppressing the poor in the first place.

We have to accept that our wealth of cheap goods comes through oppressing the poorer countries. Raping them of their produce and labour. Until we can no longer buy three t shirts for a fiver we will still see starving children on our screens at christmas.

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