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July 03, 2005

How good it feels to feel

"Everyone is, suddenly, globally, politicised" froths an embarassing article about Live8 by Euan Ferguson in todays Observer. Puleese.The atmosphere this morning reminds me of Princess Diana's funeral. The emotions released yesterday are heartfelt - but narcissistic. It feels good to feel. Watching a rock musician in a London park is not an optimal position from which to empathise with someone in Africa - let alone to understand the issues. I don't claim any expertise either, but I've been reading around. George Monbiot wrote last week, of the the debt-relief package for the world's poorest countries likely to be unveiled this week: "Anyone with a grasp of development politics who had read and understood the ministers' statement could see that the conditions it contains - enforced liberalization and privatization - are as onerous as the debts it relieves". The G8 meeting will announce this package, tell the Bonos and Geldofs of this world that "we listened" - and Africa will be screwed.

Posted by John Thackara at July 3, 2005 11:32 PM


hmmm - I don't really know if it is that simple -that "enforced liberalization and privatization - are as onerous as the debts it relieves". Sounds very simplistic I would say. There is no easy answer to relieve immense poverty, and stating that enforced liberalization and privatization is in and of itself bad is stating your own political opinion as fact. What is a fact is that the industrialized world has already sent help for many years - remember the first live aid - without it having much help. I'm not sure wether forced liberalization is the way to go, but I do think that some degree of demands for reform to go along with the help would be the logical step. Other than that I agree with you (Mr. Thackara) about your thoughts on live8.

Posted by: Thyge at July 4, 2005 06:58 PM

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