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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

 

G8 fun

Well, thanks a bunch Mr Geldof! Summoning all those Dave Copperfield calls ‘soap-dodgers’ (Great adjective there Dave.) to descend on Edinburgh and protest against poverty in Africa. This means our Police cover here in our little corner of Chavland will be reduced to the point where if a Parking Enforcement Officer needs help on the streets, all they’ll get will be a recorded message such as; “Our systems are very busy right now as all of our operators are engaged, but please be aware that your screams of pain are important to us, please hold, or try again later.” Saturday night parking patrols are going to be fun, then.

From the Police perspective, it’s all overtime, so I don’t think many of them will be very worried. Upon further consideration; it might be the case that many of our low life friends will be going up for the fixture, so it might not be such a problem after all.

Thinking about the planned Live8 protest, cancelling debt to African nations is on the same intellectual level as fucking to save virginity. Whether the debt is cancelled or not, the same political problems will exist. Mugabe will still be selling out his own people and sucking up to the Chinese (Rather like a British politician we could mention.); refugees will still be pouring from the various war zones into squalid camps to die of disease and starvation; Ebola and HIV will still be ravaging the continent despite rumours of a cure; Nigeria will still be a dodgy place for Europeans to do business.

Don’t ask me what the answer is; I very much suspect it lies in the hands of all the various African peoples. Check out this article from the Taipei times, or this one from Ghana Web for an Africans eye view. Live Aid raised just short of £80 million, but what real changes did it make?

On the flip side, there are parts of Africa where corruption, disease and war are not currently problems. For all its problems it is a tremendously rich and diverse continent. At best our (Western) ideas of what Africa is really like are highly coloured and two dimensional to say the least.

Here are some links to other information sources about African issues:

Somali.Net AllAfrica.com Reuters South Africa 1 Reuters South Africa 2 Vanguard Nigeria

You may find them enlightening.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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