Saturday, June 04, 2005

Gordo and Tony join up with the Geldof Goat Rodeo!

While I have been having fun with Bob Geldof's big plan for a Live 8 concert and a "million man" march on the G8 conference in Scotland, I've neglected to mention the role being played by Tony Blair and his Chancellor of the Exchequer and heir presumptive, Gordon Brown. Tony clearly has a bee in his bonnet about the G8 and Africa, but it's Gordo who has gone all silly over it. He's even unilaterally waived the tax and cleanup bill for the concert and after he said the million goof march was swell, the police have "rethought" their opposition.

Well it's sure great that the nattering classes are in a tizzy, but the little folks are a tad more skeptical as the Telegraph reports - Vast majority think African aid is wasted, poll shows:
A huge majority of Britons believes that pumping billions of pounds into Africa would be a waste of money, a verdict that is a major blow to Tony Blair's crusade to rescue the continent.

As the Prime Minister prepares to fly to Washington on Monday to try to secure American support for proposals to tackle poverty in the Third World, a poll for The Daily Telegraph shows that 83 per cent of people are not confident that money given by the West would be spent wisely.

It also shows that 79 per cent of voters believe that corruption and incompetence were to blame for Africa's problems.
Leave it to the ordinary citizens to notice the emperor is buck naked.
The Government is planning a package of measures designed to reassure the public that taxpayers' money would not end up in the pockets of corrupt politicians. New legislation will allow money smuggled into this country by corrupt former African dictators to be seized and returned to the countries concerned.
Ooooo! That'll help! Snort.
Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, hinted at the crackdown yesterday when he told a press conference in Edinburgh that the Government's package for Africa would "combine action on debt, aid, and trade with good governance, transparency, an attack on corruption and the encouragement of private investment".
Zzzzz. Look Gordo, if the thugs are in charge, there's zip you can do to prevent them pillaging the relief funds just like they've been doing for years. Let us know after you send in the SAS to remove a few.

President Bush is wisely giving them the cold shoulder and so is the rest of the G8 with the exception of France and maybe Russia. Don't let us stop ya, fellas, go right ahead!

Finally, there's one more laugh - Mbeki lambasts Brown for 'imperial nostalgia':
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa rebuked Gordon Brown yesterday, accusing the "presumed successor to Tony Blair" of promoting nostalgia for British imperialism and joining in a "discourse" that "demonises" blacks.

Mr Brown is leading the Government's efforts to help Africa during Britain's presidency of the G8 group of rich countries. But any credit this might have earned seems, in Mr Mbeki's mind, to have been dashed by remarks the Chancellor made during his tour of Africa in January.

While in Tanzania, Mr Brown said the "days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over". Earlier, he had declared: "We should be proud … of the Empire."
True enough. As Bruce Anderson said the other day, "The best foreign aid programme was a governor-general and a team of district commissioners." But it's rather naive of Gordo to think the current thugs in charge are going to want to hear it.
Mr Mbeki discovered the comments on the internet and then wrote a furious, 2,102-word missive for the latest issue of ANC Today, the newsletter of the ruling African National Congress. Mr Mbeki said that Africa was being "demonised" by an "age-old white stereotype that we as Africans are sexually depraved".
Say what? I guess we know why ole Thabo's surfing the Web.
The president then accused Mr Brown, "the presumed successor to Tony Blair", of peddling imperial nostalgia.

This refusal to apologise for imperialism was, said Mr Mbeki, portraying "our country and continent as destined to experience perpetual catastrophe and unnatural disasters, given that we have now been deprived of benevolent and morally upright white rule".
Close, Thabo, but it should be "have now been deprived of benevolent and morally upright rule." Anyway, not to worry. I'm sure ole Thabo will come around if they sweeten the pot enough.