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Freedom: Not Trade Not Aid

One Billion Stems of cut flowers are exported from Kenya to Europe every year. It’s not their only market. One farm alone, featured today on The BBC’s Breakfast Program employs 5,000 staff and has the biggest packing facility in the world with 1050 staff packing and shipping one million stems a day if I remember right.

Trade is the right of the free man but is it good that it is his obligation? Let’s take a look at the “hugely important” Kenyan flower industry. That one farm employs 5% of the workers employed in the sector in the whole country. It is a good microcosm. Each flower takes land and a great deal of precious water. It takes human effort, fuel to transport and refrigerate. It flies to Europe on a plane using untaxed aviation fuel causing damage to the high atmosphere. It is only profitable because of this lack of tax. The industry has been accused of human rights abuses.

The land could be used to grow food for Africa. Fewer men would get rich but more families would get fed. The aviation fuel saved would reduce global warming. Africa would be doing something for itself, not putting flowers on the rich mans table. Governments would not earn foriegn currency to pay debt or buy weapons.

Freedom would encompass debt write off. Freedom would encompass land reform. Freedom would encompass less but better government. Freedom would encompass some trade through choice but not enslavement to a world financial system. Freedom would encompass an end to mass weaponry and a choice to live in peace. Freedom would encompass every man and woman seeing and realising this choice for peace for themselves.

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