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Pop Goes the Weasel of Poverty Reduction

We have heard much this week about Live 8 and the attendant protests to the forthcoming G8 summit meeting in gleneagles Scotland. The theory goes that politicians can no longer ignore the cries of protest of thousands of (larrgely) white faces clamouring for an end to poverty in the (largely coloured) third world.

This hope is rather naive in reality. Politicians have ignored the hopes of their electorates and hidden their intentions from them successfully since democracy was invented. A circus of folk dressed in white parading around Edinburgh will change nothing. The reasons for this are fairly simple and it is not all the fault of politics:

* Politicians think they are cleverer than “ordinary folk” who they assume to be universily uncomprehending.

* Politicians want power and the concomitant ego boost of their trade but few are really motivated by doing good. It’s better than getting a real job, old chap.

* Politicians hide behind a veil of secrecy that allows them to say one thing and do another with impunity.

* Ordinary folk would soon vote out any politician who told them the truth.

This weekend a total of tens of millions will have been spent in the western world putting on these events, by attendees travelling and gulping soft drinks and providing the cocaine and other goodies for performers. Oh well, even if it doesn’t lead to change, at least the crack was good. And Pink Floyd reformed which must make today’s crop of corpses of needless victims of poverty know just how important they are.

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