Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Starvation in Africa and EuropeIn recent weeks I've seen two BBC News items on poverty in the UK and both convinced me that the fat cats at the BBC haven't a clue about this subject. The first item was on child poverty. To illustrate this problem, a chubby dad was filmed complaining that he often went to bed feeling peckish, because his food went to his kids. In his living room was an entertainment centre with a 4-ft wide television, worth about £1000! His equally chubby wife was filmed loading her washing machine! Another BBC item, this time on fuel poverty, showed a pensioner trying to stuff a huge joint of meat, worth about £10, into her oven! As I can't afford expensive joints of meat or a washing machine or a £1000 entertainment centre, the "poor" people in these news items didn't win my sympathy. They weren't really poor. They were consumers who hadn't learned to live within their means. Now look at the combined graphic above, which shows true poverty: starvation. The starving Sudanese child on the left is almost certainly dead by now (CLICK). Vasky (2007) on the right, one of Bulgaria's Abandoned Children, is receiving better treatment (CLICK). So let's be clear what poverty is: the inability to obtain food. Ending death and disability caused by starvation should be our top priority, and this demands a major rethink of Western policies.


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