… or an Englishman in Ireland writes on Africa:
When haiku sent an article from the Irish Independent [no link, sorry] from one Kevin Myers, I went: “Myers, Myers, where have I heard that name?” And the guard was up.
So I don’t know if he’s a Fenian, Loyalist, if he has Gerry Adams and Rev Paisley to dinner, but I am capable of reading his words. This is the abridged argument:
Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there.
The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a low IQ, AK 47-bearing moron, siring children whenever the whim takes him, and blaming the world because he is uneducated, poor and left behind.
There is no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system but I do not know what it is.
There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a column like this. It will win no friends, and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of, well, the self-righteous, hand wringing, letter writing wrathful individuals, a species which never fails to contaminate almost every debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral superiority.
Oh, I think I could get to like this man … perhaps.
Please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention of our own Irish Famine, with this or that lazy analogy.
There is no comparison.
Within 20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was down by 30%. Over the equivalent period, thanks to western food, the Mercedes 10-wheel truck and the Lockheed Hercules planes, Ethiopia’s population has more than doubled.
Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent, AK 47-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently tumescent layabouts, and housing pirates of the ocean.
Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive, illiterate indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world or allowances by the semi-communist Governments they voted for, money supplied by lending it from the World Bank!
This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or commonsense. Needless to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not prevented idiotic wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea etcetera.
Broad brush-strokes, to be sure. But broad brush-strokes are often the way that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters.
Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part of Africa. They are now — one way or another — virtually all giving aid to or investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.
Meanwhile, Africa’s peoples are outstripping their resources, and causing catastrophic ecological degradation.
Well that’s something to give the more gung-ho blog readers, to be sure but at the same time, how does one answer it?
Think we’d all agree that the sign of a higher civilization is that it provides for the lesser and keeps order in that society, e.g. the Romans. It also takes from the far flung corners of Empire.
It’s not completely true yet, written by Margaret Drabble in 1989, that:
England’s not a bad country. It’s just a mean, cold, ugly, divided, tired, clapped-out, post-imperial, post-industrial slag-heap covered in polystyrene hamburger cartons.”
… although the Americans might disagree, which is good from them, given what Obama and previous presidents have done to them.
As Call Me Dave, the bodysurfer, forever fails to understand – no one listens to the UK anymore, although financially, there’s still a fair GDP, despite all the woes. I mean, there’s no way the UK is a second rate nation, as some here try to convey. If we left the EU, there would be quite a sizable hole.
If we started trading with the world again, once we got some actually managers of any quality in and downgrade all the parachutees, there’s this faint chance the country might become great[ish].
Interestingly, it’s the culture and history, the architecture and the nature of the English which still keep us up there in outside eyes – it’s not really economic, not really a question of direct influence through Call Me Dave, the bodysurfer.
And yet Bacon Sandwich Beaker is hell bent on giving all this away and socially engineering to make the nation a melting pot of warring and alien cultures.
And there are actually people in this country who would tribally vote for one of these two. Death wish, eh? Call Me Dave, the bodysurfer, with his “do nothing” policy, unless it’s gay marriage, of course, Bacon Sandwich Beaker and his “let’s finish off Bliar’s and Broony’s good work” headlong rush to oblivion.
Which brings us back to foreign aid. It doesn’t really but I had to get back here somehow. Why can’t we give aid commensurate with our economic situation at any one time? So if we’re deeply in debt, we don’t give any. We accept it from the IMF and other thieving leeches propped up by the taxpayer’s money plus a reserve from Them in deepest Bavaria if, for some reason – war, famine, depression – the employed temporarily become incapable of paying through the nose.
Therefore, for the starving billions, our heart and purse will determine what goes into that plastic “tin”, plus whether we think the money actually gets to a starving child and if it does, as Kevin Myers says, for what end result? AK 47s?