Saturday, July 02, 2005

Stand By ...

For a week-long festival of hypocrisy, ignorance and breast-beating, as the backpacking classes head for the Land O'Cakes to protest against global warming ('Macchu Picchu is so last decade - did you see that Guardian flight offer ? Angkor Wat from only £149'), world trade ('it's outrageous that we are deliberately starving millions of children to death') and the Redneck Cowboy's Evil Empire ('Bush and Blair are the real terrorists').

David Farrer at Freedom and Whisky will be photoblogging the week in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile this New Statesman item on the new power in Africa may be of interest. The same power that's sending troops and weapons to Sudan and controls Sudanese oil. The attractions of Chinese involvement for a African ruling elite is that their investment isn't dependent upon a project meeting those awkward rules about transparency or corruption which you have to address for an IMF loan or World Bank project. No one will ask about social impacts or demand an environmental assessment. As Zimbabwean site Sokwanele says :

Quietly, without fanfare, China has been moving into Africa. Africa is the one continent which still has relatively untapped reserves, particularly of fossil fuels and minerals. Her main targets have been Sudan, Nigeria, and Angola. China needs oil, and has been getting it. She has been developing oilfields in Sudan and now Sudan supplies 5% of her oil consumption.

UPDATE - glancing at the Live 8 crowd on the BBC, I notice a shortage of African faces - indeed, of black and brown faces generally. Surprising when you consider London's large African population. I suppose African poverty isn't their fault. I'll bet the demographic in Edinburgh over the next week will be the same.

Hideously pink - the crowd at Live8, reflecting Britain's multicultural society.

African Princess ? Irish Colleen ?

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