Thursday, June 02, 2005

Making Poverty History

“Eat up your vegetables and gravy,” my mother used to say. “Don’t you know there are children starving in Africa?”

“Fine by me, they’re welcome to this crap,” I used to think quietly to myself. “Get me a jiffy bag and I’ll pay the postage myself.”

But hey, all of that was such a long time ago, almost a week in fact, and I’ve matured a lot since then. So much so that sharp eyed readers will have noticed the “Make Poverty History” (MPH) banner that now appears in the top right hand corner of this web page. It is not, as the name might suggest if you emphasise the middle word, a Guinness world record attempt to find the poorest person/community/country ever, but rather a campaign to eradicate poverty in the world; making it history if you will, forever in the past.

Now I’ve never been particularly active (either politically or indeed physically) but it seems to me that getting rid of poverty, wherever that may exist, is an idea with merit. I know for a fact that there is a surplus of essential, life maintaining resources in the western world because one time in Las Vegas, I was unable to finish the main course of red meat that was placed in front of me, such was the size of the starter that preceded it. For those that know me I realise this must come as shocking news but alas it’s a true story.

In the coming weeks, Scotland is going to be front and centre in the eyes of the world and will be the main focus of the MPH campaign as the leaders of the eight richest nations in the world gather together at gorgeous Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire for a little soirée they like to call the G8 summit. It used to be called the G7 summit but in recent years the original seven (Yul Bryner, Steve McQueen etc.) have had to grant full membership to Russia since they finally got rid of all that Communist nonsense and we realised they have a hell of a lot of oil. Incidentally, does the ‘G’ stand for ‘gas’?

Anyway, the magnificent eight (doesn’t have quite the same ring does it) will be gathering on July 6th for three days (dinner, bed and breakfast included but not liqueurs) to discuss important and pressing matters of state; economics, trade, war, peace, poverty, which of the three magnificent Gleneagles golf courses to play etc.

Saint Bob Geldof, a leading light in the MPH campaign, has got in on the act and organised a series of Live 8 concerts around the world as well as urging billions of people to descend on Edinburgh, link arms and show the G8 leaders just how pissed off we all are at the whole poverty issue thingy. It’s clear though that he hasn’t been to our capital in a while because his call to arms, “Stop the traffic and show the world” is a little naive; the traffic hasn’t moved in Edinburgh since 1992.

So the MPH campaign is a very worthy cause and the addition of this website banner is my contribution in fighting the good fight. I would have purchased one of their little white wristbands but my wrists are currently fully occupied with yellow and pink bands for cancer awareness as well as a myriad of other coloured ones for various whale-saving, rainforest-preserving, bomb-banning and Mandella-freeing crusades.

Oh, and if you’re one of the billions descending on Edinburgh and you need a place to pitch your tent, my garden is available for rent at £50 a night. We’ll soon make my poverty history too.


At 2/6/05 7:18 pm, Blogger carl said...

Can I send a bloody pizza, eh? No seriously I applaud your effort. Kept at it!


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