Saturday, June 25, 2005

Good punchy reading

A Blog that makes powerful cases for good sense in globalisation issues is Alex Singleton's
www.globalizationinstitute.org/blog

I noted the following contribution on the subject of Mr Hinnrichs (see below for my comments) from a letter that he wrote to the The Herald (Glasgow) which carried the orginal constribution from Hinnrichs:

"And in The Herald, a Scottish daily newspaper, I have the following letter. It is in response to a letter attacking UK finance minister Gordon Brown and the Make Poverty History coalition:
Given that the chancellor has the power to make decisions that will help Africa, it is quite right that Make Poverty History is engaging constructively with him.

Alan Hinnrichs (Letters, June 20) opposes the chancellor's support of technical assistance for privatisation in Andhra Pradesh. Yet according to Andhra Pradesh's government, the savings caused by privatisating loss-making industries has led to the setting-up of 4400 primary health clinics, resettlement of 2200 houses for slums, implementation of a large water-supply scheme, building 11,000 new primary schools, building 7333km of roads, setting-up 44 new medical colleges and creating more than one million new jobs.

The suicide rate Mr Hinnrichs quotes has nothing to do with privatisation. The 4000 suicide figure (out of a population of 76 million) is cumulative over a number of years and spiked in two years where there was massive drought. Andhra Pradesh's suicide rate remains lower than the UK, Canada, the US, most of Europe, and Russia.

Finally, Mr Hinnrichs complains that Make Poverty History will not allow anti-war protesters to address the demo. Given that Iraq is not in Africa, I hardly think that Africa's poorest would be happy to hear that the demo had been hijacked by a side issue.

Alex Singleton, president, The Globalization Institute"

Now that is the kind of punchy communication that we need a lot more of in current debates. You should visit the Globalisation Institute Blog and sample the quality of the message.

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