Tagged: Poverty

One rule for the rich, another for the poor?

Here’s a little story for you.

Once upon a time there was a small island in the middle of the North Sea. On this island lived many different people from many different cultures and and many different backgrounds; some were old and some were young, some were very rich and some were very poor, some had power and some were powerless. Much of the time, most of the islanders got on well enough with each other and tried to help those in need when they could – even during sad times, when there was not much money to go round.

However, there was one group of islanders who were determined to cause trouble. This strange and terrible group were called the ConDems, and they were very rich and very powerful. They saw that there was not much money to go round for most of the islanders and they saw that some particularly naughty people had been breaking important money rules, so they determined to do something about this because they thought it could be to their advantage…

And that’s where it all went badly pear-shaped. You see, the ConDems chose the wrong set of naughty people to target. It’s all too easy for politicians – who have posh houses and nice cars and plenty of money – to point the finger at and financially penalise those at the bottom end of society who are either just scraping by on a low wage or who have been forced to fall back on the welfare state in order to have any income at all.

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We’re ONE, but we’re not the same…

This is all very interesting.

A reader* sent me this link to a recent article in the New York Post on the subject of Bono’s non-profit, the ONE Campaign. The idea behind this campaign sounds like an admirable and excellent one in theory – it aims to end poverty and the scourge of AIDS among the world’s poorest people.

But the campaign’s recent promotional campaign has left me puzzled. I’m not sure that if I worked at ONE I could justify sending out promo press packs which contained such expensive goodies as:

“a $15 bag of Starbucks coffee, a $15 Moleskine leather notebook, a $20 water bottle and a plastic ruler”

Which arrived on journalists’ desks at a crucial time for the campaign

“in four, oversized shoe boxes, delivered one at a time via expensive messenger. The boxes were timed to arrive for the UN ‘Summit on the Millennium Development Goals'”

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