The Daily Bork

July 13, 2005

Breath of fresh air

Now, I have no idea how this woman gets published on Stuff, but she is a refreshing change!

Rockers' humbug on Africa

The rocking knights, Sir Bob, Sir Elton, Sir Bono and Sir Paul, are in the business of making money.

They are capitalists right down to their tip- tapping toes.

The long and winding road and yellow brick road are really one and the same _ they both lead to the bank.

Why, then, do they preach a socialist message with such zeal? They want everyone to think like socialists and demand G8 money- lenders support Africa indefinitely.

It's like a global welfare state on steroids. And it's ironic. The lifestyle modelled by the rockers is one of self- absorption, sex and unbridled consumption. It's humbug. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.)

Africa really needs a combination of property rights, freedom of contract, the rule of law, decentralised decision-making and sound science. In short, good government.

The G8 leaders will double aid from $25 billion to $50 billion by 2010. Their pledge falls short of what the pop stars wanted but fortunately most understand that African tragedies are much more complicated than outright poverty. Geldof claims that pop music has replaced English as the power language of the world. Thankfully our world leaders turn their headsets off periodically.

By all means, Western nations need to get rid of subsidies and tariffs to Third World countries. All nations, including New Zealand, would benefit. Dare I whisper that George W. is on the right track? The President wants free trade and African countries would certainly benefit.

Of course, France and Germany and some of his own countrymen won't like the idea. The very socialism that the pop stars want to export to Africa is the fertiliser for the subsidies France and Germany don't want to give up. And by the way, "fair trade" _ that darling phrase of the Left _ is a specious concept defined only in relation to their notion of wealth redistribution.

Magnus Linklater, a British writer, is right: "The slogans of international socialism have changed little in 40 years and achieved even less." The alternative newspapers sold in Edinburgh last week still mumbled about Marxism, imperialism and the fascist state as if nothing had changed since the 1960s (the significance of the fall of the Berlin wall was obviously lost on them).


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