October 23, 2004


Next Saturday in Perth: fund-raising rocking for Sudan. As Rob Corr writes: "Be there or be complicit."

Posted by Tim Blair at October 23, 2004 02:48 PM

As dire as the situation if Sudan is, this pissing money up against a wall. This applies to most of Africa, not just Sudan: it is pointless sending money until the political situation is stabilised and the rule of law re-established. Well-meaning but naive types have been raising funds for African relief for decades and it is all wasted. Dickens even mentions it in Bleak House -- the African do-gooder Mrs Jellaby, whose children go barefoot while she does good works for Africans. Remember Bob Geldoff (he of the apalling personal hygiene) and his efforts? Did they make a difference? Nup. No improvement at all. Graham Hanock's seminal book Lords of Poverty exposes how useless sending money to corrupt regimes is.

Posted by: walterplinge at October 23, 2004 at 07:40 PM

has`nt the UN got it all under control.... just kidding.

Posted by: Le clerc at October 23, 2004 at 07:52 PM

Walter, your argument assumes that we have to choose one or the other. Red Cross and Amnesty are both on the ground in Sudan, so we know the money is getting to people who need it. Meanwhile, we should be putting pressure on our goverments to intervene. Concerts like this can raise awareness of the problem and hopefully convince people that action needs to be taken immediately.

Posted by: Robert at October 23, 2004 at 08:37 PM

Coincidentally this week's The Spectator exposes Geldof's (and others) efforts for the waste of time and effort they were. See What happened to the f***ing money (may not work - registration required): Bob Geldof meant well when he launched Band Aid 20 years ago, says Daniel Wolf; whether he did well for the starving is another matter.. I repeat, doing anything to assist Africa is a total waste of cash and goodwill - until it joins civilised society.

As for the Red Cross and Amnesty - don't get me started.

Posted by: walterplinge at October 23, 2004 at 08:56 PM

Of course, bitching about Bob Geldof is doing a lot for the people of Sudan.

Posted by: Robert at October 23, 2004 at 08:58 PM

Please let me apologise. Not only am I a West Aussie, but my younger daughter's doing Law/Arts at UWA!

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry

(Repeat 21 times and publish in newspaper for guaranteed results.)

Posted by: BruceT at October 23, 2004 at 10:54 PM

I'd say "Why not give the money to a more reputable organisation, such as the Global Relief Foundation?" but I wouldn't be able to name any global charities that I'd trust. So I guess they qualify as the lesser of X evils.

At least no media managers from Amnesty or the Red (insert Christian or Islamic symbol here - sorry, no pagans and no Jews) have got their wives to make children play with unexploded ordinance.

Posted by: Andjam at October 24, 2004 at 12:25 AM

I am sorry Plato is not with us, so he cannot appreciate that we have discovered the pure, Platonic, ideal from which the word "Wanker" is derived.

Posted by: Sue at October 24, 2004 at 02:22 AM

The UN won't be attending. Are they complicit?

Posted by: Anonymous at October 24, 2004 at 04:15 AM

Unfortunately much of this aid ends up as ammunition for Jihadists. I guess if a little gets thru that is reason enough to send it.
Did bob know that so much of the aid would never get there?
he seems cynical enough to have realised that.
i read of a woman that actually hired the trucks and the armed guards and made it to the camps with a full load.
Good on her!
But the do lefty do gooders pacifists have the stomach for that?
And would they want to associate with "the rough men" who would protect them?
Unfortunately that is the only way to go.

Posted by: davo at October 24, 2004 at 11:25 AM

The UN won't be attending. Are they complicit?


At least the Americans have called a spade a spade or, in this case, a genocide a genocide.

But they still won't intervene.

Posted by: Robert at October 24, 2004 at 06:44 PM

And the minute we did we'd be called "invaders! murderers! baby killers!" and so on. Please, drop the stupidity.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 25, 2004 at 02:12 AM

Andrea, I'm one of those who opposed the US invasion of Iraq. I think they ought to intervene in Sudan. It would be comparatively easy to put together a genuine coalition, but if the Americans have squandered any international goodwill they might have had, they've only got themselves to blame.

I suppose the black tribespeople in Darfur had better start drilling for oil. If they find some, the US will pretend Sudan has WMD and intervene immediately.

Posted by: Robert at October 25, 2004 at 10:59 AM

It would be comparatively easy to put together a genuine coalition

Well, look who didn't get the memo...

To be fair, there was progress via diplomacy...only that it took almost three months of pressure by the US. Would you like to contemplate how many people died in that time span, thanks to the opposition of France, China, et al.?

Genuine coalition, my ass. It's nice to see a lefty who actually cares about Darfur, but gawd, please wake up from the "coalitions are good, coalitions are nice, if we don't have a coalition it must be the United States' fault" haze.

And the real kicker is your snark about oil interests, when that's exactly what kept France and China from backing any serious action. Just another day of projection in LeftWorld, I guess.

Posted by: PW at October 25, 2004 at 02:30 PM

The biggest cause of african poverty is first world agricultural protection,particularly the EU and US.
Swiss farmers are subsidised to grow tomatoes in the snow in greenhouses!
The surplus is dumped in africa cheaper than the locals can grow them.
The worst corruption is in countries with oil,where the people have gained nothing but the multinationals and their corrupt black brothers have got rich.
NZ and australia have the least corrupted agriculture in the world but by signing the FTA with the US we help support their bad habits.

Posted by: marklatham at October 25, 2004 at 03:14 PM