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« One for the shopping list | Main | Trade not aid »
Monday
May252009

Guardian readers: 'Does not compute'

Martin Kettle writes about Dambisa Moyo on the pages of Comment is Free, in a piece that is broadly supportive of her position on ending aid payments. The CiF readers seem largely to be behind her too, with several calls made for trade deals rather than more handouts. You can almost sense the confusion - Moyo's message is what heartless rightwingers have been saying for years - the message of hateful Thatcher and moronic Reagan - but they find themselves not only unable to vent their fury because the message is being delivered by a young black woman, but also finding themselves finally having to admit that the hate figures on the right were, erm, right all along.

This is rather extraordinary, but I wonder if I might have put a spanner in the works by pointing out in my own comment that the default position of Guardian reader is that buying green beans from Africa is equivalent to murder - it's going to lead to global warming isn't it? We're meant to be buying only from our local farmers' market, no?

I can square this circle without a problem - buy the goddam string beans and help the poor Africans. Guardian readers on the other hand are going to have to reconcile their desire to open doors to African trade and to close them at the same time.

 

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Reader Comments (3)

Just been to the Kettle article on Guardian Comment to read your comment and commend it. After commenting favourably on an excellent Monbiot article criticising New Labour’s Private Finance Initiatives, in which he allies himself with Private Eye, (prop. C Booker, no?) Red Pepper, and the Telegraph’s excellent Liam Halligan.
The economic point about Kenyan runner beans, I seem to remember, is not so much that they grow better in tropical climes, but that young, poorly paid hands are more expert at putting them in tins than any machine. And these lowly wages will pay for the education of the next generation. Which offends some, and delights others. You will have noticed that plenty of Guardian readers were ready to break ranks with the liberal consensus, and your comment got plenty of commendations. From the opposite corner of the political spectrum, respectful salutations
May 25, 2009 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers
"excellent Monbiot article"

That's not something you read every day.. :-)
May 25, 2009 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P
Is it a coincidence that common sense from an approved source (young, black, female) is accepted while the same common sense from old white males was anathemised by the Guardianista constituency and that the Chu paint-it-white "solution" is welcomed by the same constituency while Lomborg's identical suggestion of 2 years ago was ignored?
May 28, 2009 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterUmbongo

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