Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bob Geldof: Stephen Harper is blocking Africa Aid

Apparently our aid pledges are now just as vague, long term and open to interpretation as our climate promises. Rocker and African aid campaigner Bob Geldof accuses Canada of stinting on aid dollars and blocking an international funding commitment.

Geldof said Canada's aid contribution of $160 million falls far short of the $623 million it needs to contribute this year in order to fulfill that pledge.

He also said Harper promised in January 2006 that Canada would maintain the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average for international aid -- which is 0.46 per cent of gross national income.

"The OECD is the overarching body that everyone agrees should monitor their economies, all the governments agree on that. Point in fact, Canada is way behind the OECD average which is 0.46. Canada is about 0.3," said Geldof.

"So you have one of the richest nations on the planet deliberately breaking their word and thereby killing the poorest."

Harper said the allegations are "false." Without elaborating, he said Canada is on the right track to honour a pledge to double aid to Africa by 2010.

I still remember watching Geldof on TV around the time he was knighted, when he happened to run into then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at a public awards meeting.

With reporters clustered around them and cameras whirring, Geldof grilled Thatcher on why the UK government was dumping tons of butter into the sea in a market support scheme while people were starving in Africa. Thatcher responded snippily while searching for an exit 'They can hardly eat butter Mr Geldof.' In fact as Sir Bob quickly pointed out, people can survive on butter oil alone for quite a long time when there's nothing else to live on.

Thatcher shot him a look of pure hatred, mumbled that it wasn't that simple and dashed for an exit.


JimBobby said...

Whooee! I was readin' the comments over t' the Mop an' Pail on this one. Yeow! The numbnutses who's got their knickers in a twist over Sir Bob got all sortsa stuff to say. Here's some o' what I remember.

A couple of 'em actually sed "shut up and sing."

He ain't a politician so nobuddy oughta listen to what he sez on politics.

He ain't given away all of his own money so he shouldn't tell anybuddy to give away any o' theirs.

He's a rock star.

He ain't had a hit in 20 years.

He's a celebrity with comparable credibility to Paris Hilton.

He ain't Canajun so he oughta shut up about Canada.

He's brain damaged on accounta drug use.

All ad homenim, all the time.


Matthew The Astrologer said...

Clearly, no one gives a damn about anyone starving to death... unless it's Nicole Ritchie.

Anh Khoi Do said...

Bob Geldof and Bono believe that they're politicians because of the influence that they believe to have. However, despite being good at saying phrases that play on your feelings, do these rockers support their thoughts with verifiable arguments? The answer is obviously no.

Cliff said...

I love it when people say something is 'obvious' - while in no way demonstrating that it is - or even attempting to do so.

And the irony of making the unsupported statement that somebody else is making unsupported statements - is priceless.

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