Sunday, 14 February 2010

St.Valentines Day and the poor are still dying on a grand scale!

A Robin Hood Tax on banks’ financial transactions could raise hundreds of billions of pounds to fight poverty, protect public services and tackle climate change. Is the new idea being shown the red carpet by those who still think that capitalism can be regulated and made obedient as the command given to a dog ordered to heel.

The Robin Hood Tax campaign is calling on the leaders of the UK’s political parties to support a global tax on the banks to help repair the human damage caused by the global economic crisis, protect public services at home, fight poverty abroad and help foot the bill for climate change.

The campaign, supported by almost 50 organisations including Oxfam, the TUC, Barnardo’s, the Salvation Army, ActionAid and Save the Children, is launched with a promotional film starring Bill Nighy, and written and directed by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Comic Relief). It is backed by regional events, advertising and online promotions challenging politicians, public and banks to Be Part of the World’s Greatest Bank Job.

Today on St.Valentines Day and despite not receiving  any cards, I became quite angry on the Sunday-morning walk to my local shops for the papers. I was thinking that poverty its existence is very much treated like the throwaway food containers, that litter the streets of Canning Town. Poverty in Africa or Asia evokes much sympathy not least because people living on less than a dollar a day are often so visibly ill or hungry. UK poverty comes in less stark form and is therefore trickier and almost ignored by the media, often do I wonder why coverage of UK poverty is curiously anonymous?

However poverty is mentioned in another context often, crime, heath and education.

The World Heath Organisation (WHO); has said that "social injustice" is Killing people on a grand scale. In countries with high levels of inequality, the poor, even if they stay of the booze and drugs, fags and crisps, and even if they are comfortable by international  standards, will die early.

African Americans have a lower life expectancy than, for example, inhabitants od Jamaica, Cuba or Lebonon. Poor children in parts of Glasgow won't live as long as children in India, Philippines and Poland.

That's something to think about and it wont change even if Robin Hood himself came back!        
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