Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Moral disgrace

I rarely listen to Radio 4 nowadays, but yesterday morning thought I'd give it another go. I switched on at about 7:50 am.

... and you know, I don't think he'd have minded if it was a good statue, and if it was made out of Fair Trade chocolate.
Ah, that'll be Thought for the Day. Since Africa has no hope of prosperity while farming success depends on the favour of European organisations like Fair Trade rather than on producing things people want to buy and getting them efficiently to market, I avoid Fair Trade produce where I can.

The next piece was about a Malawian family, all HIV positive, who had been refused asylum here and were due to be deported. Barnados, the children's charity, said this amounted to a death sentence for the child of the family. The mother was interviewed on the telephone from a detention centre. Her responses were very wooden. The interview went something like this:
Why did you apply for asylum?

- We were in fear of our lives.


- Our house was burned down.


- It was political persecution.

Who did this?

- It was political.
I've never heard anyone sound less convincing. I am quite sure the woman was lying. Not that anyone could blame her for this - she'd get much better treatment for HIV/Aids here than in Malawi, and so would her child.

Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa and, although there is a huge HIV/Aids problem, politically it is stable enough for all asylum claims from its nationals to be rejected automatically.

So it was a clear enough case of an entirely bogus asylum claim, made for very understandable reasons indeed. I don't think our policy should be free health treatment for anyone who manages to cheat the system, and bugger all for the rest of Malawi. Some interesting questions could have been raised by this episode, but the BBC interviewer just put on his best soupy voice and allowed the woman to lie without any challenge whatsoever.

I turned off the radio.

Obviously, the BBC and Barnados are using people like these asylum claimants to further a political agenda. Barnados was at it a few days ago, when it called a report on "child poverty" a "moral disgrace".

There is no child poverty at all in Britain, it's been abolished thanks in part to the efforts of charities like Barnados. Great. So, now what do they do? They get taken over by people with a communist agenda - the removal of wealth differences in the UK - and these people use a new term that has been invented for this agenda: relative poverty.

This term relates entirely and exclusively to wealth distribution. If everyone had an income of just a dollar a day and was starving to death, relative poverty would have been abolished. If the poorest in society were given a million pounds, and the richest ten million, and everyone between given money on a logarithmic scale, relative poverty would have got worse. This term has nothing whatever to do with poverty. It is an entirely and deliberately fraudulent concept.

People are perfectly entitled to be communists or to believe we should allow health tourism. I'd fight for their right to express these views, although of course I disagree with them.

But hiding behind children, especially HIV positive children, and using them as camouflage for a particular political agenda, that is the moral disgrace.

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