Disaster and the State

13 05 2013

Category; LawMediaPolitics

© Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty

A terrible industrial disaster in Bangladesh, a building full of workshops collapses leaving more than a thousand dead (click here), and our first reaction in developed economies is to question our responsibilities as consumers and whether we should boycott the western companies who have clothing made there (click here).

It’s an example of the fact we seem to have forgotten what the state is for.

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Why Not?

14 07 2011

Category; Politics, Media

“Why Not?”

That was the question asked by the charity fundraiser (or chugger) for Save the Children as I walked past today, with a shake of the head and a weak smile.

Why not? Well, four reasons: 

First; do no evil

The man from Save the Children had the bad luck to collar me just as I’m reading a shocking analysis of the work of international aid agencies.

Linda Polman’s book ‘War Games’ (click here for details) catalogues how international aid agencies actually do much harm. How the work to save and improve lives actually, in many situations, does exactly the opposite. Read the rest of this entry »