Monday, June 30, 2008

shouldn't the target be his head, not trade?

I am not feeling particularly happy with the decision by Tesco to stop sourcing products from Zimbabwe.

A spokesman said "We cannot continue to support them through trade, but are urgently finding ways to support them by other means."

Which to me is all wrong.

Given that in 2004, 89% of aid given to Zimbabwe via the EU and Britain and then distributed by the EU was finding its way into the coffers of ZANU PF, this "other means" they speak of may not be the best way of eradicating a violent, evil regime. It strikes me that stopping trade, which enables people and communities to bring themselves out of poverty is a good way of undermining Mugabe and that making poor people poorer only makes the situation worse. Moreover, it may lead them to believe that since the rest of the world won't help them, they should stick with Mugabe as if they just shut up and get on with it, he won't kill them or take away a source of income.

I don't understand why we let our government invade a country which was at that moment not causing us any particular threat and then permit them to lie when they said that they went to war over 'human rights' when Human Rights are, rightly or wrongly, found in chapter VI of the UN Convention and it is only under Chapter VII that you can go to war, legally according to international law. Yet when it comes to nothing less than a crisis of humanity, we just pontificate. Why, why doesn't someone just shoot Mugabe in the head? Rather like the fall of the Third Reich, when you take away the bullying figurehead the rest can't hold itself together for long. Then, so long as we don't let the Yanks have much to do with the reconstruction process, the main stop to development in the country would be removed and we can finally get around to doing something to help the people in that country.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Quite right. Trade not aid! Those poor buggers are starving to death and our Big Idea is to boycott them? Madness.