Contents 25 January 2013
Bell Curve: Joselyn Duffy Morton
Escape: Claudia Ward
Cover photo: Roger Morton
25 January 2013
After procrastinating on doing a new posting for the blog, I finally got going, wrote an editorial and lost the lot – that’s never happened before. (Maybe it’s because I was whingeing on about what a depressing month January is.)
Obama did get re-elected. Thankfully, or that might have been a tilt too-far. As we all know, he can’t be re-elected again, so surely now - he can just go for it. His inaugural speech made promises in regard to climate change. Good, yet evidently billionaires (who maybe make their billions from products that might pollute the planet) throw money to misrepresent the scientific statistics, to sway the public that it is not caused by anything mankind is doing, or indeed that it is not happening at all. Meanwhile the issue of gun control is an emotive one. Of course, it is also a financial one - the world trade in arms is huge. ‘Thou shalt not kill’ might be part of the Christian doctrine, nevertheless killing still seems to be profitable. I am perfectly happy for guns to be banned, having never ever thought of owning one myself. While they are at it, I think drones should be banned. I think they epitomise evil. Scary horrible shit.
Here in France Monsieur Have-lots Gerard Depardieu sold his 50millƐ Paris flat, got a Russian passport and a little place in Belgium. He didn’t want to pay Francois Hollande’s 75% tax. It’s a tough world. The Homeless and Unemployed continue to increase. Do we teach our children to hate and despise them or feel sorry for them, even feel responsible for them? Moral issues that religions don’t seem to be fronting up to or fretting or fecking about.
Check out endecocide2020. Ecocide is the brainchild of UK International Human Rights lawyer Polly Higgins. Crimes against the planet constitute ecocide – which are criminal offences that CEOs could be jailed for. She presented this to the European Parliament this week. Sign the petition. It means large companies can’t just pay fines and it is all forgotten instead it means that somebody could go to jail and therefore this might act as a serious deterrent. Can’t hurt – so sign. Think of all those yummy fish ruined by oil slicks and plastic crap.
Good old Oxfam issued a report detailing (almost naming and shaming) the wide gap between the rich and poor. How’s this for wake-up-call information: The group says that the world's richest 1% have seen their income increase by 60 % in the last 20 years, with the latest world financial crisis only serving to hasten, rather than hinder, the process. The world's 100 richest people earned enough money last year to end world extreme poverty four times over. Last year, when we were all feeling the pinch, the $240 billion net income of the world's 100 richest billionaires would have ended poverty four times over.
“We focus on poverty, we work with the poorest people around the world. You don't normally hear us talking about wealth. But it's gotten so out of control between rich and poor that one of the obstacles to solving extreme poverty is now extreme wealth," Ben Phillips, a campaign director at Oxfam.
Talking of rich Apple factories in China are not innocent, it seems. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers for Apple’s electronics are subjected to exhausting work conditions and 30 workers often share a 3-bedroom flat. There are also intimidating punishments. It sounds worse than grim. It is time Apple stopped this appalling state of affairs or maybe re-name its company Serpent or Hell-hole.
Am desperately trying to think of a jolly January joke. Slim pickings which is why I rate Claudia Ward’s cartoons so highly – she always makes me smile, if not laugh out loud. So thank god for cartoonists, they are a clever breed. Keep warm, Joselyn Morton