Stephen Pollard quotes Oxfam to support his argument against the Make Poverty History campaign. I wonder if he realises who is behind it?
He doesn’t seem to realise that increasing poor countries share of world trade is exactly what the campaign is about.
He goes on to say:
If those behind Make Poverty History were serious about ending poverty they would be campaigning for property rights and the rule of law — for better governance, in other words. And they would campaign not to abolish free trade but to extend it — attacking, for instance, the EU Common Agricultural Policy and its immoral tariff barriers against the developing world. The EU spends €2.7 billion a year subsidising farmers to grow sugar beet; at the same time it imposes high tariff barriers against sugar imports from the developing world. And the EU’s agricultural tariffs average 20 per cent, rising to a peak of 250 per cent on certain products. The European market remains barely open to the majority of low-cost textiles from the developing world.
Once again, that is exactly what the Make Poverty History campaign is about. The rules are slanted towards the rich nations of the world. Make Poverty History is campaigning for them to be slanted in the other direction.
An unconvincing piece, to say the least.
Update: I’ve been following the debate on various blogs on this subject. Bloggers4Labour is also uncertain about Make Poverty History but in a more reasonable manner, Our word is our weapon finds Stephen Pollard ‘ignorant and contemptable’, Shot by both sides applauds, to which Tim Worstall puts forth a measured response.