There is blood on our hands again

(From the song 'Blood on our Hands' by Death From Above 1979).

What I'm clumsily trying to say is that here's a blog what I made whilst I should've been doing something better and that if you're reading it then you should be doing something better too. Also, the fact that you and I have the time and resources to respectively make and read this gumpf is why the World is so screwed.

02 October 2006

It's not often I give crap

Just finished trying to send the following email to the ex-prime minister in waiting, Tony Blair. Now the cynic in me is saying that my failure to receive a confirmation from said addressee is actually part of a deliberate ploy to make people believe they have a goverment they can contact about things they care about like... oh I don't know... the threat of invasion from dark skinned foreigners determined to take all the lowest paying jobs and then become ill in order to receive health benefits they haven't earned blah blah blah. Anyway, I'm happy to believe that it's either that or that the government's email system is shite... whichever.
So in the meantime I'm going to post that email here because I haven't put this much effort into writing anything for a very long time.
Addmitedly this is no masterpiece of political polemic but again... it's been a while since I gave a crap and so I have to start somewhere.

Dear Prime Minister,
Whilst many people concentrate on your government's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and condemn you for what they perceive to be collusion with American corporate interests, I believe that you acted according to your conscience and that these countries now have at least the chance of a brighter future albeit unlikely. Whilst this may be the case, I cannot agree with your government's position on the situation in Burma/Myanmar. If Britain and America really led the way in freeing Iraq firstly by years of sanctions and then through armed intervention, then why are Burma's citizens not in the process of being freed?

I have known about the military regime in Burma for quite some time but have chosen to dismiss it as typical of the dichotomy between national and global issues. This dichotomy is especially offensive in countries like ours where we have the means to effect change in places that need our help but cannot due to diversions that pale in comparison. We don't even try to effect change because we are too busy trying to avoid tax whilst constantly moaning about under-investment in public services.

After watching a well made piece of documentary television this evening I have renewed interest in the Burmese situation and thought I would let you know what it means to me. In essence it is the straw that broke the camel's back and as such is part of a number of issues I have with New Labour that are best left for another email. I can no longer support the Labour party either in thought, speech or at the ballot box whilst it allows British companies to trade with a regime that is guilty of brutally suppressing the very democratic ideals that we have 'restored' to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of these companies of course also participate in funding the destruction of ancient hardwood forests that belong to the people of Burma and people of the World NOT the corrupt military that runs the country for profit.

If globalisation is meant to be a force for good and the expansion of global trade meant to bring with it an expansion of the democratic freedoms we enjoy then perhaps it's time to put those principles to their test by halting trade with Burma.
Only when the good conscience you displayed in removing the Taleban and Saddam Hussein from power is applied to those other countries around the World will I be able to believe in you or the Labour party. Isn't that a legacy worth leaving?


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