Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/446/5306
The Socialist 29 June 2006 |
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G8 leaders fail to make poverty history
LAST JULY, members of the Socialist Party and our counterpart
organisations in Europe took part in the week-long protests at the 'Make
Poverty History' summit of the G8 (rich) countries.
In our literature and at the numerous demos and meetings we pointed
out that to make poverty history it was necessary to make capitalism
history. As long as the profit system existed, inequalities of health
and wealth between rich and poor, unemployment, poverty and indebtedness
would grow, both between countries and within countries.
Twelve months later all the hype by Chancellor Gordon Brown and the
other capitalist politicians about debt relief and eradicating poverty
has been, unsurprisingly, shown to be rubbish. A report by the charity
Action Aid says: "One year on, the world's richest countries are moving
too slowly, or not moving at all, on most of their key commitments to
Economic aid from Britain has actually decreased during the last
year. There has been some debt relief to the heavily indebted poorest
countries but much of this 'debt' comprised of interest charges - the
original loans having been repaid many times over.
Moreover, the World Bank estimated last year that the total amount of
debt of the 'developing countries' was $2.5 trillion, with nearly
two-thirds of that figure being owed to private Western investors.
So by cancelling debt stock payable to Western governments, many
countries would still be massively in debt and Gordon Brown would just
be ensuring that private banks and companies got paid.
Also, much of this debt relief is tied to forcing 'neo-liberal'
policies (privatisation of public services and access to local markets
for multinationals etc), onto poor countries.
Trade injustice also looks set to continue. The much vaunted
reduction in billions of dollars in subsidies to agribusiness in the
advanced capitalist countries, which undermine agriculture and industry
in poorer countries, has been blocked in the World Trade Organisation.