Archive for June, 2009

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (29 June). Last week’s World Bank forecast on the global economy was enough to bring misery to anyone looking for “green shoots”. The international financial organisation is expecting a 2.9% fall in global output this year. That is appalling. It is rare for global […]

Sameer Dossani, the director of the Demand Dignity campaign at Amnesty International USA, directly counter-poses human rights to economic development in an article in yesterday’s Boston Globe. After describing how a gang attacked and sexually abused the children of a government minister in the Congo he goes on to argue that: “Governments have reneged on […]

Neil Davenport’s review on spiked of Leslie Chang’s Factory Girls: Voices from the Heart of Modern China brings out the human side of China’s rapid economic development. Critics tend to one-sidedly condemn China’s rapid industrialisation and the huge internal migration that has accompanied it. But Davenport show it is generally seen as far preferable to […]

It’s official. The leaders of the world’s largest economies have endorsed the dogma of “green growth”. Ministers from the 30 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development alongside 10 other nations declared their support for the concept at a conference in Paris. For my take on how “green growth” means austerity see […]

All Consuming

In: Uncategorized

24 Jun 2009

Whatever happened to the “Labour left”? Answer: it has become just about the most conservative and growth sceptic section of society. Neal Lawson, the chair of Compass and a former adviser to Gordon Brown, is about to have a book called All Consuming published by Penguin. Its subtitle is “how shopping got us into this […]

An interesting-sounding new book on some of the pervasive environmentalist myths is about to be published. Global Warming and Other Bollocks (Metro) argues, among other things, that Turkey Twizzlers are good for you and polar bears are not dying out. It is by Stanley Feldman, a professor of anaesthetics at London University, and Vincent Marks, […]

Following on from yesterday’s post I notice Oxfam is boasting of its successful involvement in a campaign against domestic violence in Malawi. Duncan Green notes in his blog that: “In 2005, Oxfam’s Malawi programme along with its partners mounted a campaign to eliminate gender based violence which led to the passing of the Prevention of […]

One of the most insidious trends in recent years is the redefining of development in cultural terms. For example, take this article in today’s Independent on domestic violence in poor countries by Cherie Blair, a human rights lower and wife of a former British prime minister, in support of the ActionAid 6 Degrees project. For […]

Another bastion

In: Uncategorized

21 Jun 2009

An article by Madeleine Bunting on the Guardian website today alerted me to the existence of another bastion of growth scepticism in Britain. Evidently Surrey University has a Resolve programme, sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council, whose aim is “to unravel the complex links between lifestyles, values and the environment”. It is designed […]

The number of hungry people in the world is forecast to reach a record high of just over a billion this year according to a forecast from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The figure is expected to be 100m higher than last year as a result of the global economic […]