Not so Gr8
I know I won't be the only blogger commenting on this, but news that 5 African teams, from Burundi, Cameroon, Zambia, Nigeria and Kenya, scheduled to take part in the Homeless World Cup
, the global street soccer tournament kicking off global poverty, have been refused entry to the UK by the British government on the basis that they do not have sufficient funds to support themselves
whilst visiting the UK truly beggars belief - pun intended.
Those surely are the very grounds that prove they are eligible to take part!
This almost makes me ashamed to be British.
That this tournament is currently taking place in Edinburgh, location of the recent G8 conference which agreed to cancel much of Africa's debt, is more than ironic. But then, most of the debt was caused, as George Monbiot persuasively argues
, by multi-nationals who have now been given cârte blanche to relieve the poverty ~ as long as trade tariffs, as imposed by the so-called developed countries, are kept to.Few would deny that one of the things Africa needs is investment. But investment by many of our multinationals has not enriched its people but impoverished them. The history of corporate involvement in Africa is one of forced labour, evictions, murder, wars, the under-costing of resources, tax evasion and collusion with dictators. Nothing in either the Investment Climate Facility or the Growth and Opportunity Act imposes mandatory constraints on corporations. While their power and profits in Africa will be enhanced with the help of our foreign-aid budgets, they will be bound only by voluntary commitments: of the kind that have been in place since 1973 and have proved useless.
If only Richard Murray
were Prime Minister of Grate Britain.
He makes me proud, and especially proud to be a Charlton Athletic supporter. I support a football club which, he said yesterday afternoon, is "a privilege to be chairman of, a business which stands for everything which is good in professional football.
"Charlton are highly regarded - both on and off the pitch. We are a genuine community club, which touches the lives of so many disadvantaged adults and children, and gives so much back to the community from which it draws its support."
That community includes South Africa.
Yesterday, Richard received an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (HonDBA) of the University of Greenwich, an honour richly deserved.Congratulations sir
Now, how about organising a tournament, in Africa, for those five teams of homeless footballers as part of the wider community programme?