This is an interesting – and entertaining – video from BeauBoDOr which we thought warranted comment.

Make Poverty History was a social justice campaign that coincided with the Live 8 Concerts.  OK, who remembers when Live 8 was?  No, without googling (other search engines are available) it.

The answer is July 2005 and the original Make Poverty History campaign ran around the same time.  Almost 4 years later and 2 years into the implosion of the developed world financial system, it does all seem that ancient history.

Without wanting to be political – Jellyhaus is not politically aligned – there is a certain irony in the video.  The G8 government commitment immediately after Live 8 and in response to Make Poverty History was to double their overseas aid commitments to $50 billion by 2010, i.e. an extra $25 billion over 5 years.  I’m sure that sounded wonderful at the time but when you compare it to the cost of ‘saving’ just the UK banking system (current total on the basis of direct and indirect financial contribution, guarantees and facilities, over £1 trillion), you have to question which was the more socially important.  Genuinely lifting tens of millions of people from poverty, malnutrition, disease and social exclusion or bailing out a very group of greedy plutocrats who lose shareholders’ money with taxpayers’ money.

An interesting point from the video is that the derision that was directed at bankers is now directed at MPs, via a parody of a campaign that MPs were queuing up to endorse and be seen to be aligned with back in 2005.

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign slogan ‘Change We Need’ was crucial in identifying those social inequalities felt by voters, to which he was the answer.  The unveiling of the truth behind MPs’ expenses poses the rearranged, same question: we need change.  Of course, with the US two-party system, it’s straightforward to deliver change: if you don’t like what A has done, you vote for B.  In the UK, when the whole multi-party system seems to have been claiming for all things new & shiny or not tied down, you have to ask: what will change look like?

Those with good memories will recall another campaign that ran in tandem with Make Poverty History; Drop The Debt.  With the Chancellor’s own fantastical projections showing UK national debt to GDP peaking just under 80% in 2013 (amusingly, according to the Maastricht Treaty convergence criteria, the limit is 60% for any new state wanting to join the Euro, so that now rules us out for a few decades), how long before he announces Britain will be re-championing the Drop The Debt campaign; dropping the debt of all third world countries starting with…Britain?