“It’s the same the whole world over”

As one does, I spend a half-hour scanning the newspaper contents, to get my weekly dose of Saturday adrenaline, simply by reading all of the items with which I vehemently disagree. Some time back, I vectored in finally on a double piece of commentary regarding Swaziland, which for the geographically-illiterate amongst us is a scrubby dump slap bang in the middle of South Africa. It used to be a British colony, which is why the British taxpayer gives something just short of a million quid every year to the Swazi government.

The two pieces were about the same country, but rather different in their scale, approach and subject matter. The first was about the massive scale of HIV and AIDs in that country, and how, despite so-called intervention and education, the proportion of those infected had risen from 32.4% to 44.6%. Now these figures are of course subjective, in that they are guesses on an informed basis, but fairly up-to-date. The infected, and of course the dead, are mostly from the adult proportion of the inhabitants of this unfortunate land, which is riven with tribal ignorance and prejudice, where the witch-doctor is given precedence over european medicine, and the do-gooders who preach restraint and condom use are laughed at, for a Swazi woman is presumed to be no use if she doesn’t bear children, fast! So the dying goes on, and the annihilation of a people is possible through ignorance, fear and lust!

But not all the people of Swaziland are suffering! There’s the king, who has just taken his eleventh wife, and given time another two are lined up, each wife of course given jewellery, cars and homes in the royal compound. The king, who has built an international airport, costing 56 million pounds, funded by the Swazi government and of course its’ people, who weren’t asked if they wanted an airport in the first place. The king, who’s laws forbid any criticism of the royal family under pain of imprisonment, and you can’t get much worse that a spell in a Swazi jail, country club it ain’t!

My point is simply this, these are the people for who this Irish wanker Geldof was pushing a concert in London, and the ones in my second paragraph are not the people who will benefit, it’s the bloody king who will cream off the money, if and when the cheques are written and disbursed. Along with the people like Blair, Brown and all the others who believe they know how your money and mine should be spent, don’t you think that you should be asked how the cash should be given or raised for that matter? I know I do, which is why I resolutely turn away when asked to put my hand in my pocket for any of the so-called ‘Good Causes’!