Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Feeding Zimbabwe.

Mrs Rigby has seen a few articles referring to food shortages in Zimbabwe. She knows that Zimbabwe is in a bit of a mess, from what she's read in the media, and was wondering what we are doing to help - if anything - so she took a wander round the Number10 site

It would seem 'we' aren't doing very much. There are only 64  'hits', dating back to 2007, the most recent as follows :

On 22nd June 2009 Mr Brown pledged £5 million to 'aid Zimbabwe’s democratic and social reforms'.

Two days later, on 24th June 2009 : "The Government has agreed with the assessment of Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC party, that a “free and fair” election in the country is impossible."

Backtrack for a moment, and remember it was Harold Wilson who had to deal with Ian Smith and UDI, back in 1965 (quoted from Number10):
... in international affairs Wilson found himself dealing with the prickly issue of Rhodesia’s (now called Zimbabwe) declaration of independence.
Fast forward to March 11th 2010
an estimated 2.17 million people [in Zimbabwe] are in need of food aid, a number it says will rise on the back of an expected failed 2010 harvest
That sounds bad, but even so, Mrs R didn't really expect to see this - from the Mail, 12th March 2010.

In case you're wondering what's happening - it isn't a party . No, not quite. On the ground in the middle of all these people is a dead bull elephant.

This is what was left a while later.

In February 2010 Robert Mugabe celebrated his 86th birthday.
Eight thousand lobsters and 4,000 portions of caviar were eaten last night at a birthday party for Robert Mugabe which was broadcast live to a nation facing famine. The £330,000 televised feast to celebrate the Zimbabwe president's 86th birthday came as crop failure and drought raised the prospect of widespread hunger in the poverty-stricken country.
Makes you wonder where he got the money from.

No further comment needed - except that some people turn up their noses at those who eat road-kill pheasants, although the Indy, in 2006, offered a recipe for pigeons.


elephant pie said...

To think that Zimbabwe was once the food basket of Africa. Sadly just another basket case.
Despite all it's oil wealth Nigeria is on the ropes aswell according to a report in The Independent. Their dear leader is doing a Howard Hughes while the country erupts in tribal and religious conflict.

Mrs Rigby said...

It does seem to be a mess, and the decline is accelerating too