Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Making poverty history

This coming Saturday all over the world people, concerned about poverty will mark the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (World Poverty Day).  This year, the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,  the focus will be the hardships faced by children and their families. My small contribution will be to write to Gordon Brown reminding him that making poverty history is the central moral challenge of our generation. It’s linked to climate change. It’s linked to the credit crunch. It is linked to who we are as human beings. Are we willing to make sacrifices for people who we will never know but whose suffering is now echoing through the global village? This is a job for us all. If we get it right, we will all benefit.

Photograph taken by The Last Paladin.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ian
    You may be interested in this new book. It’s published this Satuday.

    PRESS RELEASE 9th October 2009

    A book with a difference by John Madeley

    After some 30 years of writing factual books and newspaper articles on development and poverty issues, journalist and author John Madeley switches to a novel to tell the story of the 2005 Make Poverty History campaign.

    The book’s fact-cum-fiction plot tells a witty story of how a feisty young married woman inspires a church minister, known for his inappropriate choice of women, to join the campaign. The result is an explosive mix that takes them into a world that neither bargained for.

    Set in 2005, the novel is not only an eyewitness account of the Make Poverty History campaign, it also asks searching questions about relationships, the nature of love and the meaning of life. The relationship of the book’s two main characters is set against a background of faithfulness, commitment, weakness and opportunity, and of the minister’s love of the Bible’s wisdom passages.

    Their relationship energises them for the campaign, leading them to a exposé of government duplicity, of how the huge claims made by the Government about more aid and debt relief were far from all they seemed.

    The debt relief came with strings attached and there was not much of it anyway - four years later, only about 20 per cent of developing country debt has been wiped out - and the aid increase included money for debt relief. There was huge double counting, and also failure by Government to act on the climate change which is reinforcing poverty.

    In “Beyond Reach”?, John Madeley tells the compelling story. He covered the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005, was present at most of the national Make Poverty History events, and also involved in local campaigning.

    “After years of banging on about development in factual books”, he says, “I felt the need to tell the story in a different way, one that could perhaps have wider appeal and increase the number of people who are demanding policies to eradicate poverty”.

    Anyone who took part in the Make Poverty History campaign, who bought a wrist band, who now wants to see the end of poverty, or who just wants a good read, will find this an inspiring book.

    “Beyond Reach?” will be launched on October 17th 2009 to coincide with the UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

    John Madeley is the author of nine books on development issues, including “50 Reasons to Buy Fair Trade”.

    “Beyond Reach?” is published by Longstone Books, 239 pages
    ISBN: 978-0-9554373-7-3, price £9.99

    Royalties from the sale of the book will go to agencies who are working to end poverty.

    More details and signed copies are available from:
    John Madeley.
    Tel: 01189 476063.
    Mob: 0789 1882321

    ‘A revealing story about a scandal of our time, witty, sharp - and above all urgent’ - Rosie Boycott


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