Saturday, 19 February 2011

profit from hunger

i'm having a quiet day after a pretty hectic week. the human rights course was wonderful & challenging. but it did take up a lot of energy. in case you didn't catch up with it, i did a speech which i based around this post at the hand mirror, in support of exclusion. and yes, i did end up going over time, i didn't even hear the warning at 1 minute to go because i was so caught up in what i was saying. i really need to work on that!

last night was the start of the hamilton gardens art festival. i had a picnic dinner with friends & listened to reggae music by cornerstone roots. they were incredibly good, and it was a lovely atmosphere. at this point, i have to pay a tribute to the old white guy in the yellow shirt, who kept us highly entertained with his moves. he was dancing up front, in his own space, but so totally into the music and obviously enjoying himself. and pretty fit as well. to me, he embodied what festivals like this are about, and i loved his confidence & sense of fun.

i'm looking forward to the shakespeare performance next week, which has become a ritual in our family. dinner at the gardens, and watching a great performance while the sun sets. it's great. tonight there will be a lantern festival in the central city, the first one for hamilton i think. hope it goes well.

i've been watching the news from bahrain, and it comes as no surprise that measures against protesters in other countries become increasingly harsh. not only the middle east, but leaders all around the world don't actually want this to continue. it shows to them just how precarious their position is, and how their privileged position can be lost in a short space of time. again, i wish the protesters well in their struggle, and hope that there is some fundamental structural change which will actually improve their lot.

thanks to ruth, here is a report from aljazeera that highlights the source of the problem:

this is exactly the kind of structural change that needs to happen: some really tight regulation to prevent speculators driving up food prices. that firms can trade to benefit themselves from people's hunger is incredibly sad. we can and must put pressure here, on our government, to take action on this.

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