6/24/2003

On the other hand ....

Chris Lawson in his Frankenblog tells an interesting story about food riots in Africa last year after - apparently - Green pressure groups tried to prevent gm food being given to people who were in desperate need of it. According to Lawson, "In the midst of a calamitous drought, the Zambian government took advisement from green-left NGOs and decided to ban 12,000 tonnes of GM maize. This sparked an uprising and villagers looted 500 bags of GM maize from the storage depot.
The police were called in, and at the end of their investigation nine people were arrested and nearly half of the food had been forcibly recovered from starving villagers and put back in the storage depot."


Which brings to mind the whole problem of just how much you can trust your sources of information, but Lawson mentions that anyway. Which is one of the problems with even so much as dipping an interested toe into political issues; whatever view you hear from any side is unlikely to be impartial and balanced, will always serve - unsurprisingly - the political stance of the person to whom you are speaking. I don't know Lawson's political views; if he turned out to be say, distinctly right-wing, would that mean that I, someone who describes themselves as a believer in democratic socialism and a strong welfare state, could no longer trust his views?

On the other hand, I'll be interested to see what happens in the case of the 'dodgy dossier', which was used to help justify the British involvement in the war on Iraq, which later turned out to have been plagiarised from someone's phd ... Jack Straw, looking incredibly uneasy during the televised enquiry, passed the buck onto Alistair Campbell, head of Blair's press department, with all the eagerness of a schoolkid standing in front of the blazing ruins of his school with a box of matches in one hand and pointing at his mate next to him and saying 'it was him, sir'.
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