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World Development Movement blog

5 April 2011

Hilary Aked

Why did WDM join the demonstration opposing the government’s sweeping cuts last Saturday? Why should a group which campaigns against global poverty be concerned with the domestic economy, especially when the oversees aid budget has supposedly been ring-fenced?

The fact that the current government is channelling the 0.7% GDP that goes towards oversees aid into counter-terrorism initiatives in only a handful of countries, rather than supporting those most in need might be cause enough to take to the streets.

3 April 2011

Catherine Negus, used to be Campaigns Assistant

The WDM campaign against speculation on food prices has had some brilliant radio coverage in 2011. Our campaigns officer Heidi Chow called in to You and Yours back in January, and with the help of the BBC we’ve been able to make two other programmes available for downloading from the WDM website.

3 April 2011

Catherine Negus, used to be Campaigns Assistant

Last month thousands of people helped us to counter bankers’ attempts to weaken European proposals for regulation of food speculation by responding to the consultation on derivatives reform. Now we need your help again.

31 March 2011

Since being bailed out with our money in 2008, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has poured money into companies engaged in projects that have a catastrophic impact on the world’s poor

31 March 2011

Iain Thom, Scottish campaigns assistant

This week is Climate Week, a showcase of Britain’s ambition and confidence to tackle climate change.  But it’s not exactly inspiring that one of the main sponsors of Climate Week – the Royal Bank of Scotland – is undermining this kind of positive action by investing billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in fossil fuels.  New research published today shows that from 2008 to 2010, RBS was involved in providing finance worth almost €8 billion to the 20 biggest coal mining operators and the 20 biggest generators of coal-based electricity in the world.

Anonymous

20 March 2011

On the front page of the Sunday Times this morning you will see the headline ‘Euro MPs exposed in ‘cash-for-laws’ scandal’ (£). Journalists from the respected Insight investigative team have posed as financial lobbyists and have approached MEPs offering them large sums of money in return for watering down banking reform legislation.

18 March 2011

Today is the final day of the 13th UN Adaptation Fund meeting in Bonn. This is the UN fund set up by the main UN climate negotiations to help the poorest countries in the world adapt to the effects of catastrophic climate change, by channelling funds from rich countries into adaptation projects. While it sounds somewhat techy, WDM has a keen interest in the outcomes of this meeting.

16 March 2011

The Committee on Climate Change has recently recommended that the Government reduce the UK’s carbon pollution by 60% by 2030. The government is currently considering its response. Fears abound that this advice may well slip by unnoticed, making it critical that Cameron is reminded of his promises, and made aware that we will hold him to account on his words. Please take a few minutes to join us, and other Stop Climate Chaos members, in making sure Cameron knows we won’t stand by and let empty promises go unnoticed on this. 

11 March 2011

The mood at the closing of the World Social Forum at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar was euphoric as speakers paid tribute to the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and held a moment of silence for those killed in the demonstrations. But the World Social Forum, a convergence of an estimated 75 000 activists, journalists, academics, trade unionists and NGOs, now in its 11th year, has left many participants speculating on what was achieved in the 5 chaotic days of workshops and meetings in Dakar. 

3 March 2011

Sharon Jordan

Tony Benn and Michael Moore in one day! What a treat (well for me anyway), and what better way to celebrate my birthday!

It was the screening of Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: a love story' with a discussion led by Tony Benn afterwards. I'm sure we're all familiar with Moore's message about the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans as democratic processes are sidelined. As we are always told, Britain is about 10 years behind America so it was sobering to watch the effects of America's equivalent of the ‘Big Society' in full bloom as we see, what comparatively look like the first buds appearing in the UK as the government pushes through its cuts agenda. Even more sobering to think how much more of an impact the neo-liberal agenda driving the cuts has on people when the west forces it on poor countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

28 February 2011

Catherine Negus, used to be Campaigns Assistant

Buying Fairtrade produce does help thousands of people each year, and we should continue to do it. However, there is only so much this can do when the global economic system is structured to make the rich richer. Deregulation of markets and corporations, unfair trade rules, and unrestrained speculation by financiers have created havoc. Markets need to be re-regulated to stop gambling on food and help to ensure that all trade is fair. The Fairtrade Foundation is proud that its work “offers producers in the developing world breathing space to make it through these tough times”, but a comprehensive, long-term solution is needed to put an end to poverty.

28 February 2011

Despite its pro-poor, pro-climate rhetoric, the World Bank’s fossil fuel lending has increased 400% since 2006. What’s worse, according to Oil Change International's independent analysis, 0% of these projects were funded specifically to provide energy access to the poor. 

Anonymous

28 February 2011

Iain Thom, Scottish campaigns assistant

Timed for release just as this year’s round of bonuses and bank profits are announced, documentary film ‘Inside Job’ does just what it says on the reel tin:  Director Charles Ferguson argues that both investment bankers and financial regulators knew that the way banks and hedge funds turned a profit was rotten to the core, but that they carried on regardless. 

In short, that the 2008 financial crisis was avoidable.

28 February 2011

Iain Thom, Scottish campaigns assistant

Timed for release just as this year’s round of bonuses and bank profits are announced, documentary film ‘Inside Job’ does just what it says on the reel tin:  Director Charles Ferguson argues that both investment bankers and financial regulators knew that the way banks and hedge funds turned a profit was rotten to the core, but that they carried on regardless.

23 February 2011

Eddy Richards, Global Connect Project Officer

Speculation on commodity prices can only make the waves more violent and the splashing worse - which might be fun in a bath tub but isn't when real people's lives are at stake.

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