Some funny news – although I know there’s all kinds of horrible shit going down in the world at the moment and watching the final part of the Sean Langan series, “Travels of a Gringo”, about the effects of rampant globalisation upon South America was sobering to say the least. Nevertheless we do live in a small world and I guess we have to manage the increased interconnectedness of our world with the right kind of checks and balances. Otherwise how do we ensure that an Honduran mother with her brood of young kids don’t have to work for an entire day picking 100lbs of coffee beans for the price of a single cappucino at Starbucks.
Of course, the counter argument is – how could a country like Bangladesh pull itself out of semi-dependancy without utilising it’s primary natural resource – it’s abundant manpower – in the world market of goods and services? I think my problem with globalisation is the inequity of it’s application – US/EU producers receiving huge subsidies and tarrif barriers preventing genuine competition, (which I thought was the whole point of globalisation).
I used to buy finger chillies from Tesco at Five Ways, not only ‘cos I’m partial to a bit of chilli with my food but also because they were clearly marked ‘Produce of Bangladesh’. So, I could burn my mouth out every time I bit into a bit of chilli knowing that I was doing my bit for the ‘Old Country’. However, I went to get some the other day only to find that those chillies now proudly boast that they’re the ‘Produce of Botswana’ !!!
What did that mean? I bought some anyway – well I still need my chilli fix – besides, I haven’t got anything against Botswana. I had some … they were fine … infact … they were damfine – I couldn’t fault the chilliworthiness of the fine chillies of Botswana. But what does that mean for the poor chilli growers of Bangladesh? There they were having won this great Tesco contract, they’d probably geared themselves up at immense expense to produce these chillies to Tesco’s exacting standards only to be undercut by Botswana’s chilli growers a few months later.
Great news for the consumers – even better news for Tesco’s but rubbish news for developing nations and their hard working but luckless people.
Oh! I nearly forgot that funny news – apparantly 11 years ago, a consignment of cheaply made Chinese rubber ducks fell off a container ship while on their way to the trendy coffee drinker’s nirvana, Seattle and hilariously, they’re now washing up on the shores of New England.
How I laughed.
[UPDATE: I was in Tescos again, buying chillies – Botswana has lost the contract … to Jordan!]