Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Abdication of the mandate to care

Independent Online Edition > Legal : app3

It seems this morning's main blog went astray after all and since it is authored directly online I have no backup. Another work of art lost to prosterity! But seriously, I'll try to recap starting with this link which tells the tale of a woman subjected to legal procedeures where the health service should obviously have addressed the matter.

Today is actually the 57th anniversary of Britain's National Health Service opeing its doors. Despite an attempt around 20 years ago to start closing it doors (under the Thatcher regime) it continues to function, albeit behind a wall of beaurocracy and absurdly-censored online communications. (A friend of mine runs a sexual health section and can't even receive any email with the word "sex" in it!) In all the talk of foreign aid, one should remind the powers that be that charity begins at home and they have a duty of care to all citizens - not just those with an economic value. A rule that extends to the global stage too.

China has been invited to join in the G8 talks, so for some of the time it will be a G9. This is good news since, despite having a seriously less-than-democratic government, the Chinese have ended a huge amount of their own poverty whilst also allowing their state-owned corporations to engage in market-driven policies. These tactics have now extended to the point that they are one of the few superpowers actually investing in Africa (in return for energy resources) and employing local labour to do it while also putting affordable produce on the native shelves. Their industrial base is also encouraged to take over multi-national corporations and they have done this with a vengence - last week even mading inroads into the US economy itself. They should be brought into the fold if this international summit is to have any credibility at all.

Sadly, it look like rising oil prices will now take over the focus of the talks. Any European-based consensus could be marred by the recent trading of insults by Britain and France in their efforts to secure the Olympic franchise, but since we'll know the outcome tomorrow morning it may fade into the background as the real business starts. Richard Branson has flown into Edinburgh with an entourage of entertainment stars to join the protesters, but the peaceful demonstrations are already being marred by minority rioting. Bush will be arriving with a replacement for standard golfing arena at Gleneagles - it's called an "Obstacle Course" by all accounts.


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