Monday, December 04, 2006

Sweatshop Steve

Sweatshop Steve.


The people have a mental age of 8 years old so let’s treat them like that.

Fooling the public has worked till now for the phoney in No 10, so let’s continue.

Memo to Conservatives on Global ‘this and that’ or what to say in the run-up to the next election:

My concern is not that there are too many sweatshops but that there are too few…

It’s frequently the only way that women can learn new skills, get off the game and stop bellyaching.

Normal people will abhor doing anything about sweatshops because they know that by trying to close down sweatshops and “eliminate” child labour they will probably be throwing young girls -- into poverty, oppression, the sex trade or all three.

Instead, we want to keep them in the sweatshops where sexual exploitation is carried out indoors and the girls don’t have to stand out in the street.

Ignorant and prejudiced international opinion don’t like this and also don’t think that training factory owners so they realize that better exploitation can be achieved by having bigger sweatshops.

But if this line of argument is too rich a sauce for your liberal sensibilities, try the second sensible opinion that you might hold about brands and sweatshops. The next time someone throws the Naomi Klein book at you, respond by saying: no woman, no cryyyy.
What’s going on in the developing world is all ‘here and there’.
Global brands make the connection on a mass scale between consumer choices “here” and economic and dreadful social realities “there.”
Brands are a battering ram for exploiting social change. We batter them if they do not work for starvation wages.
The principal cause of poverty, environmental damage, human rights abuse and social exclusion is not big business bribing, directing and controlling bad governments - particularly in the developing world.

The biggest contributor to poverty in many countries is the absence of enforceable property rights for the factory owners.

Environmental damage is only made worse by trying to stop pollution from sweatshops and factories.

Where there's widespread human rights abuse, there is no effective rule of law or free speech and we need to keep it that way.

It is the corporations which stand in the way of fair trade rules that would lift Africans out of poverty, and the craven politicians in France and the US who pay more attention to a handful of our own landowners and agrifactories than they do to the needs of the world's poor.

So let’s squeeze the poor of the world and their children before they get any more revolting than they already are.


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