Tag Archives: Development

Is Wolfowitz going native?

The World Bank’s 2006 World Development Report (download the report here and the overview here) provides at least some evidence that Bush crony and super-hawk Paul Wolfowitz hasn’t taken advantage of the top job to wreck the place or to overturn the bank’s commitment to the planet’s poor. It’s hardly evidence that Wolfowitz has ‘gone native’ but I’m pretty sure that his job at the World Bank can’t help but influence the man. Could the World Bank actually change Paul Wolfowitz more than he changes the bank?

What’s wrong with Live 8?

Smug, patronising, reductive, counter-productive. Nauseating, clapped-out (McCartney? Sting? The Who?), bullying, sentimental, phoney, boring. Recycling twenty year-old images of suffering people. Providing no insight at all into African subjectivity – ambitions, desires, success stories. No new ideas at all (hold on: Sail 8. That was new) – at least nothing that other people hadn’t spent years coming up with, without Sir Bob’s help (like Oxfam’s Make Poverty History campaign).

Clueless, egomaniac artists hugging random Africans. Witless celebrity liggers congratulating each other incoherently on the telly. An ugly, opportunistic media consensus that seems to embrace the entire mainstream media (enough pull-out-and-keep supplements to sink a battleship).

Africans insulted and demeaned – literally excluded by Geldof’s arbitrary sales cut-off (“Welcome to Cornwall, losers!”). A continent reduced to yesterday’s basket-case imagery projected behind yesterday’s rock stars. I’m sorry. I can’t help it. Does this make me a bad person?