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Tuesday, 2 August 2005


Good morning Swipesters,

Or at least it was until I looked at the news. I'm sure that many of you are aware of the awful crisis unfolding in Niger. I read the reports in yesterday's Britisher Guardian online and I have forwarded the very moving piece to all my colleagues and friends in DC. We all feel now is the time for the talking to stop and for urgent action on this. You've all seen the pictures and read the reports and now we have to join together to stop this awful tragedy in its tracks. I'm sorry to go all Saint Geldof on you, but this really is beyond the pale and we will be judged by history if we do not act - and act fast.

Just in case you've been avoiding the news, this is what is happening in Niger. Basically, our good friends at the IMF and the World Bank are trying to sort out this craphole of a nation - bringing in free market reforms, destroying the barbaric collectivisim that has struggled to keep the population afloat for centuries and replacing it with an efficient, civilised, western modus operandi. Now, as we all know, you can't just wave a wand at these things and sometimes things have to get a little bit worse before they get better - you know the drill... Iraq wasn't built in a day... Well, the long and the short of it is that as part of the modernising process, the price of grain has become a little bit steep and one or two people have struggled on the daily bread front, - blah blah blah. Hands held high, sure, that's not nice - it's BAD STUFF. But - and you don't need me to tell you this - bad stuff happens.

Cut to the last few weeks and we get a true picture of the horror that is unfolding. Mass media hysteria fuelled by the butting in of those meddlesome, we-told-you-so 'agencies' - Oxfam, MSF, UNICEF - has led to massive donations of money and food aid - the country is quite literally being swamped with food and medicine - and you don't need me to tell you where all this is leading... So now we have a ludicrous situation on our hands. Here we are, trying to create a decent infrastructure in the country so people won't have to queue for weeks to buy crap looking food from unglamourous outdoor markets and those silly do-gooding fools are undoing all our efforts. I mean, don't they realise what's going to happen to the grain market when we start artificially flooding the market place with subsidised US surplus? You got it - a healthy dividend turns into a big fat zero and the chances of finding a Subway within a fifty mile walk becomes once more a pipe dream. And how's any budding entrepreneur going to go about setting up an allnight drugstore or pharmacy when you can stroll to some surrender monkey in a tent and get a month's supply of any drug you fancy for diddly-squat? Sucks, doesn't it?

So, I hope you can all see the true extent of the problem? I mean what's with these Aid agency guys - what planet are they living on? You know, they might as well just take all our hard earned cash and give it all directly to the poor bastards who are starving and they can just stroll in to the local markets (which, incidentally, are all stocked with lots of nice looking food because WE are trying to drag these people up by the bootstraps) and they can pick what they want from the shelves themselves! Just try it, buster!

I hope you can all see how we really have our work cut out here. So, I want you all to click on the link at the top of the page and email your support to the guys at the IMF who are trying to salvage something from this awful scenario. Let them know you will not let a few do-gooders and hungry looking communists plunge Niger back to the days of food shortages and primitive statism. Still worried about what to do with all that disposable cash you've got on your hands? Whatever you do, don't give it to the agencies. Instead, how about a refund for the poor, hard working banks who've just had to swallow the cancellation of the repayments on all the moolah we loaned those guys before... Or you could always buy the new U2 CD....

OK, Let's get to work!

Love on y'all,


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