For decades, the dominant image of Africa has been that it is poor and helpless. This image is wrong. Most people in Africa may be poor, but the continent itself is one of the richest in terms of natural resources. Far from being helpless and dependent on our help, Africa pays more money to rich countries than it receives in aid. We need to face up to the uncomfortable truth: Africa is aiding us.
11 November 2015
It seems difficult to believe that the US would happily allow the EU to dictate the rules of TTIP by agreeing to Europe’s higher environmental and food safety standards. Unpicking the European Commission's reassuring narrative about TTIP shows some fundamental flaws in logic.
Inequality doesn’t matter because the poor are getting richer. This is the story the political and economic elite at Davos would like us to believe. But this story is a fantasy. The reality is that while executive pay goes through the roof, there are more people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa than ever before.
Our political elites say they love the private sector because it’s so much more efficient than the public sector. But the truth is that the private sector only works by scrounging billions of pounds of public money in the form of subsidies and support. This shows that it is the corporate elite, not the poor, who are the real scroungers in our society.
Economic growth is the panacea of our age. All too often, the strategy for fighting poverty can be summed up in just three letters: GDP. But growth, while important, isn’t enough. Unless action is taken to ensure that the poor get their fair share, simply making the economic pie bigger is a terribly inefficient way of reducing poverty.
Toilet paper shortages, bread queues, black markets, North Korea – we are told that all of these things are what we face if we abandon free trade. But the truth is very different. Some of the countries that have most zealously pursued free trade have suffered while others who have resisted opening up their markets have done very well indeed.
Aid isn’t working. Instead of helping to rectify injustice, aid is being used to support multinational corporations, build shopping centres and force poor countries to privatise their public services. Aid urgently needs to stop being a corporate cash cow and start being used as a radical tool for real justice and social change.
30 June 2015
19 June 2017
Today is world refugee day. Here in Scotland we'll be gathering in George Square in Glasgow for a symbolic action to show that refugees and migrants are welcome here. We're also calling out the UK tabloid press for the toxic myths they peddle on migration - and we've made a set of myth-busting infographics to illustrate just how far from reality the tabloid headlines really are.
09 March 2019
The environmental movement in the Global North needs to address the elephant in its white and middle-class room – the myth of overpopulation as a driver of climate extinction. For too long, it has allowed this perception, fuelled by the relics of eugenics and racism, to flourish, thinking that ‘more mouths to feed’ automatically means a ravishing of the planet’s resources to the full.
08 February 2016
A farming revolution is being driven in Africa and is affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of rural African families. A magic formula has been devised with ambitions to modernise their agriculture, raise their incomes, develop their countries’ economies and (so the logic goes) to eliminate their hunger and poverty. For farmers this ‘green revolution’ involves taking a leap of faith from traditional methods to using seeds and chemical fertilisers provided by multinationals like Monsanto to feed urban and international markets.
We live in the age of big finance. Despite the 2008 crash exposing the dangers of handing over too much power to bankers, more and more of our lives are influenced by the whims of the stock market. Now plans are in place to create markets in nature itself. But if we look at the facts, the evidence shows that we should reconsider our blind faith in the ability of markets to solve the world’s problems.
World leaders and business executives met at Davos in January to discuss how they want to run our economy - in their own best interests. We're led to believe that without their entrepreneurial talent that we would all be worse off than we are now. The myths of this elite class have become so deeply engrained in society, that it can be difficult to challenge the power that they hold. So we've collected 7 myths to show that in reality, things are quite different...
In January ‘the great and the good’ meet in Davos, Switzerland to discuss how the world is changing, and how corporate executives and senior politicians should respond to these changes. At this meeting, these important people spend a great deal of time convincing each other that they are creating a more prosperous world than we’ve ever seen in history. Without their business practices, their overseas investments, their entrepreneurial talent and their philanthropy, you would easily imagine that we would all be much worse off.