Samuel Johnson never spoke truer than when he said that a man is never more innocently employed than in the pursuit of money. The pursuit of principle is an infinitely more corrupting thing.
Not saying Peston is corrupt or anything when he ‘reports’….
The BBC’s Robert Peston pushes Labour’s inequality narrative….along with the NHS, Labour’s central themes in its election campaign….so when the BBC day in day out ‘investigates’ these subjects and keeps them in the public eye and tries to build an atmosphere of ‘you may feel you’re doing OK but you know what…you’re really in terrible straits and heading for disaster’ you might justifiably suspect some ulterior motive.
‘Inequality’ does seem to have become a major issue that the BBC wants to tackle for some reason…Peston making his Labour Party Patsy of the Year bid as he presents …
…a powerful argument for why the widening gap between the rich and poor, in wealth and income, is bad for everyone – even the super wealthy, unless that is they never want to leave their fortified, hermetically sealed, lavishly appointed bunkers.
Here Peston combines his profile rasing exercise with his push for world government….
“We could have developed a vaccine for Ebola years ago if we had chosen to allocate the resources to the appropriate research”.
That is what a senior and respected medical scientist, a man who would be seen as a world authority on such matters, said to me.
So why wasn’t the cure found?
The relevant research didn’t happen because Ebola was seen for a long time to be a disease only of the poor, especially in Africa – and therefore the giant pharmaceutical manufacturers couldn’t see how to make big money out of an Ebola medicine.
Today of course it is clear that Ebola is a global threat – and hence there is a mad rush to find a treatment.
The trouble is that’s nonsense as we’ve shown before....there was no major need for an Ebola vaccine….it has been controlled by simple measures such as isolation and movement restrictions….and in 40 years only 1700 people or so have died from it, around 45 a year. A nasty disease for those who get it but the fact that so few get it and relatively few die suggests that huge investment in producing a cure is not productive when the money could be spent on other illnesses and diseases that kill vastly more people such as malaria….
There were an estimated 627 000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2012
About 3.2 billion people – almost half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria. In 2013, there were about 198 million malaria cases (with an uncertainty range of 124 million to 283 million) and an estimated 584 000 malaria deaths (with an uncertainty range of 367 000 to 755 000). Increased prevention and control measures have led to a reduction in malaria mortality rates by 47% globally since 2000 and by 54% in the WHO African Region.
Peston isn’t reporting he’s campaigning…
‘….the jaw-dropping pace and scale of how a century of narrowing inequalities has gone into dramatic reverse.
To be clear, Oxfam’s claim today that by 2016 the richest 1% could own as much or the same as the bottom 99% is not wildly implausible.
Trouble is there’s little in the way of real thought, analysis or nuance…he’s just peddling Oxfam’s and Labour’s narrative.
The Spectator has a look under the covers…what Oxfam and the BBC’s Peston don’t want you to know….
The hijacking of Oxfam by the politicised left is nothing short of a tragedy. It’s heartbreaking to see a charity that has built up so much goodwill from so many people being used by activists as a vehicle for global class war. As a result, Oxfam is switching its focus away from global poverty towards something very different: wealth inequality.
It has today come up with some questionable figures suggesting that the richest 1 per cent will soon own over 50 per cent of the wealth.
BBC Radio earlier had someone on from Oxfam saying that the shocking wealth of the 1pc stood alongside the fact that ‘one in nine’ go to bed hungry. Oxfam wants you to believe that the two are somehow linked. There is a link between wealth and global poverty – the more of the former, the less of the latter.
It’s true that one in nine (about 12 per cent) of the world is undernourished. But what Oxfam does not say is that this rate has plummeted since global capitalism really took (i.e., off after the fall of the Berlin Wall). The United Nations has been keeping tabs on this – below (link: pdf).
Of course, hunger is only one of the killers of the world’s poor. How is all of this inequality that Oxfam complains about affecting the others? Answer: global prosperity is being converted into better medicine and healthcare for those who need it the most. Chinese investment in Africa is now a major factor in helping Africans do things for themselves.
Global poverty is falling because people are doing it for themselves – with the helping hand of free trade. Oxfam prefers to think of people as helpless, waiting for its handouts. Its posters reinforce damaging stereotype images (see above), which damage the dignity of Africans as well as belittle their own achievements.
PS And Oxfam is also wrong to scream about an “inequality explosion” – things may have been getting worse for the last two or three years but the longer view is of global inequality falling. (hat tip: John Rentoul).