Monday, July 04, 2005

Fourth of July

Here from The Times is an extract from an interview with George Bush that is going to appear on UK television tonight.

Asked directly if America would drop its subsidy system if the EU abandoned the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Mr Bush said: 'Absolutely. And I think we have an obligation to work together to do that.

'Because if we do achieve this business of free trade, and if markets in the West are opened up to countries in Africa, they could be so successful, they could eliminate the need for aid. The benefits that have come from opening up markets - our markets to them and their markets to us - far outweigh the benefits of aid.'

This is an extraordinary and profound gesture, that could genuinely contribute to making poverty history (even if it is a bit rich coming after 2002/3's EU US steel tarrif spat). Yet what is the headline of the lead story on the BBC news page at this moment, a story about the same interview? Bush rejects Kyoto-style G8 deal. Is it any wonder that I loathe the BBC so?

The Right Honourable Peter Benjamin Mandelson is currently European Commissioner for Trade. Does he have the stature to rise to this opportunity and challenge do you think?

No comments: