Welcome to my monthly column “A view from the top”. Hopefully you will find my rambling readable (maybe even enjoyable). You may agree or you may disagree with my views, I care not. These are my views long held and forged over a life time of work, travel and experience. Now that’s over let’s have a look at what is really winding me up.
Globalisation ...Neo Libralism and all that.
Rather heavy stuff for the June edition of the QF Focus and if economics is not your bag then I apologise in advance... however economics on some sort of level is my bag and, that being so I thought I would spend a few lines outlining some concepts that impact on our every day lives via economics, and its place in our, and our children's lives. The terms Globalisation and Neo-Liberalism are used to describe the "opening up of the World to the flow of ideas and capital across nation borders". In other words making the whole World a giant market place. What has this to do with me I hear you say! ...well put simply if you are a purchaser ...a buyer of goods and services, then you are the target audience of the Neo-Liberal forces. The question is one of how far "we" the market, are prepared to go as societies in allowing these drivers of economic growth to expand. To fund this growth many people around the world who do the work have been said to have been taken out of poverty via this expanded workplace. In Myanmar for example some local people have to work seven days a week to earn 2 Dollars 50 cents a day ...this pay rate effectively takes the workers out of poverty as defined by the organisations who actually pay the rate. They would say that would they not! More work as Globalisation opens the world up should be a good thing... however if profits go up and wage rates do not, how can people be said to have improved their lives? The coming issues in terms of technological change are massive for the world's working population. Put simply, jobs will go due to new technology ...robots and robotic innovation are expected to cost up to 38% of jobs in the United States and 11% of jobs in the United Kingdom. The question therefore must be "what happens next in a Globalised ...Neo-Liberal world to the "world of work" ...What is the future for our children? Over to you dear reader.
Big Game Hunting.
Over my time writing for the QF Focus I have, from time to time tried to highlight the shocking way that humans interact with the natural World ...from the Japanese fishing fleet slaughtering whales, using scientific research as a cover for breaking whale fishing rules, to the criminal slaughtering of migrating birds as they fly over Malta towards breeding grounds.
The acts of humans toward nature and the natural World seemingly has no level to which it will not sink below. National Geographic magazine has published figures that show that there are estimated to be about 20,000 lions left in Africa when 50 years ago the number was estimated at 450,000...a decline of 95%. The number of elephants in Africa is estimated at 300,000 with about 40,000 being killed each year. You do not have to be Einstein to see that at this rate lions and elephants will not be around much longer. Big game hunting does not have any economic advantage to the population it happens within ...in fact nature tourism generates 15 times more for local communities than does game trophy hunting. Quite simply the mantra of wildlife tourism should be that "you can only shoot wildlife with a camera". Having just written this piece I have just read that a big game hunter who was leading a group of Americans (it's mostly Americans who kill for trophies) on a hunt was killed after a wounded elephant that his party had shot fell on him and killed him. As a tribute to her father several days later his daughter published a photograph of her posing with her now dead father over the dead body of a shot gazelle. No comment from me, the story says it all.
Manchester 22nd May 2017.
I was woken by the shrill of the mobile phone to peruse a message that said "don't worry we were nowhere near the bomb"...My first thoughts were what bomb? This of course was the shocking news of the sick and cowardly bombing of mostly children within the Manchester arena. One part of our immediate family live in Manchester and indeed our granddaughter is of just the sort of age that would have made her a potential fan of this type of generational music. Our sympathy along with others goes out to all the families of the victims of this senseless act. One thing however that troubles me is why are people who have been running around the middle east in support of a death cult allowed to wander around Britain's towns and cities. Surely for the defence of the population, people known to have such links should be behind bars.