Apathy wins the day

A few weeks back Gordon Brown (UK Prime Minister) was asked if company directors and the ‘City’, the latter in terms of continued bonus awards, should pay themselves large dividends and salaries, especially if their companies are not performing to their potential. He suggested that they, ‘the execs’ certainly need to make the call.
I noticed on Tesco’s web site, the following, in terms of their statement on Corporate Responsibility: ‘Our core values ‘no-one tries harder for customers’ and ‘treat people how we like to be treated’ characterise our approach to Corporate Responsibility. We believe we can achieve most when we work together on practical things that make a difference. ‘Every little helps’ can become a great deal when everyone pulls in the same direction.’… Sir Terry Leahy

Quite nice that the statement appears customer centric and I agree that we should all ‘pull together’. Further examination of some of Tesco’s policies reveals that Tesco do have some initiatives for the environment and selective charities.

It would be great if more multi-national organizations could come together to unite their efforts, especially as there is still so much poverty and injustice in the world.
I wonder sometimes if our reaction and attitude to poverty or human right abuses is based on being conditioned to ignore it. Or, simply being passive to news feeds.

Imagine if you have missed a meal because you are busy. It does not take long for your stomach to signal your brain to take action! The rumbling starts and then your performance begins to run down. For many in the world going without food, shoes, shelter or a family, poverty  is an everyday situation. Yet, in another part of the world many countries live in luxury. There has to be something wrong in this world if we have designed a system of such unfairness.

Wonderful programmes such as, ‘The unreported world’ reveal the extent of exploitation by rich countries. A recent programme showed how China is investing heavily in Africa. It showed how African workers are currently being exploited in terms of working conditions and greedy middle agents, simply to gain access to vital resources that are destined for consumer products that the west are hungry for.

Most recently, the peace marches in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) by Buddhist monks was shut down by the country’s military rulers. The world watched silently as the monks were beaten and imprisoned. Myanmar’s supportive countries (e.g: economic traders such as China) fumbled over any influence that they could administer. Ironic, as China is keen to attract visitors to the Olympics in ’08. The United Nations tried to gain resolutions. The US watched. The rest of the world were shut-out. Technology, for example, cell phones and the Internet were blocked from reporting any news. Right now it appears that the Military got away with their abuses, yet again.

Another case of some of the world sitting back watching, ignoring and administering justice where they feel it should be applied.

How long will we sit back and let politicians choose the battles they wish to fight? Should we not all stand together and demand an urgent need for a world initiative to bring about harmonization of living standards and human rights?!

Categories: 2007, Anti-Poverty, Corporate Responsibility, Environmental, Fair trade

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