Did you know the commodity speculation of food is a thing? It means the buying-up and withholding of global food reserves in the hope that their value will increase over time. It means allowing people to die while the prospects of your profits increase. This happens. The stock exchange doesn’t have a conscience.
And let us also as an act of love and responsibility levy a tax of 0.7pc on all the multinational companies that are working in Ireland.
The headquarters of these great corporations may be here and the people working for them in this part of the world may be drawing down great wages but somewhere along the line, in most of them, lots of people are working long and unkind hours for f**k all.
The profits of these companies depend hugely on this cheap labour. Our consumerist way of life depends hugely on this cheap labour but consumerism now needs to grow up and take responsibility for the consequences of its actions.
The tax taken from this new levy should also go to overseas development assistance.
The people of Somalia are asking for help. I met a man sitting outside a makeshift latrine in the camp. We got talking. He’d just arrived with his wife and family after walking for days and days through the heat on an empty stomach
I came with my children and wife from another region because we had no food. I left behind a small farm. I had no livestock just crops. The profits from that farm had to be shared by all my relatives but it was not enough… Two or three years ago I lost a few children. One died of hunger and another died from illness and health problems.
I asked him did he ever think when he was growing up that his life would turn out like this?
“No,” he said. “I am facing the reality and am ready to be a father and provide for my family as long as I can get help. I will go wherever, whatever the distance to get help. I will move again if I have to. Only God knows what the future knows. Only he knows the reason we had to move away. Maybe it will rain again and life will be better. We are surviving on what others give us. That is how we are living.”
“In as much as you did it to the least of my brothers, you did it to me” is a quote from the New Testament. It’s included in a story of God addressing the world at the end of time. He says it to those who helped feed the hungry, clothe the naked and those who took in the stranger. And he said it to those who didn’t.
We have a decision to make.
The Irish Emergency Alliance, which includes Trócaire, has launched an appeal for the Horn of Africa. Donations to this urgent appeal can be made through IrishEmergencyAlliance.org or by calling 1800 939 979
The stand-up performer travelled to east Africa with Trócaire and saw for himself the devastation caused by four seasons of drought. In an article in the Sunday Independent he writes that it’s high time Ireland fulfilled a 0.7pc commitment to overseas aid