Monday, June 04, 2007

Boomtown Smells A Rat

Sir Bob Geldolf, offers some unflattering words, directed towards the Harper government:
Canada is blocking an agreement between Group of Eight nations to make concrete commitments on aid to Africa which leaders will negotiate at this week's summit, anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof said on Monday.

He singled out Canada, saying it wanted to block any figures going into the final agreement.

"Canada is the worst culprit in blocking a significant communiqué. All our information says they are refusing point blank to allow concrete figures," Mr. Geldof said. "They are very, very far behind what they said they would do at Gleneagles."

He said Canada needed to contribute $623-million (Canadian) this year to fulfill a promise of doubling aid by 2010 compared with its plans of $160-million.

"Canada is one of the richest countries on the planet," he said. "Why deny life to millions of Africans?"

"Canada is the worst", seems to be a developing theme in the international arena. Making us proud, tarnishing our reputation, lacking compassion.

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On a sidenote, Harper's lack of diplomatic tact on full display again today, this time as it relates to Russia>:
Harper also stressed Canada's economic strength and said its status as an "emerging energy superpower" is enhanced by the fact that, unlike many resource-rich countries, Canada is not "ruled by tyranny and instability."

That remark may be seen by some as a veiled dig at Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose role at the G8 is being called into question by his bitter disputes – some over energy issues – with his European G8 partners.

Harper reminds me of the kid who liked to poke a stick into the hornet's nest, not considering the consequence.

15 comments:

knb said...

"Canada is the worst culprit in blocking a significant communiqué. All our information says they are refusing point blank to allow concrete figures,"

Why?

Was it Lance here the other day that told me this government hadn't done anything to ruin this country? Right.

Steve V said...

"Was it Lance here the other day that told me this government hadn't done anything to ruin this country? Right."

Proving once again, despite the "minority" angle, that a government can do alot of damage, particularly in foreign affairs.

Mark Dowling said...

I'm afraid you might have to choose between endorsing Saint Bob and Al Gore - Geldof launched a rocket against Gore about Live Earth recently - and I don't blame him either, since he raises several questions I have wondered about since Gore announced them in February.

(minor point - Bob Geldof KBE doesn't get a "Sir" as his K is honorary, being an Irish citizen. Lazy newspapers generally stick it on anyway)

Steve V said...

I don't really see Geldof questioning the idea as a slam on Gore, so where is the choice?

Thanks for the British protocol education :)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it embarrassing that Harper continues his slam of the former Liberal government even at international events? Discussing dirty family laundry of you're own country? Remember Rona Ambrose did that at the environment conference?

No other leader has done that - Chretien didn't, Mulroney didn't, Tony Blair didn't, even George Bush hasn't done that.

Harper is pathetic and certainly no statesmen.

Harper seems to think Canada is a superpower country - duh, we only have 33 million people and most countries don't notice us or mention us.

What an a**hole. What an embarrassment.

Steve V said...

anon

These people are instinctively partisan, and they see every venue as opportunity. There is a diplomatic way to convey that Canada has failed, without directly trashing the Liberals, but that would entail class, hardly a Harper virtue.

Olaf said...

You guys are rich.

Seriously, Harper wasn't at Gleneagles, for the record. Harper is not bound to fulfill every commitment that the Liberals made in 13 years and subsequently utterly failed to accomplish, is he? Look at the biggest non-wartime foreign aid drop in Canadian history, guess who was running the government, then start your preaching.

I mean hell. All of a sudden, by basically following the Liberal path on Kyoto and on Foreign Aid, he's the most despicably embarrassing asshole on the planet bent on destroying Canada's reputation?

I mean, I'm not a big fan of Harper, less and less so in fact, but it's the self-righteous, moralizing condemnation of Liberals that drives me to absolute distraction. I know you all don't like him, but a little perspective would be nice.

Olaf said...

Sorry, kinda blew up there - I've calmed down.

Here is my point: if you want to make the argument that Harper isn't doing enough on foreign aid, please do. I would fully support it. For years I've had an idealistic personal policy to vote for any party that has a chance of governing and provides a time table to meet Canada's 0.7% commitment, and a realistic plan to improve the efficacy of Canada's aid to Africa. So I'm completely on board for a reasonable criticism in that regard.

But to somehow suggest that it's Harper who has sullied the good Canadian name, because the Chretien/Martin duo actually cut foreign aid and made a promise on their way out the door to increase it which they never fulfilled, is absurd.

knb said...

but that would entail class, hardly a Harper virtue.

Indeed. Beyond that though, it really shows what neophytes they are. The more seasoned politicians around him obviously won't comment, but you can bet that he is doing more to damage the "heft" he's trying to portray with such idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Geldof wants half a billion dollars from Canada!

To put it simply - screw him and his stupid ideas.

Well over 500 billion dollars has been spent by the West in Africa over the past decades - for nothing.

Africans would ultimately be far better off without 'welfare for dictators' programs.

Geldof is an idiot who does not have the guts to address any of the real issues affecting Africa.

Susan said...

Thank you Anonymous #1. yes I am profoundly embarassed that the little whiny wart is out there bleating about how it's not his fault. So low rent!!

Steve V said...

olaf

I don't have to defend every Liberal action or inaction of the past decade, because well, I wasn't a Liberal and that really has nothing to do with this government's apparent stonewalling. The only question of relevance, in the now, why is our government blocking this initiative?

anon

I take you comment seriously, because it is obvious that you understand idiots, intimately apparently.

Platty said...

Amazing that you would dedicate an entire post to the comments made by an ex punk rodent who, it would seem, has the ability to time travel in order to obtain his "facts". Either that or Bob still has some really good "connections".....

Steve V said...

platty

Geldof has dedicated himself to this cause, and has a great deal of influence, as evidenced by the fact that this story is worldwide news (see Reuters). Bob does have "connections". why wouldn't he, he's involved??

lance said...

Bono complaining about Martin skipping his commitment; Geldolf complains about Harper skipping Cretien's commitment.

The more things change, knb, the more things stay the same.

Cheers,
lance