Common Agricultural Policy

Help or trade?

A brother 's advice

Moeletsi MbekiMoeletsi Mbeki On Independence, African and Asian colonies faced two challenges, namely creating domestic political stability and transforming their economies from the production of raw materials to industrial production. Most of Asia achieved this but Africa did not. In sub- Saharan Africa average per capita income is now lower than it was at the end of the 1960s. Competition for economic resources exacerbated ethnic and religious tensions, which had been partly created by the arbitrary drawing of boundaries by the European colonial powers. As a result, most African wars in the past 50 years have been internal ones. Economic growth depends on a strong private sector but African entrepreneurs are prevented from creating wealth by the political élites that control the state. These élites use state controlled marketing boards and taxation to divert agricultural savings, as well as the vast amounts borrowed and given by developed countries, into their own bank accounts and to strengthen their repressive states.

Farm animal welfare

Some animals are more sentient than others

CIWFCIWFThe farm animal charity Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) bases its work on the premise that all animals are 'sentient beings'. This is not surprising but it does mean that organisations that legally recognise this fact should aim to avoid the maltreatment of farm animals. Amazingly, the European Union recognised animal sentience in the Treaty of Rome 1972. However, when one considers the plight of North Sea fish under the Common Fisheries Policy or the introduction of American style hog farms in Eastern Europe, the short, sad life of factory farmed chickens, force-fed geese and so on, one does wonder whether the bureaucrats ever read this section or whether this was translated correctly into 27 languages.

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