Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Past is a Foreign Country

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there", said L. P. Hartley in The Co Between.

It may have been only six years ago but nobody had said 'Me Too' and organisations did not have the word 'safeguarding' as the title to a document attached to every action.

Now nobody wants to condone the actions of bad people who have done bad things but we need to be very cautious about judging folk by today's standards for their behaviour conducted in the past when different standards were the societal norm.

The Oxfam affair is particularly disturbing, not so much because their past internal governance did not meet today's standards, but because of the attack on their integrity by such a wide range of establishment players. The fact that it was sparked by Rod Liddle writing in The Times should, of itself, have sounded warning bells.

Two blog pieces from Richard Murphy make essential reading. Please read them:

11th February

12th February

Now an important thing to note, just a few days after Jacob Rees-Mogg launched his campaign of opposition to foreign aid, is that Oxfam, of all the big aid charities, has been to the fore in pointing out what is wrong with the world. And it does not make happy reading for many in the British establishment and the UK Government in particular, since their findings directly confront government policy.

Here are some examples:

Reward Work, Not Wealth: To end the inequality crisis, we must build an economy for ordinary working people, not the rich and powerful.

Safe but Not Settled: The impact of family separation on refugees in the UK

Write to Your MP:
Stop Uk Arms Sales Fuelling Sufferring in Yemen
Please do click the links and see what Oxfam have been up to.

There is plenty more: Oxfam publications.

Now is it really any wonder that the Oxfam is not the Government's favourite NGO? There must many people who would be very keen to see Oxfam's reputation trashed. A six-year old prostitution scandal, long dealt with by the sacking of the perpetrators, has given the real bad boys an opportunity to further their fell work.

Let us defend Oxfam. I'm off to the local shop to stock up on Divine chocolate.