imperfect | world | 2010

Archive for September, 2008

Tuesday
Sep 30,2008

My Fellow Americans,

It grieves me to see the livelihood of decent ordinary Americans, folk who pay off their mortgages and file their tax returns every April 15, threatened by the behaviour of irresponsible people in the financial sector. That is why I am planning to take the money away from ordinary Americans and give it to those irresponsible people. Because capitalism and democracy is the best system of government in the world, and you can’t have capitalism without irresponsible people in the financial sector.

In normal circumstances I believe that companies which are managed badly should be allowed to go bust. But these are not normal circumstances. The market is not working, as people have lost confidence in the system. That is why, so that ordinary decent people will still be able to get credit to buy homes and pay their children through college, I must take all their money and give it to these very well paid people who mismanaged their companies. Because these are not ordinary people in normal circumstances who use monkey wrenches and stuff and can be allowed to lose their jobs as firms go bust. These are rich folk like me. Society needs rich folk, so unless you give away all your money to these very rich people now, you will end up poor and without a pension and you will die alone and miserable.
This is not like taking money for medical insurance or welfare. I can assure you none of this money will be wasted on poor people, and hardly any of it on black people. So unless we build a bipartisan consensus and you give all your money to me to redistribute to the extremely rich, the plain truth is you will end up poor.

Thank you.

George W Bush

Repost from Craig Murray

See my post from yesterday re how some research work of the IMF is also against a bail out.

USA is great after all!

Monday
Sep 29,2008

As the news comes in from the House of Reps rejection of the bail I can’t help but feel that the IMF is an institution that has been ignored too long. They have been warning Gordon Brown for a long time and if they had been allowed to, they would have criticised what was happening in the US as well.  Mr Brraaawck Obama, the great Democrat messiah, needs to do his homework a bit and read this report by the IMF:

In brief, Merrill Lynch’s economists suggest that the United States should move quickly to declare certain banks “survivors” and put the others out of their misery.

Friday
Sep 26,2008

Some of you will remember the time when British curry houses up and down the land would sell a starter called “Bombay duck.” Then in the late 90s, the European Union got jittery about cholera and bacterial contamination and banned the import of dried fish from the sub-continent. The ban was reversed but Bombay Duck never really made it back on to the menu. Indeed some “Indian”  grocers (read Bangladeshi)  will still tell you that the product is banned when, as far i know, it is not. However Shootki or Shutki or bombay duck or dried fish is creeping back in other ways. And the reincarnation in the form of bottled powders is very exciting if a little uneven as yet.

You have all probably smiled at the Shutki Raja ad on TV ( that is satellite bangla tv). Well i bought a bottle and tried it, and the smile was soon wiped off my face. It was tasteles and I reckon the garlic content of the bottle is so excessive it is sufficient to cure Aids and ward off dracula at the same time.  That is not however the case with Jellyman’s fish powder. Available in a taller, more majestic looking bottle than the squat Shutki Raja bottle, the powder is absolutely delish. My favoured method of cooking it is to sautee some onions and then pile on the powder until you have a nice consistency and the softened onion slices are hidden. Sprinkle some coriander etc. Oh one thing - the label curiously reads ‘with mild chilli powder.” That is as mad as calling George Bush an intelligent human being. It is NOT mild. It is hot. Well, it makes my balding head sweat anyway….Jellyman’s fish is a Thai product made from Cobia fish. It is distributed by Jellyman’s  and they say their aim is to

transform the Halal food distribution industry throughout Europe by providing new, exciting, vibrant and innovative products that meet the fundamental needs of our valued customers, make children happy and provide their families with high quality, great tasting products that consistently give excellent value for money.

Indeed. It won’t cure aids or ward off vampires but by gum is it good.

Dhaka City Corporation

Thursday
Sep 25,2008

15 months overdue…still no salary. From The Guardian yesterday. Andrew Biraj/Reuters.

See more of Andrew Biraj’s work HERE.

Tuesday
Sep 23,2008

is THIS ONE by raghead Sultan Al Qassemi. It is a cracker. Bangladesh is thrown in with Pakistan for no discernible reason apart from the fact that it was once East Pakistan and possesses characteristics shared by many third world countries. India is not even a player in the hypothetical drama.

All reasonable and progressive people think the 1947 partition was a disaster but the premise for this nonsense article is out of this world. Too much riding about in the hot sun on a camel could explain it I guess.

Please email the tea-towel wearing moron at sultan.alqassemi@gmail.com and tell him what a cretin he is. Oh make sure you read the thing entirely…there is a punch line of sorts at the end. It is a gem. Surely there must be some blogging award for clowns like this one?

Monday
Sep 22,2008

The brutal practice  of the British continues to this day in the tea plantations of India in terms of sourcing labour. You will remember, if you had the right kind of teacher, that the Brits tried all the tricks of the trade to generate a proletariat for the tea gardens. In the end, and adopting the lessons from sugar, rubber and indigo,  they settled for migrant labour from other parts of India. This allowed the Brits to impose the relations of production that suited them.

Migrant labour is still good for exploitation to this day. And sadly trafficked child labour also.

Not less than 10,000 people, mostly children are trafficked into the Northeast with a good number smuggled in from Bangladesh, Nepal and other South East Asian countries, surveys by NGOs reveal.

Most of those trafficked are then engaged as cheap labour in coal mines of Meghalaya, tea gardens in Assam and prostitution.

Saturday
Sep 20,2008

The Bangladeshi government has suddenly realised that the hundreds of thousands of its citizens who are forced to leave home and work abroad are worthy of their attention. Sadly it is not to safeguard worker rights in hostile foreign environments …but to make sure that the fragile rights workers do have back home are taken away! How nice eh?  To this end, the foreign ministry and the inaccurately named Department of Expatriate Welfare (!) have apparently been dreaming up a raft of draconian measures. Here are a couple which are mentioned in a Daily Star Report

  • Migrants workers are to be finger printed and open to prosecution should they abscond from work in the lucrative markets of Europe.

Labour is after all another commodity and the BD government wishes to ensure that the markets view this Bangladesh commodity favourably. Never mind finding out about the incentive structures which lead people to abscond…just make sure you have modern-day bonded labour and if the buggers do do a runner then make life bloody uncomfortable for them. How inspired of this noble, people-friendly government!

  • Labour “guardians” will have to pay a bond of “Tk 10 lakh and fixed deposit receipt of Tk 1 lakh to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training.”

A nice little earner for the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training from the skilled and semi-skilled market, no?  Yes, and there is more :  the Bangladesh government is also to become a labour dalal because government officials are to be “engaged in the process of selecting workers for overseas jobs.”  We all know what that means and what it is a recipe for, don’t we?

READ THE DAILY STAR ARTICLE HERE

Friday
Sep 19,2008

The Jordanian garment industry seems to be going through a rocky period.  Never the best of employers even during bouyant periods (see my previous posts HERE and HERE AND HERE), this particular story concerns a Jordanian factory owner ( Qudorat Garment Company) who abruptly exited the kindgom and left all his workers, including 321 Bangladeshis, in the lurch. Nice one mate, I hope they find you one of these days and make you wear one of your dresses when you go on trial.

READ MORE HERE

Wednesday
Sep 17,2008

Gurkhas  accused ministers of a dishonourable failure to reciprocate their loyalty by refusing to let the Nepalese infantrymen settle in the country for which they had risked their lives in battle.

Joanna Lumley - now she is always interesting….

Yunus embarassment again - today!

  • Filed under: labour
Thursday
Sep 4,2008

yunus

The Grameen Phone and Telenor scandal which blew up in May this year is about to rear its head and once again humiliate Bangladesh’s nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus. Tom Heinemann’s documentary exposed the unacceptable and dangerous working conditions found in operations run by Grameen Phone. And today, Norwegian TV will show an interview with Yunus concerning the sub-contracting that goes on in his company. Grameen often uses “illegal sub-contractors” who have no health and safety standards in place. Telenor will be shown admitting the problem. Yunus will be putting the blame on Telenor…though according to the journalist at NRK, he “feels ashamed.”

You can see the interview directly at http://www.nrk.no and then go to nett-tv and find “Dagsrevyen” at 19:00 ( Norwegian time).

UPDATE: THE DAILY STAR

Short termism in Bangladesh football

  • Filed under: Misc
Thursday
Sep 4,2008

As some of the world cup qualifiers get underway this weekend, I am thinking about the remarkable management style of the Bangladesh Football Federation. Remarkable in its short-sightedness that is. We haven’t qualified even at the pre-qualification stage for the World Cup in 2010 but there are other local tournaments coming up (Mardeka cup in Malaysia for example) and you wonder why you would give a coach a three and a half month contract ( as they have done to Shafiqul Islam Manik)? The reason given is that Bangladesh has had a lot of grief with local coaches and so an evaluation period is required. They seem to not understand that successful coaching takes a little longer than 3.5 months…. Since Argentinian Diego Cruciani was sacked for slapping an Indian referee ( is that not grief of sorts also), the national team have not known stability. You would think that with the recent injection of money from CityCell the matbors in the federation would take a serious look at the game and its management? Not yet it seems.

Anyway, I shall be waving the flag for a crushing win by England against Andorra this saturday. But no doubt it won’t happen or at least not a “crushing win.” Cuba are playing the USA. That should be fun. France - i shall be watching Nasri’s performance keenly. And South Africa versus Nigeria - will the super eagles crush the host country. Maybe SA need a wake up call?

Pakistan - “land of the pure”

  • Filed under: Asia
Monday
Sep 1,2008

Pakistan - it means “land of the pure.” Shooting and burying alive young women is an interesting take on purity.