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The Right does love an ethnic comrade

January 12, 2011

Your cultural, ethnic or religious background should not dictate your place on the political spectrum. It still annoys me when social and economic commentators of non-white, non western descent are paraded around as ‘academic’ and ‘intellectual’ when really they are just ill-informed and unconventional. The idea persists that such individuals exist ‘outside’ of the realms they provide commentary and analysis on. Their views are more acceptable – they are not biased like the people who live happily, without definition, inside.

She does her hair like she does her ecomonics: no concern for her roots

Dambisia Moyo thinks she is such a person. She is silly to think so. She may have been born in Zimbabwe but to me that is the extent of her relationship with the country and African continent.

“I don’t think my background in Zambia has really affected my lens because my classical training has been Western-style,” she tells The Telegraph. “But it’s fantastically fortuitous to have been born African because I don’t feel I have a vested interest to the US or China or wherever”.

She has vested interests. Anyone who works for more than ten years at Goldman, as she did, has a vested interest. If she wants to work in the industry again, she can’t go around painting targets on Republicans, can she?

Her messages are damaging and damning. She says ‘aid is killing Africa’. What rubbish. The problem is not aid, it is implementation. Theft, exploitation and under-development made Africa what it is. What if aid was in the form of infrastructure, rather than cash that lined pockets of selfish leaders? For all her education, her arguments are unsophisticated. Her “classical Western-style” education has made her ignorant of her own conditioning. Calling for the ‘death of charity’ is borderline sinful.

“[…] what relevance is there to a broader economy which has some very serious problems in education and health care?” she asks with reference to bankers’ bonus debates. Bear in mind in the UK banks were bailed out to tune of £131billion. Our deficit is £150billion. How can an ‘economist’ not understand this statistic?

I read recently that Dambisia Moyo is to economics what Aayan Hirsi-Ali is to Islam. I feel sorry for economics.

She criticises the intervention of the state in personal economic welfare over the past 50 years. “There are tons of examples of UK and European mistakes,” she says. “A classic one is pensions”.

Yes, pensions, what a disaster; looking after people who have worked all their lives in their old age. Dambisia thinks this is a stupid idea. I feel sorry for her parents. Economic growth may have slowed in the past five decades, but equating success with the flow of money is like equating drug addiction with happiness. It is not good enough to say a country that has healthy, happy citizens is ‘failing’, because it’s GDP is stable. I would say such a statement is inhumane.

People like Dambisia need to think very carefully about the agendas of the people that give their views the most coverage. People are narrow-minded and the world she exists in is still highly inaccessible to individuals of her background. By advocating their world-views, she is taking a lot for granted.

One Comment leave one →
  1. BrusselsBelle permalink
    January 23, 2011 13:05

    Don’t forget Baroness Warsi for the Conservatives, Michael Steele for the Republicans and doubtless a few others I can’t be bothered to dredge up (oh yeah, the beleagured Lord Taylor!)

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