Planetniles

Where the weather is always mercurial.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Today I have mostly been political

I received a letter this morning from my local MP. I'd contatcted him late last year on behalf of Oxfam, after I had signed up to their Big Noise Campaign. It was just prior to the WTO meeting in Hong Kong and I asked my MP to speak to Alan Johnson, UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and emphasise a general concern regarding how the poorer nations of the world are treated by the ritcher when it comes to trade.

I'd received a standard response, via snail mail, a few days later and thought little of it.

Well today I received another dead-tree letter only this one appeared to be hand signed and covered another letter, one from the DFID, specifically Hilary Benn, the Secretary for State. It covered details of what the government had done for the nations effected by the Boxing Day Tsunami. Now that's all well and good; I'm proud of my fellow Brits and their reaction to the disaster, indeed I'm proud of my government and I don't say that very much at all.

However that wasn't what I wanted to hear about; I want to hear from the government about the almost complete lack of progress towards Fair Trade that the WTO made at Hong Kong. So I emailed my MP back, thanked him for his missive, and politely reminded him of my original concerns. I'm cursing myself for not including my snail-mail address but we'll see what response we get.

So I was sitting there patting myself on the back when a box of sweets arrived. A two kilo box of a number of different sweets that I'd ordered the following evening from A Quarter Of... a splendid online sweetshop that I heartily recommend to everyone. However it struck me that I had no idea where the ingredients that composed my Pistachio Turkish Delights came from, or if my Chocolate Coated Banana Chips were covered in African or American coccoa. So I wrote to A Quarter Of and asked them if they could start putting FairTrade infomation on their website along with the dietry information they already display. Well we shall see what their reponse is.

Finally I'm on here dropping some pretty unsubtle hints about my political inclinations. Oh well time to get off the soap box. Until next time anyway.

Be seeing you.

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