Amid the latest attacks on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, there’s one important announcement from his party that you may have missed.
Her announcement suggested prioritising global justice over charity, with a “truly feminist” approach.
Justice vs charity
The shadow secretary said:
The Tories want aid to be about charity, not global justice. They want to defend the way the world is now, with all its injustices and vested interests, rather than transform it.
The Canary asked the Conservative Party for a response to that comment, but had received nothing by the time of publication.
Osamor also insisted that it’s:
time to wrest back control from the aid industry and put power back in the hands of people and communities.
And she stressed that Labour would:
put an end to an incoherent policy that means British-made bombs continue to fall on Yemen while we are sending £200m of aid to that very country.
Today I launched a new plan for government. Labour wants a world that works for the many, not the few. pic.twitter.com/rPDW7mzQda
— Kate Osamor (@KateOsamor) March 26, 2018
As Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, today I launch my plan to transform the global economy, tackle systemic inequality, poverty and climate change: with a feminist approach. #WorldForTheMany pic.twitter.com/jjWnFZUPGn
— Kate Osamor (@KateOsamor) March 26, 2018
In the policy paper, Labour says [pdf, p7]:
To serve the twin goals of reducing poverty and inequality, Labour will deliver on five key and connected priorities:
1. A fairer global economy
2. A global movement for public services
3. A feminist approach to development
4. Building peace and preventing conflict
5. Action for climate justice and ecology
Deal with the structural problems
But this latest paper is not the first time Labour has called for structural change rather than sticking plasters.
In 2017, Labour MP David Lammy wrote:
A 5% rise in developing countries’ share of world exports would generate $350bn – seven times as much as they receive in aid
And he added that:
profit-shifting by multinational companies costs developing nations $100bn a year that they could spend on education, infrastructure and public services.
Profit-shifting or ‘transfer pricing’ is trade between two financial entities that are part of the same multinational group. Corporations then manipulate internal payments in order to avoid paying tax. Meanwhile, African countries lose an estimated £40bn a year in illegal outflows and price manipulation.
Lammy advocated allowing local companies and public bodies to gain control of their own resources, rather than the current situation where:
we silently acquiesce to global corporations’ asset-stripping of poorer nations.
“He who feeds you, controls you.”
He who feeds you, controls you.
Sankara opposed foreign aid, along with the financial assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. He oversaw an impressive increase in schooling, healthcare, and infrastructure in Burkina Faso – until his assassination and replacement with a pro-Western austerity regime.
If the predatory behaviour of global corporations and rich states stopped, developing countries wouldn’t need aid. Currently, corporations essentially profit from poverty and then give a small amount of money back as ‘charity’. And talk of aid obscures any discussion of institutional inequality or injustice.
So Labour and Kate Osamor are right. In order to achieve lasting relief for the world’s population, we need to address the structural problems, and truly “put power back in the hands of people and communities”.
Featured image via Sophie Brown/Wikimedia Commons
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?