Defending the Beeb
I would agree with any assessment which criticised the conventional images portrayed — particularly on commercial television. But the BBC has made great efforts to present the views of various minority groups in Britain and should be given credit for this. It is notable that almost all criticism of the political content of the BBC either comes from the far left or the far right — which would seem to attach bias to those factions rather than the BBC.
One could give other examples to disprove the contention that the nuclear family is a Western concept not known to the world outside and may be dispensed with.
Relationships in Nigeria, as in many other countries in The South, are bonds with social, economic and religious obligations. In urbanised Lagos it is not uncommon to see a cyclist dismount to curtsey if a senior member of the family happens
to be coming from the opposite direction, as the custom and the status adjoin — just as a Swedish child is taught to curtsey when introduced to a senior person.
Proof of the pudding
Consumer goods such as television sets and washing machines are in evidence in some homes of the well-established Kibbutzim. But this should not over-shadow the important political and ideological aspects of the Kibbutz movement, which is strong part of the Israeli labour movement and opposed to the Begin government’s policy in Lebanon.
The prevalent anti-Israel attitude, coupled with the view that the Kibbutzim have become bourgeois, has meant a loss of support from the ’socialists’ of the world.
Kibbutzim are a proof of the viability of communal living and exist not as ~a unique social experiment’ but because of their will to survive as a community, for the community. This is proof enough of its validity as a model for the rest of the world.
For us, our promise to love each other for life has meant the surety of knowing we are going forward together, hand in hand Our daily efforts to understand, accept and love each other bring us a freedom to be ourselves, to discover more about ourselves and the confidence to believe in ourselves, to trust and go out of ourselves to others.
We believe that every individual has a unique dignity and worth and is equally lovable, despite whatever scars of experience or behaviour may appear to hide it.
Don and Julia Harvey,
In fact Stalinism was prolonged because nuclear weapons in the hands of anti-marxists provided persuasive arguments for continued state control and economic rigidity in Eastern Europe. In West Germany, these weapons helped to support an almost childish form of anti-communism. Even worse, nuclear weapons undermined the whole political basis of the new international order laid down in the UN Charter.
These weapons helped to make the ‘State’ — in East and West — more repressive towards its own people, more neglectful of the needs of people elsewhere. And they helped to prevent the realisation of the new international order many people had fought for during the Second World War.
Drawing back the curtain
M M Julian,
War on War on Want
But now it appears that Terry Lacey has other ideas and wants to sell off and close the shops belonging to War on Want to get the capital.
Besides losing a regular source of income and staff who have given many years service, mainly voluntarily, I know from working voluntarily in one of the shops that they have been of great help especially to parents with young children, the elderly and the unemployed, who are already a deprived section of our present society.
It seems that, as with this government, those with headquarters in London have little knowledge of or contact with the grass roots.
War on Want is a membership organisation welcoming open debate. We understand the concern and sadness felt by shop staff where, unfortunately, properties are having to be sold.
However, this is to secure a loan to enable War on Want to pay for redundancies, internal restructuring and to maintain a flow of resources to projects in the Third World and in the United Kingdom.
Sad though it is for shops which are closing, War on Want’s main concern must be to try and help change the rules of the economic game so that those in far greater need than ourselves may have a chance to change the laws of economics for themselves.
Their account was very useful but failed to mention a key problem in the WHO control strategy: dapsone costs about $2.50 per year; rifampicin costs about $1.20 per day. Standard recommended treatment (not necessarily a total cure) for most cases six month’s of daily dapsone and rifampicin, total cost around $200 per case.
Since the prevalence rate of leprosy in some developing countries such as India is estimated at around 10 per 1,000 persons, the cost of full control of leprosy may exceed the entire health budget for the nation. The control of Hansen’s Disease in developing countries would appear to continue to depend more on the improvement of living conditions than merely on new drug regimes.
Peggy L. Henderson and Robin J. Biellik,
Soak the poor
This topic seems to me to be eminently suitable for publication in New Internationalist.
Ed. This topic was covered in March 1980.