The world.

I've just been listening to the radio news. The quick summary seems to be "this is going to get worse - much worse - before it gets any better". The particularly dreadful words "sanitation is poor and disease is spreading" were used. They spoke to a man at a camp in Sri Lanka who said they had one well, no proper toilets, most people (i.e. the majority, not just a lot) had diarrhoea and some, he thought, had cholera.

There was a British man complaining that his wife had gone out to look for their missing daughter and the government hadn't given any help, but they didn't ask the obvious question, which was what sort of help she'd wanted/needed. It's odd to hear Jack Straw say something - that the staff and volunteers were probably overworked and in general seemed to be doing an excellent job - and think that he's probably right. He's been getting criticised (by the press) for not guessing at a number of dead Brits earlier. Well, why the hell should he? Who's helped by having a single number other than reporters? The public have obviously grasped the scale of the issue already.

I think I've been saying "the death toll will probably double" for a week now. I think I'll probably have to keep saying it for a while.

50 Foot Wave don't seem to have any gigs upcoming. This is good, because they'd only have to cancel them.
  • Current Mood: gloomy
  • Current Music: Disks and fans spinning, and the clatter of buckling springs
I've just been reading the latest Reuters update —there's also been problems of rapists targetting women in refuges in Sri Lanka, and trafficking in orphans in Aceh, on top of the usual plundering, including thieves trying to break into the houses of reported victims from Sweden :-(
You know that is pretty much what I thought. People will be people.

Here's hoping such behaviour stops.
It is odd the things people think to critise. It is amazing the response from the public raising money and the emergency services. I have the feeling that even though this is a natural disaster and could not have been prevented the media want somone to blame. I wonder if that reflects the population wanting someone to blame.
It's tempting to think that all the media ever want is someone to blame.
It's even more ignoble than that. All they ever want is something to sell papers with.
Blame, like lurid tales of sex and xenophobic rantery, sells papers, or at least they think it does.
It's easier to assume the problem lies in people and not the system they work in.

If we blame people, then the problem won't happen again.

It's much easier than trying to actively stop the problem happening again.
The scariest thing for me is the news that amid all of this, governments and rebel elements in Aceh and Sri Lanka are still at each other's throats.

A report on today's news said that Indonesian government troops sent to Aceh were told initially to search houses for weapons, and the Tamil Tigers, who control most of the worst affected areas in Sri Lanka, are accusing the government in Columbo of doing too little too late.

Talk of suspending international debt for the worst hit countries is being discouraged, as Indonesia is 'the sixth most corrupt nation' in the world (I'd like to know what the first 5 are but that's by the bye), and so any debt relief that was given would be unlikely to reach the people who really need it.

Makes me sick to be a member of the human race really. It's an ill wind, as they say...
Most corrupt countries
Yes, I'm bored.

Apparently Bangladesh is no. 1

According to the BBC, in no particular order, the worst are:
Uganda and Indonesia
Kenya, Cameroon, Bolivia and Azerbaijan
Ecuador, Pakistan and Russia

There's a slightly different table here

Canada is only the 11th least corrupt country in the world. That's depressing.
Re: Most corrupt countries
The USA is listed as the 116th most corrupt? It's amazing what money can buy these days.
Re: Most corrupt countries
These days I'd be quite surprised if there was anything it couldn't. Given large enough quantities of it.