Monday, February 23, 2009

More bollocks from Labour on Fair Trade

It's that time of year again where sel-righteous angelic lefties start baning on about Fair Trade bloody Fortnight. We have Douglas Alexander talking crap on LabourList about how it is a wonderful thing. Apparently,
Fair trade is fundamental to a fair world, a vital route out of poverty for millions of people across the globe.
Correction Mr Alexander, free trade is fundamental to a fair world. Free trade is the vital route out of poverty for millions of people across the globe. The only reason fair trade needs to exist in the developed world is because of protectionism.

The protectionist racket that is the EU and NAFTA ensure, beyond doubt, that the developing world will never be able to trade with us fairly. Fair trade gives them penauts extra and simply makes people like you think you're being lovely and nice.

The most hilarious thing about the Fair Trade zealots in the Labour Party is that their own leader even warned against the dangers of protectionism, yet they all actively support Fortress Europe which puts up massive barriers to trade and ensures that the developing countries are on an uneven footing from the outset. According to Alexander

Families across Britain will rightly be taking care over their shopping bills this year. During this Fairtrade Fortnight I would encourage shoppers to also consider the power they have to play a part in changing lives for the better – there has never been a more important time to do so.
Here's a better idea, how about self-righteous Labour Ministers and supporters consider the power they have to end the pernicious status quo that keeps the downtrodden nations they claim to care about so much from selling to us at lower prices than our own subsisidised farmers?

The rank hypocrisy of the Left on this subject is truly astounding. Gordon Brown said "protectionism protects nobody". Not so, it protects the EU and the US from having to face competition from the developing nations that are then patronised with fair trade bollocks to cover up the collective guilt of the Left.

Fair trade does not guarantee a better deal for Third World producers. What it guarantees is that the protectionism of Left can continue whilst they can absolve themselves of the guilt that creates the need for such schrmes in the first place.

9 comments:

Tony Sharp said...

Absolutely spot on Dizzy. Nothing more that can be added.

davidc said...

agree with all you say but until nivarna arrives fairtrade does at least give some help to third world farmers and others in the shape of a handup rather than much g.b.'s 'handouts'.

basementcat said...

/agree

Lambasted this farce in Supply Management magazine this week after a daft article promoting Fair Trade in Procurement. It was mostly an interview with the Fairtrade Foundation. I get their principle, but they still miss the point.

Sam said...

Well free trade is important but that alone will not help everyone. With free trade farmers are not guaranteed to get any more money,

Fair trade does allow this and also helps the community.

What's wrong with that?

Croydonian said...

As I commented a while back, "So, briefly, anyone buying overpriced 'ethical' coffee etc is at best only doing a very short term favour to the growers etc, as the inability of folk to make a living from growing coffee or whatever is a clear pricing signal that they should find another way to make a living. As and when demand for the product abates - and do not doubt that it will when tastes change or purse strings are tightened -growers etc will be out of work with precious little warning and therefore limited opportunities for immediate re-skilling. One might also ask why it is that areas of agriculture bring out the sentimentalist rather more than dock work, estate agency, fax bureaux etc etc".

Patrick Dodd said...

I agree that free trade would go a long way in creating sustainable development in the developing world. However, since we don’t have that and are not likely to have that in the near future, then Fairtrade does do a good job of helping to eradicate poverty. We work directly with fair trade producers and I can tell you first hand that the premium you pay when you purchase Fairtrade does get into the pockets of the individual farmers and into the communities in which they work.

Vindico said...

Absolutely. I had a battle with my local paper here

Lola said...

Fairtrade is bollocks - as I keep telling Mrs Lola and all the little Lola's. Go here:

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/economics/forget-fairtrade-fortnight,-let-the-market-work-200902232979/

...for more good analysis on why it's bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Free trade simply promotes injustice around the world and merely benefits a handful of "Developed" countries, exploiting the people who are in desperate situations. Fair trade is not the answer to ending poverty and providing human rights to all people globally - but it is a step in the right direction. Free trade has proven it is not effective. A new economic approach needs to emerge to keep in line with the shift in world trade that has arisen out of globalization.