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Piers Every 3 seconds...a child dies...Live 8 (85* d) RE: Every 3 seconds...a child dies...Live 8 07 Jul 05

I've no doubt that Annie Lennox and most of the people involved in MAKE POVERTY HISTORY and LIVE8 genuinely do care about extreme poverty. However, the strategies they support have failed in the past and unfortunately they are unlikely to work in the future and everyone will forget about it for another twenty years. That's what I was in Edinburgh to say, and I did my part of distributing 10,000 leaflets, 1,000 magazines and lots of little cards putting the case for really trying to make poverty history.

More than 100 years ago Oscar Wilde wrote: "Their remedies do not cure the disease; they merely prolong it. Indeed their remedies are part of the disease. They try to solve problems of poverty for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor. But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try to reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible."

Leo Tolstoy wrote the perfect analogy: "I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back." As long as the productive resources which we all depend upon are owned and controlled by a minority of society then there will be poverty. The need to dump the bosses off our backs is greater than ever.

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