I had a whole blog prepared about the difference between what our government will put into an illegal and odious war and what is put into humanitarian aid, notably in the crisis in the Sudan. Ministers, notably Chancellor Brown all made speeches about this uneccessary tragedy and to be sure some aid is being boosted but it falls way beyond what we spent – and are still spending – on the Iraq war. I had to scrap that blog though, because frankly it was flaming. For the simple reason that seeing an infant starving on a new item and learning the child died shortly afterwards – even before the BBC broadcast it today – makes me bloody furious. It shouldn’t happen. It’s not just getting the aid where it is needed; armed militias supported by the Sudanese government are terrorising people and killing them, forcing them to flee and also blocking some aid from getting to where it is needed most. If these militias were blocking rich oil pipelines HMS Ark Royal would be off the coast now disgorging hundreds of Royal Marines while Harriers fly overhead. Why western goverments can’t even threaten action if the Sudanese government doesn’t sort out the militias themselves is beyond me. Am I being simplistic in my approach? Probably, but dammit it, why can’t we make it this simple?
But instead I scrapped most of that draft blog and instead I’m just posting this information. It is an umbrella organisation for several major charities – the only folk who get off their arses and do something to help – who have come together to help with this dreadful crisis. I tried several times to log on to donate but the site is so busy it timed out (this was after the appeal the BBC, bless ’em, broadcast before Newsnight this evening). I will try again tomorrow and again the day after. Can’t offer them much money but if the price of a few pints of beer can help then I’ll give it to them and I urge everyone else to do the same. The politicians don’t seem to care, but that doesn’t mean we don’t.