Saturday, 27 December 2008

Happy Clappies, Fascism and East Europe

We've just received some sad news from Romania, which I'm using as an unashamed excuse for a rant at the side-effects of Western bigots supporting shit evangelical charities.
A friend of my wife's teaches English and Art there. Probably not for much longer, as she's had a minor stroke and lost the ability to see more than fuzzy lumps of colour. At not much past 30 the career of the kind of creative, unselfish teacher you can only dream of over here is over, even if impending public sector job cuts due to the interference of Western charities doesn't make her redundant soon anyway.
As a bright, multilingual student this woman acted as an unpaid translator to the first Western charity workers - equally helpful to anyone whatever their background. In this capacity she helped a well meaning Manx woman who went there some years ago, and returned to persuade her husband to get the likes of the local Buffs and Rotary Club involved. He put up with his wife's efforts, guided by our teacher friend and a few others, for about a year, before admitting neither he nor his fellow toytown business buddies trusted greasy Johnny Foreigners and would only continue to help through 'respectable' Western charities.
In practice that means the only 'charity' available from the island to East European countries is via wealthy evangelical chancers like Samaritan's Purse, who with a US income alone of over $200 million can afford to fly speakers into disaster zones, push them in front of a TV camera, then fly them home again. The sickest thing is, they're not even the worst charity operating here.
Franklin Graham's UK employees tried but failed to get puppet trustees for a Manx SP. Other US outfits did find willing stooges, which are up and operating without declaring their links to even their UK branches, which in turn rarely mention their US puppetmasters.
It would be too much to expect that anyone at the Attorney General's office would have bothered checking out these Manx muppets before granting them charitable status and open access to schools and other public premises. This is, after all, a place where the civil servant paid a six figure sum to head the Financial Supervision Commission and the failed tractor salesman and retired senior politician heading up the IPA were simultaneously directors of an Icelandic bank that's just gone bust in a big way.
Strange, though, that godfearing Manx folk are happy to go along with this hypocrisy and to export to Eastern Europe the kind of sectarian hatred previously only seen in Northern Ireland. Yet they refuse to speak to highly educated people in the countries they claim to be 'helping' who try to warn them that the hate, division and ignorance they are now breeding will eventually lead to ethnic cleansing.
These are the Eastern European professionals who, even now, are losing teaching and health care jobs just as EU help finally filters through to their countries, because that aid is passing via corrupt neo-fascist politicians in places like Romania to 'experts' from 'reputable' Western organisations, mostly evangelical. It then slips back out of the country as one evangelical charity 'donates' it to a sister charity, and eventually once the audit trail is lost back to the US.
Every time you read a piece of PR puff in a Manx newspaper about our wonderful East European 'charity work', don't pat yourself on the back. Hang your head in shame.
If you so much as give a penny to these scum you've contributed to the redundancy of a decent professional who could have made a difference, and a future bloodbath just waiting to kick off.

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