thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Friday, December 30, 2005
A recent BBC poll which took more than 30,000 votes in more than 25 countries came up with this list of the most important events of 2005...

It provides an indicator (though no more than that) of how messed up (some) people's priorities are.

I discount some of the issues in the poll. I discount the death of the pope because, although it is important for many catholics around the world, the death of an 85 year old man in poor health really does not come into the same category as the others.

The London and Bali bombings are symptoms of the same problem and whilst they were horrific I don't belive they were the most important thing in the world this year.

There is a case to be made for global warming being the biggest crisis we face but that is also in a different category. Avian Flu is in a "what might happen" rather than "what has happened" or "what is happening" category, so that is removed.

I want to have a look at the financial response to the three big natural disasters. I believe it shows just how out of step the world reaction is...

For the tsunami relief fund the worldwide total was around $12 billion. As well as the 200,000 to 250,000 deaths, around 1.5 million people were made homeless.

For the Pakistan earthquake total donations are around £5 billion so far (figures from Reuters). There are reportedly more than 73,000 dead but the worst is yet to come with up to 3 million made homeless and facing a brutal winter. This could get a lot worse. I have just noticed it is not in my opinion poll and I am ashamed at myself for leaving it out.

For New Orleans the total spend could be up to $200 billion. The people affected by the Hurricane will most likely not see much of this. A large corporate friendly redesign of New Orleans looks to be on the cards. Big companies will be getting big contracts and people will be getting the shitty end of the stick again. Whilst the hurricane disaster was horrible it comes nowhere near the scale of the other two. It also showed the either the ineptitude or sheer indifference of certain elements of the US government when it came to dealing with something like this.

Some groups claimed that the tsunami aid mainly went to the richest people.

Corporations grabbing for money anywhere they can get it is nothing new. The only people to come out of the Iraq war well are the major corporations and private security contractors (that we also saw running around in New Orleans).

The most major crisis right now is in Pakistan. This is where people will DEFINITELY die soon if nothing more is done. Why has the response to the situation in Pakistan been so muted?

Is it racism? Possibly. There were some vile letters in the UK press and people on radio explaining that although they had given money to the tsunami they did not want to give money to Pakistan in case they were inadvertently funding terrorism. As sickening as this nonsense was it surely couldn't have accounted for more than a few people.

Is it lack of government money? Yes and no. The UK government has given more (as a percentage) of the aid raised for Pakistan than it did for the tsunami.

I can only think that it is because people are not as aware of what is going on there as they were with the tsunami and with Hurricane Katrina. It just doesn't get the press coverage it needs. If you want to give some money to the relief fund then my friend from the area tells me that these are the better organisations...

Islamic relief -, The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust - and the Edhi Welfare Trust

The hurt caused by these disasters will not be cured by money, but some of the wounds, starvation and homelessness can.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:23 pm  
  • At 9:47 pm, Blogger mikevotes said…

    I know you're not in the US, so you probably aren't aware, regarding aid to the Pakistani earthquake(which by the way has struck me more deeply than the Tsumani for some reason)according to our wonderful Patriot act, as it now stands, if I donate money to a charity, and in three months its found out that some of their funds went to terror(ill defined in the law,) technically I can be jailed even if I donated wholly in good faith knowing nothing about the three dollars that went to a Madrasa.

    It's crazy over here, dude.


  • At 7:04 pm, Anonymous Kirsteen said…

    Hey! first look at this blog -great stuff!

    This isnt totally relevant but I get so mad when there is (in general) huge press coverage of natural disasters but equally appalling numbers of people are dying unnecessarily every day all over the world as a result of oppressive and f***** up U.S/British foreign policy and hardly anyone knows or cares about it (I'm counting Bob's Make Poverty History party irrelevant).

    I agree, people, starting with the press, need to re-prioritise.

    oh, and the grossly disproportionate amount of press coverage on george best dying and the consequent public mourning was sickening.

  • At 7:06 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    These corporate conglomerates that make so much money off of these tragedies make me sick.

    Pakistan was in the US news for about a week, then they had to resort back to reporting on brad pitt's trip to the doctor or some real good investigative journalism on whether or not tom cruise is crazy.

  • At 4:57 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    thanks kirsteen. have you got a blog of your own?

    mike, i am not up on it but it hinks its roughly the same here.

    graeme, the tv people decide how long they think our attention spans are and tailor the news accordingly. .

    not been near a pc for the last few days but will get back to posting tomorrow

  • At 6:03 pm, Blogger Newsguy said…

    Michael, it is very sad that people in other countries are seeing the US in such miserable terms these days. Our moronic president and his buddies' policies have invited such contempt, and I am so sorry to see the decline of our country in the eyes of so many in the rest of the world.

    Right after 9 / 11, I read that some French newspaper headlined, " We are all Americans now " Well that aint the case anymore. Bush and company have squandered any empathy the rest of the world may had had with us.

    I can only hope that we can somehow get our country back and repair our relationship with the world in the years to come.

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping

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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
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