The globalisation of everything

The world is becoming increasingly interconnected.  As I write this, two Birmingham City fans are In Hong Kong to report on events there that relate to the club they support in England. (See notes 1 and 2 below).

In other news, protesters gathered outside a Primark store in London to demand compensation for workers killed in Bangladesh (3).  The connection was that the workers who died when the building in Bangladesh collapsed were producing cheap clothing that is sold in British shops.  Oxfam are recommending that consumers in Britain ask that British stores ensure safe working conditions for those who are producing the goods that they sell. (4)

Earlier this year there was a host of stories about horsemeat masquerading as beef.  Globalisation and the industrialisation of food production have made it cheaper to transport food from miles away rather than buy it from local producers; it has also made it harder to trace where it has come from and what is in it.  It is all so complicated.

Sometimes it seems too complicated to think about.  I can understand people who feel they can only cope with their own concerns and the needs of their family and friends.  However I can’t be like that.  I know I can’t solve all the problems of the world but I try to do the little that I can.  That’s why I vote, why I’m a member of Blues Trust and why I’m now thinking about what I buy. And on a very local level, it’s why I wrote a letter to the Birmingham Planning and Regeneration Department about the proposals for the new Sainsbury’s in Selly Oak (5).  Stand on the sidelines if you wish, but I want to be involved.

Notes and links
  1. Daniel Ivery is reporting from Hong Kong on Often Partisan
  2. Matthew Elliott reported from Hong Kong on Tilton Strugglers, but the reports seem to have vanished from that site so I have unlinked it
  3. Primark Targeted By Protesters After Bangaldesh Building Collapse
  4. Bangladesh building collapse: Campaigners urge clothes industry to lead way for safer working conditions
  5. See the Community Partnership for Selly Oak website for information on plans for Selly Oak Battery Site