In my usual stupor, this morning, before all the drugs in my constitutional cup of tea kick-started my ageing brain cells, I watched a snippet of the popular BBC children’s programme, Blue Peter.
This is a perennial of tax-funded British programming, imbibed with your mother’s milk, which delivers a twice-weekly compendium presented by a rotating set of three bright young things, who tour the world looking for informational opportunities for five to 15 year olds.
When I grew up with the programme these were the splendidly quirky John Noakes, the woodenly hip Peter Purves, and the prim but smouldering Lesley Judd. Ah, the things Lesley could do with a hot wet bucket of clay which would warm the confused cockles of a 12 year old boy.
So I watched this morning’s programme with interest. A fresh-faced pretty female presenter wandered around a cocoa plantation in Africa explaining the cocoa pod origins of chocolate production. ‘Fascinating,’ I thought. There was plenty of factual information and so far a distinct lack of anti-capitalist agitation. ‘What is wrong with the BBC, this morning?’ I wondered. Alas, I think the presenter could feel my disappointment at her failure to take a regressively tax-funded opportunity to try to brainwash British children into becoming politically correct. So just to make me happy she moved up into the BBC’s more usual anti-capitalistic gear. This is the essence of what she said next, in front of a group of happy smiling African children:
Now this cocoa farm worker, Mary, only has primitive tools [including a machete and a pole-handled knife] to collect her cocoa pods, which I do find puzzling, but she is happy because she belongs to a co-operative. All the workers here share the co-operative’s profits and are funded by the ‘Fair Trade’ organisation. This means that they have enough money to pay for a water pump and a school for their children. So please make sure that when you buy chocolate it is covered by the ‘Fair Trade’ logo, to help people like Mary, her family, and all the children you can see here.
Absolutely shameless. Leni Riefenstahl would have been proud of her. The subtext message is, of course, very clear:
Collectivism is good. Free markets are bad. Feel guilty if you buy free market chocolate.
At the end of this bright young thing’s piece to camera there was a big smile and then a ‘Fair Trade’ photo plug for their supported brands of chocolate. This was followed by words of hearty support from an even prettier himbo back in the studio. In fact it seems the Blue Peter report is part of a concerted BBC effort to help the ‘Fair Trade’ cocoa campaign. That I am coerced into funding this anti-capitalist rubbish is one thing, as hopefully being over 18 years of age I can make up my own mind about such matters, but broadcasting this anti-free market poison to five year olds is morally outrageous.
So just to preserve a smidgin of balance I thought I would try to improve on what the Blue Peter presenter said this morning, particularly as she seemed so genuinely puzzled as to why Mary had nothing more than iron age tools to cut down her cocoa pods:
Now this cocoa farm worker, Mary, only has primitive tools, such as her machete and a pole-handled knife, which at first I found puzzling until I thought about it. I then realised that Mary and her family are kept deliberately poor at a bare subsistence level by two different sets of collectivists. The first corrupt set of thieves are the tyrannical political classes in Africa who routinely steal from their governmentally-controlled populations, via taxation, import tariffs, and export license corruption, to help finance their personal purchases of Swiss gold and to fund their governmental purchases of arms, which they need to keep their own people down. This deprivation by taxation, inflation, and regulation, means that African farmers are never able to save enough re-investment capital to improve their farm production methods beyond subsistence or to increase their revenue to create better lives for themselves and their families. The second group of corrupt collectivists are the politicians in the protectionist blocs, like NAFTA and the EU, who do everything they can through taxation, subsidisation, and import controls, to increase food costs for their own populations and to protect their rent-seeking farmer clients. The resulting western tax revenue is used to give large numbers of these western parasites comfortable secured incomes and to help African tyrants buy even more western weapons systems to further suppress African people through the arms supply mechanism known in these parts as ‘international government aid’. So all you five year olds out there, if you really want to decrease poverty in Africa, always try to see beyond the immediately obvious problem and try to discover the underlying causative factors, which will almost always be some kind of government intervention. Free markets feed. Collectivism starves. And now back to the studio.
Now if the BBC were to broadcast that kind of propaganda, though only to adults of course, then even I would be willing to pay the BBC television license fee.