We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The message on those Oxfam T-shirts

Have you ever watched someone make a speech and caught the moment when the speaker lost the sympathy of the audience? Those friendly to the speaker wince, suppress it, and lock their heads and their eyes into looking straight ahead. In contrast the hostile part of the audience exchange glances – did you hear it too?

There can be moments like that when reading a news story too. Suddenly a detail leaps out. The reader who is friendly to the subject of the story winces, while the hostile reader cannot wait to click on the comments. For the Oxfam story
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Rod Liddle on Oxfam

The people of Haiti needed help — what they got was a bunch of Oxfam sleazebags

Yet another brilliant party I’ve missed out on. The Oxfam gig in Haiti back in 2011 — the whores, I’m told, were sensational, if a little on the young side. My own fault for having assumed it would be a grim convocation of death and destruction — plus pious white liberals blaming capitalism for everything. Not a bit of it. Those Oxfam staffers know how to party, especially the top brass.

No sooner had they arrived in the earthquake zone than they had set
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Pro-tax pro-poverty ‘charity’ Oxfam up to its usual tricks

The left wing ‘charity’ Oxfam has staged a stunt in Westminster demanding the government collect more in taxes.

Please remember the next time you get the urge to go into one of their shops, or donate goods or money to Oxfam, that they are nothing less than a left wing advocacy group favouring poverty-inducing statist policies worldwide. These people work tirelessly to cause the misery (I believe they like to call it ‘fairness’) that they ostensibly exist to alleviate.

Do not assist the insatiable beast who wishes to devour the riches of others.

Oxfam persuades one of Europe’s biggest banks to stop doing capitalism

From today’s Financial Times:

BNP Paribas made a loud contribution to the debate on how comfortable fund managers, and financial institutions generally, should be about speculating on food prices last week.

On the back of criticism from Oxfam, the international aid agency, which accused the French house of “speculating on hunger”, BNP suspended subscriptions on two of its funds.

BNP’s Parvest World Agriculture fund, which manages €159m of assets, has been shut to new investors as a “precautionary” measure, while its EasyETF Ultra Light Energy fund has also been closed.

BNP Paribas has funds in which its clients invest; those
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Oxfam proposes a global shipping tax

Incoming email from newly signed up Samizdatista Rob Fisher (who can only do emails right now) about how Oxfam is proposing a global shipping tax. Watts Up With That? has the story.

Says Rob:

This is extraordinary. Read the whole thing but in particular the money flowchart diagram.

Bishop Hill calls this Oxfam creating famine.

Says Anthony Watts:

These people have no business writing tax law proposals, especially when it appears part of the larder goes back to them. This is so wrong on so many levels.

Says Bishop Hill commenter ScientistForTruth:

These [snip – please tone down the language]
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Do Oxfam’s goats kill?

Of the mainstream development charities, Oxfam is one of the better. Yes, it remains wedded to failed notions of ‘development aid’, but it is less shrill that many of the others. Its Oxfam Unwrapped initiative, where members of the public buy a Christmas present which goes to people in poor countries, strikes me as quite a good idea. Aid sent this way is certainly more likely to get to ‘real people’, rather than be sqandered by political elites like so much development aid.

But good intentions are not enough. Oxfam takes a perfectly good idea then ruins it by
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Two Cheers for Oxfam and Amnesty

Although I am unlikely to be in a rush to join either of these organisations, today is a day a day I can say I am for once in agreement with their current campaigns.

Amnesty is campaigning against Castro’s crackdown on dissidents. OK he might not change his ways just because you send a letter of complaint, but Amnesty also, rightly, reckons the US government embargo needs to go. More contact will weaken, not strengthen Castro. And anyway, if I want to go to Cuba, what business is it of the US government?

Oxfam has also been making some helpful
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Free trade sense from Oxfam

Who would have thought it? Oxfam, the charity normally associated with a fairly leftist view of overseas poverty, has released a big document charting how the best hope for the world’s poor lies in more free trade, not less. Not exactly an earth-shattering revelation to Samizdata writers or most of its readers, I am sure. Nonetheless, for such a well-known and prestigious body to have set its face against the anti-globalisation crowd is good news. It looks like this liberal (in the true sense of the word) meme of ours just keeps on spreading.

Samizdata quote of the day

Oxfam have, again, come up with a gross misrepresentation of world poverty which fails to line up with everything else we know about human advancement and income improvements. Demonising capitalism may be fashionable in the affluent Western world but it ignores the millions of people who have risen out of poverty as a result of free markets.

– Mark Littlewood, summing up why I would never give a toxic outfit like Oxfam a penny. Oxfam is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Mongolia, the EU’s blacklisted tax haven

It has been quite a grim century for Mongolia, many decades under the Soviet yoke after the ‘Mad Baron’ von Ungern-Sternberg managed to take over in the chaos after WW1, and write his own grim chapter, and still its capital is called ‘Red Hero’, but despite that name, Mongolia has got itself into the EU’s bad books, not by human rights abuses, but by a lack of them as a tax haven.

To determine whether a country is a “non-cooperative jurisdiction” the EU index measures the transparency of its tax regime, tax rates and whether the tax system encourages multinationals
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Young One Rick explains why Labour is doing so badly

One of my most favourite analyses of the politics of public spending comes from Rick (gloriously played by the much missed Rick Mayall), in the classic TV sitcom The Young Ones:

“I mean, it’s no wonder the country is in such a state. I don’t know why they don’t just be honest and hand the whole place over to Oxfam. Nothing but scroungers and horrid old people and workshy layabouts all wandering around clutching their Giros and trying to get something for nothing. Oh yes, the Post Office seems to be very good at handing out other people’s money, doesn’t
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How dare the U.S. demand NATO states have the means to defend themselves!

If you needed yet another reason to reject the EU as an utterly toxic organisation, here is an absolute corker:

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday that Europe must not cave in to U.S demands to raise military spending, arguing that development and humanitarian aid could also count as security.

No doubt Jean-Claude Juncker feels that NATO should deploy Oxfam, Save the Children & Charlotte Church to Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn in order to deter any Russian incursions into the Baltic states.