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.

In the mindless leftism department

In today’s edition of the mindless, knee-jerk leftism department, Reuters reports that Oxfam is upset that Singapore has low tax rates, apparently because this somehow creates “inequality”. Note that Singapore also has a notably low poverty rate, and that poor people in Singapore are better off than in almost all of the other countries on earth, and (given Oxfam’s purported original mission) poor people in Singapore eat pretty damn well, but as Singapore doesn’t mindlessly tax people for no reason, we are apparently to think of it as a terrible place.

Samizdata quote of the day

Oxfam America, who presumably are concerned they may have to pay the going rate for white hookers if Trump’s ban on admitting starving teenage waifs from third-world disaster zones is upheld.

– Tim Newman

An unintentionally honest headline to an unintentionally honest article

“Labour’s plan to tackle inequality can revive the ailing development sector”, writes Nick Dearden in the Guardian.

Clicking on Mr Dearden’s name took me to a link that said, in true Grauniad style, “Nick Dearden is director of the Global Justice Now (formerly World Development Movement)” The faltering fortunes of “the Global Justice Now” and similar organizations in what is called the aid “sector” (as if were part of the economy rather than a drain on it) distress Mr Dearden for understandable reasons. No man likes to see his prospects of a secure and comfortable living imperilled. I do
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Is this what a man hired to communicate climate science calls evidence?

As I have said before, I retain a belief in CAGW two-and-a-half letters to the left of most commenters on this blog. But Bob Ward – Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics – is not the first believer in the imminent peril of climate change to have a damn good go at pushing my scepticism-marker to the right. On the LSE British Politics and Policy blog, he writes:

Do male climate change ‘sceptics’ have a problem with women?

Betteridge’s Law of Headlines applies for a
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