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BS: On the cause of Famines

Raggytash 02 Apr 18 - 05:41 AM
DMcG 02 Apr 18 - 06:11 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 18 - 07:10 AM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 08:38 AM
Raggytash 02 Apr 18 - 08:53 AM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 08:56 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 18 - 09:00 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 18 - 09:01 AM
Thompson 02 Apr 18 - 10:40 AM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 11:44 AM
keberoxu 02 Apr 18 - 11:54 AM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 12:44 PM
DMcG 02 Apr 18 - 01:45 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 18 - 02:04 PM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 03:47 PM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 04:16 PM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 04:17 PM
Senoufou 02 Apr 18 - 04:23 PM
Iains 02 Apr 18 - 05:31 PM
Senoufou 02 Apr 18 - 06:10 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Apr 18 - 07:38 PM
Rapparee 02 Apr 18 - 09:04 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Apr 18 - 09:16 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Apr 18 - 09:46 PM
robomatic 02 Apr 18 - 11:07 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 18 - 03:55 AM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 04:36 AM
Senoufou 03 Apr 18 - 05:47 AM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 06:57 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 18 - 07:06 AM
Raggytash 03 Apr 18 - 07:08 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Apr 18 - 07:21 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Apr 18 - 08:23 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 18 - 08:31 AM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 09:44 AM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 09:54 AM
Raggytash 03 Apr 18 - 10:32 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 18 - 01:00 PM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 01:31 PM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 01:44 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Apr 18 - 02:03 PM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 03:12 PM
Iains 03 Apr 18 - 03:23 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Apr 18 - 05:32 PM
Mr Red 03 Apr 18 - 05:58 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Apr 18 - 08:13 PM
Senoufou 04 Apr 18 - 03:50 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Apr 18 - 04:05 AM
Iains 04 Apr 18 - 04:26 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Apr 18 - 04:57 AM

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Subject: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 05:41 AM

There are numerous causes of Famines. Fire, flood, wars, crop failure, and sometimes deliberate policy.

What is most important is our reactions to them.

Many eminent writers have claimed the Irish Famine of 1845 to 1851 could have been alleviated had the British government reacted differently, and certain individuals have been cited as being the most culpable, notably Charles Trevelyan.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 06:11 AM

This has - correctly - been moved out of the Brexit thread.

I was saying that while the origin is mostly a natural event, it only becomes a famine or flood disaster when it exceeds our preparedness for it. To take a few examples: the Amazon can go into spate very dramatically but it doesn't flood in the sense of disaster because the people who live along the banks normally have a second shelter on higher ground and move into it when necessary. So the event rarely turns into a disaster. Similarly indigenous housing in areas prone to hurricanes or earthquakes are often adapted to survive. I was particularly struck in a museum in Chile where the traditional housing had several layer of slatted walls. This allowed no direct sight for privacy, and cut out minor drafts, but in a gale or hurricane the wind simply passed through.

But events turn into disasters when we don't take account of these natural events. In Georgetown in Barbados there is a ruined Cathedral because the English who went there insisted on trying to build an English style cathedral. So come every hurricane, the roof blew off. Eventually they had to learn it was just unsuitable for the conditions.

So I do not see flooding and famine and the rest as just disasters inflicted on us by nature: even excluding global warming, mankind plays a big role in determining whether we have a manageable event or a disaster.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 07:10 AM

We should be careful that we don't accidentally exonerate guilty parties from blame by using emotive words like "famine" that imply natural disaster to characterise events that have origins largely caused by deliberate human actions. In the famines in the mid-80s in East Africa, a few people were getting rich by exporting cash crops such as coffee and avocados. In the Irish so-called famine, hundreds of thousands of Irish people starved as food exports from Ireland increased, making good money for a few people. The Irish starved not through lack of food but because they couldn't afford the prices that made exporting the food to England so lucrative. We shouldn't allow history to be written by the manipulators of people.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 08:38 AM

We shouldn't allow history to be written by the manipulators of people.
Kind of difficult to avoid. Actions have consequences. How those actions are explained immediately polarises opinion. Therein lies the problem.
To judge the irish famine in terms of today's mores totally distorts a true explanation, that was a child of it's time. Against this must be judged modern famines. With modern infrastructure, International aid agencies and the UN the only reason modern famines occur is because of lack of political will to alleviate the problem. In the time of the Irish famine conditions and attitudes were totally different to the modern day . Back then social relief programs were embryonic. I am not going to get into an argument about the causes of the famine because no agreement will ever be reached. I will point out though that In the wake of the Union, Ireland's economy declined rapidly, and abject poverty and subsistence farming became the norm for a majority of the rapidly increasing population. As a result, by 1840 most Anglo-Irish families were heavily in debt. The famine completely beggared them. It is very easy to blame the English but that needs to be tempered by a full appreciation of the Poor Law in Ireland and that the landowners were responsible for paying the local rate on holdings worth less than £4(Ithink) Like any other complex subject the true explanation is shades of grey. The potato blight in Scotland also had a major impact but those supposedly "heartless" landlords were in far better financial state than their Irish Cousins and did help.

" Devine stresses that recent historical opinion suggests that some landowners were very active in famine relief and a good few went bankrupt in their struggle to help distressed people on their estates. As early as 1843, for example, out of an estimated 7,000 estates in Scotland “one twentieth” were already in the hands of the receivers, accounting for land with a total rental value of over £700,000 – and this was to rise to £1,300,000 in 1847 and increase further to £2,000,000 by 1849."


http://www.drb.ie/essays/cruelty-grievance-denial

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2002/oct/05/weekend.lukedodd

https://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Focus/welfare/articles/crossmanv.html

The high dependency on the potato as a(the) staple food crop created the major problem in Ireland, but it need to be considered in a wider context of crop yields throughout Europe over the same interval.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 08:53 AM

"The high dependency on the potato as a(the) staple food crop created the major problem in Ireland"

There may be a modicum of truth in that statement, however vast quantities of food was exported from Ireland to overseas markets (primarily Britain) throughout the famine. So shortage of food itself was not the problem.

A brief overview is attached:

Irish Food Exports


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 08:56 AM

I hate it when only half gets posted. The rest below:


http://www.drb.ie/essays/cruelty-grievance-denial

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2002/oct/05/weekend.lukedodd

https://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Focus/welfare/articles/crossmanv.html

The high dependency on the potato as a(the) staple food crop created the major problem in Ireland, but it needs to be considered in a wider context of crop yields throughout Europe over the same interval.
The_European_subsistence_crisis_of_1845-1850_A_comparative_perspective
The earlier Irish famine of 1740/1 was the last gasps of the little ice age.
"An extraordinary climatic shock, the "Great Frost" struck Ireland and the rest of Europe between December 1739 and September 1741, after a decade of relatively mild winters. Its cause remains unknown. Charting its course sharply illuminates how climate events can result in famine and epidemic disease, and affect economies, energy sources, and politics"

It would be an interesting study to correlate climate upheaval with social upheaval, war, famine and radically altered political structures.
It is of note that crop yields show a far greater negative response to increased temperature than lower temperatures. Perhaps far more attention should be paid to this fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 09:00 AM

The last point is arguable, especially when you read about the sheer amounts of food that were being exported as hundreds of thousands starved. The dependence on the spud was no natural outcome. Food prices were beyond ordinary Irish people and the need for profit-making trumped the need to feed the population. Of course there were shining exceptions, examples of wonderful humanitarian behaviour. But those abundant food exports (read about the obscene quantities of butter that were being exported at the very height of the famine), the high food prices and the deaths of hundreds of thousands are inextricably linked. Cause and effect writ large.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 09:01 AM

I meant the point about the dependency on the potato as a primary cause. It simply didn't have to be that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Thompson
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 10:40 AM

Famines are always political. If your neighbour's starving and you don't do anything to help, that's political.

A few facts on the 1840s:

Ireland produced enough food to keep the population well fed and in comfort during the five years of the Famine - grain, meat, vegetables, butter, cheese, etc. But that food was exported, the ships loaded and sailing under military guard. Fishermen were fined and their nets and boats confiscated if they didn't pay tax for using nets. There was also a level of official ignorance that seems likely to have been deliberate - for instance, it was not until a Quaker-commissioned report on fish stocks that the myth of the Dogger Bank swarming with herring ceased to be repeated (the fish stocks had moved away from Ireland's shores due to the same climate events that caused the failure of the potato crops.

There's not a lot of point in a discussion by well-fed self-appointed experts. If you want to do a quick study of famine and its causes, go on over to South Sudan or to the Yemen. I'll be waiting with interest for your report.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 11:44 AM

Famines are always political. If your neighbour's starving and you don't do anything to help, that's political.
Might be true for the modern world but nonsense for the early civilisations and even largely true up until the mid 17th century. Prior to that time no "industrial" farming of any kind existed, it was little better than subsistance for most. Even if there was a localised political will to alleviate hungeer the infrastructure and trade links made such efforts of limited use. Holland was the first country to have developed enough agricultural expertise and trading links enabling avoidance of european famines. This was closely followed by England.
After this time the means to avoid famine in Europe existed, in many cases the political will to implement the means did not always exist.
An example of the will to assist is Operations Manna and Chowhound, consisting of airdrops in 1944/5 in the Netherlands to counter a German blockade.
The middle east is impacted by by climate cycles driven by anomalies in sea-surface temperatures. These cyclical changes in turn affect surface temperatures and precipitation on land, and their impact can last for decades. Certain of these areas are stressed by reduced yields, overpopulation and sporadic/continuous warfare. The Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria, Niger. In some   of these areas the UN aid agencies are active, in others not so active. In the Yemen I cannot recall seeing them, or in Syria. I did see them infesting 5 star hotels in Eritrea, but not appearing to do much else. Even when aid arrives it is not totally unknown for local warlords to commandeer it and sell it on the open market. If the political will was there this theft could be stamped on and examples made. However when many of these wars are in reality western driven proxy wars there are no yes/no responses. The left hand does not wish to communicate with the right. It is Strange these disputed areas only offer potential corridors or rumours of resources under the sand.

The Akkadian Empire in Syria, 2334 BC - 2193 BC.
The Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, 4200 years ago
The Late Bronze Age (LBA) civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Maya civilization of 250 - 900 AD in Mexico.
The Tang Dynasty in China, 700 - 907 AD.
The Tiwanaku Empire of Bolivia's Lake Titicaca region, 300 - 1000 AD
.............
The main cause of the above civilisations to collapse was drought and resultant famine/instability.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 11:54 AM

"Self-Appointed Experts."
Well, no wonder there is animosity in a consideration of history,
if there is arrogance at play.
In fact a consideration of history ought to be humbling,
and there is a list too long for somebody as lazy as me
of justifications for humility when facing history.

Is it possible to consider history
as the best of schoolteachers do before young, maturing students:
as a subject of study that is never finished, even if the events
are many thousands of years in the past?

And to consider not only what is correct and accurate,
but what is possible --
so as not to impose limitations on critical thinking,
but to open both mind and heart?


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 12:44 PM

Experts claimed the earth was flat, that rocks could not fall from the sky, that man could never fly. Beware of experts - Be very aware!


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 01:45 PM

But only experts found out how measure the circumference of the earth (Eratosthenes) and others how to fly. Beware dismissal of experts as well!


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 02:04 PM

"Experts" tend to be a word used by the likes of the Mail and Express to ridicule, er, experts. My dad calls it the cult of the Philistine.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 03:47 PM

The only serious comment I would make is that accepted truths can change over time. The view of experts has given us global cooling, global warming and climate change. All within the space of several decades.
There may now be a consensus as to which way the wind is blowing, but the exact nature of how the wind blows is still by no means settled science,. neither is the manner by which the many varying factors inter relate.
Or to phrase it another way. The road to hell is paved with very unevenly laid slabs that trip the unwary and lead up blind alleys.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 04:16 PM

Here is a classic comment:
The Labour leader also said in a Passover message on Friday that there is a "need to do better", and promised Jewish people he is their "ally" in the fight against anti-Semitism. "You recall the saying, 'Evil happens when good men do nothing.' I have not been attending parliament because I'm on sick leave, but if I had been there on Monday last week, I would have joined the protest", he said. (Keith Vaz mk 2 Mayhap?)

    I am surprised Guido has not trampled all over this. I might have to cc himm.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 04:17 PM

Whoops. definitely in the wrong thread!


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 04:23 PM

In addition to all the actual famines, however caused, there is also grinding poverty, which results in perpetual hunger (not necessarily starvation, but certainly malnutrition and related diseases) I should think this accounts indirectly for many millions of lives lost. I've seen it happening in Senegal, Gambia, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, all of which are reasonably viable states, but where there are countless people struggling to feed themselves and their families on practically nothing.

The sad thing is that globally there is enough food for all, if only it were to be shared out fairly, and if authoritarian states changed their regimes. I only know about Africa, but there, some governments prioritise party propaganda, military financing, self-interest and corrupt siphoning off resources for personal investments elsewhere. This is particularly the case in the Horn of Africa, but to a lesser extent in West Africa too.

For example, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo have enough agricultural and economic resources to feed vast numbers, but sadly they don't do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 05:31 PM

Senoufou. You are correct. The definition of poverty in the UK seems to be the inability to afford to watch sky TV. We both well know that countries with inadequate or non-existant social welfare programs have real grinding poverty of which most in the western world have no understanding. Malnutrition, illness, poverty, erratic work opportunities create a cycle from which there is no escape. Couple that with restricted agriculture frequently stressed by drought and everything is in place for periodic famines. Introduce political instability, enrichment of the elite, and war and the outcome is fairly predictable. These problems also exist in the Arab world, yet far less attention is paid to it.

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/the-persistence-of-poverty-in-the-arab-world/

We have no grounds for complacency concerning our own food security.


https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12571-009-0026-y

We have demonstrations about eating animals, carrying out medical research on them ,or hunting them. People dying of starvation or suffering acute malnutrition a continent away passes unnoticed.
We inhabit a strange world of confused priorities and a collective amnesia.
That Bono and Geldorf are seen as the only ones raising awareness,says a lot for the state of our society and political   structures.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 06:10 PM

In Senegal (Casamance region in the South) I saw the effects of several years of failure of the rains. Water was obtained from wells, and used for crop irrigation (and for human use too). As the subterranean water levels fell, the wells were unusable as the water was too far down to access.
This area used many years ago to be a very successful agricultural region, growing sugar cane and even rice. I saw quite a few deserted villages, and was told the inhabitants had headed for Dakar, to try and make a living in the capital city.
Added to this, the government had put up signs all over the place warning about desertification caused by people's goats stripping away any residual vegetation, eating any small plants and causing the earth to dry out and blow away. From being 'sub-Saharan', one could see that it could easily become 'Saharan'.
In northern Cote d'Ivoire, they've stupidly cut down much of the forests for timber profits, again causing desertification. My husband's ancestral village, Nafamadougou, used to be a forest settlement a couple of centuries ago. Now it's savannah, and is drying out rapidly.
This sort of thing can provoke famine and mass migration to the cities.
There are already thousands of settlers in shanty towns on the outskirts of Abidjan. They can't all find work or feed their families without much hardship. It's a disaster waiting to happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 07:38 PM

"The definition of poverty in the UK seems to be the inability to afford to watch sky TV. "

It might seem that way to you, but we are living in a country that has burgeoning food banks, head teachers opening their schools despite twelve-foot snow drifts in order to at least give the poorest kids one hot meal and classroom teachers spending their own money to buy little girls sanitary towels or tampons so that they don't have to use tissues or wet wipes or leak on to the classroom floor. I should like you to consider for a moment why the poorest people, in your eyes, don't "deserve" those objects so emblematic of the capitalist system such as Sky TV, iPhones or X-Boxes. I mean, why not? These things are advertised at them 'til kingdom come. Are you really telling me that it's fine to thrust these goodies like mad at the most disadvantaged in society, then either tell them that they should really be spending the money on something else more urgent or, if they haven't bought them yet, be happy that the deserving rich can have them while they can't? Really?


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 09:04 PM

Malthus was and is right. Couple that with greed -- for money, for power, for whatever -- and you have a disaster. We Terrans either wise up fast, really fast, or what we call civilization will fall apart like an over-ripe fruit. It's happened before.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 09:16 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 09:46 PM

""The definition of poverty in the UK seems to be the inability to afford to watch sky TV. ""
Sen did not actually say that, at least, I hope she didn't
What particular smuc Tory rag did that come from "it used to be "why have they all got televisions if they are so poor"
There is no justification for comparing the situation in the wealthy west to that of the impoverished Third World Countries
This is the situation in Britain today - notice the predictions of what's to come
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/poverty-britain-joseph-rowntree-foundation-report-theresa-may-social-mobility-commission-million-a8089491.html
I was forced to leave home ans settle in the soft South Eastern underbelly of Britain to find work - I couldn't even do that now with the predatory price of accommodation wherever there's work
I don't know what planet you people are living on in your smug cocoons of unreality - certanly not the same one as me and mine experienced AND ARE STILL EXPERIENCING
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Apr 18 - 11:07 PM

Article on the relief the United States provided to Soviet Russia in 1921. The Russians were grateful, but the Soviets re-wrote history in addition to creating conditions which starved millions of Ukrainians in the 30s.

Herbert Hoover may well have saved more lives than any other single human being. Not as President of the U.S., which he would not be for another 7 years, but for the logistics master he was.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 03:55 AM

"but the Soviets re-wrote history in addition to creating conditions which starved millions of Ukrainians in the 30s."
The whole of that history has been re-written by both sides
The Ukrainian famine came about by Collectivisation, which was a bungled attempt to feed a starving Soviet Union
Stalin's ruthlessness was matched by that of the land-owning peasants (the Kulaks) who slaughtered their livestock and burned their crops rather than take pert in the scene (carefully missed out by many historians)
No side came out of this affair with anything to be proud of.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 04:36 AM

I always try to make it very clear when I am paraphrasing someone.
Poverty in the UK and poverty in the third world is like comparing apples to oranges. According to the BBC a schoolkid without internet access is deprived.
Try realistically using that yardstick when looking at the number of street kids in third world countries. If a school dinner is required, in the UK, then I assume housing, clothing, dental care and access to free medical attention is a given. NOT SO in third world countries.
No one denies there are problems in the UK,but deaths from malnutrition are rare. At least a safety net exists and for those children that slip through how much is due to poverty and how much to
dysfuntional families? ?(from the Beeb. So you know it is correct!http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42223497 )
If the UK has a problem, other countries have a catastrophe. Taking infant mortality as an easily measured indicator of poverty the link below spells it out.(brutally)
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html
In essence the difference between UK and third world poverty is curtailed quality of life as opposed to curtailed life! A significant difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 05:47 AM

I agree with all you say Iains. But you and I are at a bit of an advantage, since we've seen with our own eyes Third World poverty, and it's extremely shocking for a Westerner to witness. People actually collapse and die in the street of disease and hunger, and their corpses start to rot in the heat before the 'pompiers' roll up to collect them.

That ranking of infant mortality is most interesting. Out of the first 40 countries listed, nearly all are in Africa. And many of those nations have sufficient resources to feed their populations if their economies were better managed.

Now I wonder if exactly the same thing could be said of UK families who are struggling? I can already hear the groans, but my parents managed on an absolute pittance just after the War. My mother knew how to cook very very cheap meals and to make clothes for us all on her sewing-machine and by endless knitting, using old clothes cut down and unravelling the wool from old cardigans etc. We had very little in the way of possessions. Jumble sales were haunted by all the families in our area. I can truthfully say we WERE poor, but always clean, adequately fed and clothed.

If today's families could be taught to manage like that, I wonder if things would be better for the children?


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 06:57 AM

Sense from the gruniard. Let's see the armchair socialists try to shred this:


https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/05/poverty-uk-better-calling-it-inequality

The average UK household in 1950 would be in abject poverty according to modern definitions.
No car, no TV, no double glazing, no central heating, basic food still on rationing. But the population was far healthier.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 07:06 AM

"I can already hear the groans,"
Pretty good hearing if you can pick mine up from the West of Ireland Sen
After the war, Britain was in a crisis and needed to rebuild - the Labor Government, as wishy-washy socialist as it was, did much to make that happen
Britain is among the wealthiest countries today - there is enough to go around and ascertain that none should go homeless or hungry
The gap between haves and have nots has been put up far too often to need to be put up again.
Why should people have to recycle material to clothe themselves - is that really the regressive Britain you wish to pass on to the next generation ?
This really is the 21st century
THese discussions always remind me of THIS (can't find the superior Peter Sellars recording)
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 07:08 AM

Most rational people will understand the term relative poverty.

Poverty in modern (mostly western states) is vastly different to poverty in third world or developing nations.

However in a modern progressive nation, poverty in the form it exists in some areas of Britain, simply should not happen.

For example the need for Food Banks, it is a very poor indictment of a 21st century Britain that such things are necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 07:21 AM

There's no going back, Senoufou, at least not unless someone bombs us all back to the Stone Age. Capitalism brings heightened expectation that the things we see others enjoying, and that are advertised to us at every turn, can be ours, now. We are given a sense of entitlement. Capitalism is a system predicated on manipulating us all.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 08:23 AM

"No car, no TV, no double glazing, no central heating, basic food still on rationing. But the population was far healthier."

Sure it was. We died far younger, half of us were smoking ourselves to death, heart disease was rife, we were still battling polio, measles and diphtheria, the infant mortality rate was much higher, we suffered frequent outbreaks of typhoid and smallpox and all our teeth fell out. Apart from all that, yeah, we were far healthier.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 08:31 AM

"No car, no TV, no double glazing,"
I was hospitalised twice as a child for diphtheria due to the appalling conditions we were forced to live in
I am reminded of this fact every winter when aa enjoy my annual bouts of bronchitis (and I wouldn't know what a cigarette tastes like)
Maybe my mother should have learned to knit me new lungs!
Sorry to bang on about this - it tends to be personal with me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 09:44 AM

For Shaw from his favourite newspaper:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-3713489/Thinner-fitter-happier-sexier-not-diet-book-therapist-sight-Thanks-WWII-pu
or
"In December 1939 Elsie Widdowson and Robert McCance of the University of Cambridge tested whether the United Kingdom could survive with only domestic food production if U-boats ended all imports. Using 1938 food production data, they fed themselves and other volunteers one egg, one pound of meat and four ounces of fish a week; one quarter pint (0.14 litre) of milk a day; four ounces of margarine; and unlimited amounts of potatoes, vegetables and wholemeal bread. Two weeks of intensive outdoor exercise simulated the strenuous wartime physical work Britons would likely have to perform. The scientists found that the subjects' health and performance remained very good after three months; the only negative results were the increased time needed for meals to consume the necessary calories from bread and potatoes.

The results—kept secret until after the war—gave the government confidence that, if necessary, food could be distributed equally to all, including high-value war workers, without causing widespread health problems. Britons' actual wartime diet was never as severe as in the Cambridge study because imports from the United States avoided the U-boats but rationing improved the health of British people; (pay attention shaw)infant mortality declined and life expectancy rose, excluding deaths caused by hostilities. This was because it ensured that everyone had access to a varied diet with enough vitamins.

Sweeping statements from shaw, no evidence to back it up. Now who else does that ad nauseum?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/9728.php

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritioninthenews/wartimefood/warnutrition.html

I recommend you get a new hymn book, some of your verses are misleading if not totally erroneous.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 09:54 AM

"No car, no TV, no double glazing," and I had no mains water, no electricity, no drainage, water from the pump and a privy halfway down the garden. This for my first 5.5 years, but I do not continually bang on about it.
Equality is another socialist myth from the dream time.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 10:32 AM

It would seem that some people have aspirations only for themselves, the rest of the people can go hang, live in poor conditions, with subsistence food and clothing with bogs down the bottom of the yard as long as they are alright.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 01:00 PM

"but I do not continually bang on about it."
No - but you advocate it for others - which is worse
"Equality is another socialist myth from the dream time"
he right to a roof over your head a job and food on the table is hardly "equality" - yet you would deny people even that (a Tory myth to raise it in this discussion)
You really are a bit of a Tebbitite stereotype, aren't you
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 01:31 PM

Interestingly the government attitude to food for the workers during the early part of WW1 retained elements of the Victorian thinking that exacerbated the Irish Famine."Almost immediately after Lloyd George became the prime minister in late 1916, he took it upon himself to
address the issue,creating the Ministry of Food in hopes that this expanded department could help curb the difficulties of what was becoming a full-blown crisis.(of grain availability for bread)
https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1081&context=honors_theses
"the staple foods of the working class (grains and flours) were produced abroad closer to 80% of the time, while the middle and upper
-class more regularly enjoyed locally grown vegetables,fruits,and meats." That this could be a problem should a european war break out was recognised in the closing years of Victoria's reign. But the usual government "indolence" held sway.Because of this,the diet of the wor
king poor was extremely fragile and entirely dependent on a very limited spread of imported foodstuffs"
"research suggests a modification of the conventional view of the effects of food control in the First World War. While energy levels were maintained by a combination of price controls and rationing, the intakes of some key nutrients deteriorated." (Due to lack of nutritional knowledge)
By the time WW2 came around the government was far more organised and knowledgeable. The Vitamin deficiencies of WW1 diet were known and planned for (for example children encouraged to harvest rose hips for vitamin C) The minitry of food immediately started rationing and this did not finish until 1954.https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritioninthenews/wartimefood/warnutrition.html
Post WW2 government strategic stockpiles were maintained around the country.http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/sfs/file_14.htm
Below pie in the sky in my book. I do not think they know the meaning of resilience, and several scenarios seem to be missing.
https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/FINAL_FFS_Report-June-2014.pdf

The situation today I believe is that strategic stocks no longer exist and that what is available is that contained in store and in the "just in time" supply chain. No doubt for the great and the good it is a different story.
http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/food/
In a world that is increasingly interdependant, with little resilience or redundancy and therefore more prone to shock, the present situation regarding stockpiles seems insanity to me.



.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 01:44 PM

A more up to date view.
http://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Shocks-and-Disruptions-The-Relationship-Between-Food-Security-and-Nati


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 02:03 PM

"No car, no TV, no double glazing," and I had no mains water, no electricity, no drainage, water from the pump and a privy halfway down the garden. This for my first 5.5 years, but I do not continually bang on about it...

Didn't do you much good, did it?

...but rationing improved the health of British people; (pay attention shaw)infant mortality declined and life expectancy rose, excluding deaths caused by hostilities. This was because it ensured that everyone had access to a varied diet with enough vitamins.

Infant mortality rate, England and Wales, 1940, 50 per thousand live births. In 2015, five per thousand live births.

Life expectancy at birth, 1940, men 63, women 67. 2010, men 78, women 83.

What I said, among other things:

"We died far younger...the infant mortality rate was much higher..."

You tried to tell us at 06.57 today how much healthier we all were then, didn't you. Well when you want to argue vexatiously just for the sake of it, all you do is make an ass of yourself. And you've been doing so well lately. Tsk.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 03:12 PM

I do believe the argument revolved around rationing. This ended in 1954.
I do not think anyone would dispute the fact that post war affluence
led to improved diet, better medical care and increased life expectancy. Although the epidemic of chronic obesity is likely to reverse these post war outcomes. Perhaps rationing should be reintroduced.
Now I think shaw that as you are arguing over criteria you have introduced up   to modern times when the medical evidence quoted was for decades ago and referred specifically to a regime under rationing, than perhaps you are being vexatious. As you generally are when arguing with me.
Now I think you will agree that had you read and understood what was written by me you would not have made a total ass of yourself now would you?


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 03:23 PM

"No car, no TV, no double glazing," and I had no mains water, no electricity, no drainage, water from the pump and a privy halfway down the garden. This for my first 5.5 years, but I do not continually bang on about it...

Didn't do you much good, did it?

A typical attempted put down by shaw and in particularly bad taste!


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 05:32 PM

Here's what you said, verbatim:

"The average UK household in 1950 would be in abject poverty according to modern definitions.
No car, no TV, no double glazing, no central heating, basic food still on rationing. But the population was far healthier."

You were quite clearly comparing then with NOW. No getting away from that, Iains. My point was that we were clearly not "far healthier" then according to quite a number of criteria. When you pressed me on it with a typical insult I provided you with example figures comparing then with now (I selected 1940 instead of 1950 but the point stands firm). I could have provided figures for any of the other factors I mentioned too. I don't doubt that wartime rationing might have had unintended beneficial consequences. But it is wrong to say that we were far healthier. We were not, not by a long chalk.

"Aye, we 'ad it tough, shared t'chemical bog at bottom of garden wi' twenty other 'ouses, 'ad nobbut thin gruel an' stale 'ovis crust every night fer us tea, us dad whipped us ter sleep every night wi' 'is belt, and it never did me no 'arm..."

Yes it bloody did. Give over.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 05:58 PM

locusts, lack of water, and monoculture, (and war). All can contribute.

With potatoes in Ireland - monoculture played a big part. Vulnerable to a virus. Yea, yea, the political situation too.

And do we learn the lesson? Ever heard of Cavendish - virtually the only variety of banana you can buy. Monoculture leads to viruses, but in that case it is a fungus. Makes for small bananas. So they just start a new plantation until the fungus finds it. Eventually we will run out of banana ground.

Cross breeding? First find yer banana seed**! Banana is a jungle herb, propagated by cutting. And it is a plant not a tree!


**they are working on it. Have been for a long time...........


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 08:13 PM

The Cavendish banana is indeed a fine example of humanity cruisin' for a bruisin'. The Irish potatoes were a monoculture only in the sense that potatoes are potatoes. There are many varieties of spud, genetically diverse. Unfortunately, they are all, not quite equally but not that differently, vulnerable to blight. Which, Mr Red by the way, is a fungus, not a virus. And trees are plants and some plants are trees. The received wisdom is that blight caused the Irish Hunger. Never forget that there was ALWAYS enough food in Ireland to feed everybody, even to the point of obesity. The Hunger was the result of Irish people being priced out by the fact that the English were more than willing to pay a fortune more for food grown in Ireland than the Irish could afford to pay. We got fat while the Irish starved. Blaming the blight is to make the blight a scapegoat. The Hunger was caused by naked capitalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 03:50 AM

I still think that better management in households on Benefits would improve the children's health and well-being.
We visit an Asda about every ten days, to get certain items not sold in our favourite Tesco. This Asda is right in the middle of a social housing area which has many problems with crime, drugs, fighting between tenants and so on. Many of the mums are single and on Benefits. (I know this because the school where I worked used to liaise with their school) I don't judge, I merely describe.

I watched the customers yesterday with interest. Their trolleys were crammed with packs of 24 sugary doughnuts, frozen ready-meals, gigantic pizzas, large tubs of ice-cream, several loaves of white sliced bread, and the inevitable huge plastic bag of frozen chips. The women always stop outside the main door to have a smoke while their children run all over the car park narrowly missing being run over. Nearly every person (male and female) was literally covered in tattoos and piercings, and everyone's hair was dyed in startling colours. Many, adults and children alike, were very obese.

Now I merely wonder - if they stopped smoking and buying cigarettes, paying large sums of money for tattoos and hair-colouring products, and spent the same amount at the checkout but for more nourishing items such as vegetables, inexpensive meat cuts, fruit and eggs, would their health be better, and would their children be better fed?
I honestly believe that these women (and men) have never been shown how to live on their income. They mostly don't work, so they do have the time and energy to cook, (eg home-made meat pies, casseroles, vegetable soup and so on) They need guidance and support with budgeting and correct diet.
I also have to add that in this area there are jobs to be had. It isn't suffering from unemployment. In fact, they're crying out for carers, checkout assistants, cleaners, waiting staff and many other non-skilled workers.


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 04:05 AM

"I still think that better management in households on Benefits would improve the children's health and well-being."
That goes without saying on any level Sen - if not for the good of the family, then for that of the planet - management of natural resources and ascertain that you aren't filling our hospitals with unnecessarily unhealthy people
It has nothing whatever to do with poverty and unfairness in Britain today, which you appear to be avoiding.
There is enough food to go around to feed everyone in Britain - why should the poor bear the burden ?
Any society that can't provide a system that allows its people to feed, clothe and house themselves is way past its sell-by date
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Iains
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 04:26 AM

"According to Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, modern Britons are actually at a greater risk of malnutrition than they were under rationing. He said in an interview with the Sunday Times: “Nobody is arguing for going back to rationing but it is salutary to think that when we had rationing everybody was getting the essential nutrients. What we have now is malnutrition of a different kind than we have ever experienced before, except from the wealthy who used to sometimes suffer from the sin of gluttony, which is a form of malnutrition. We have mass gluttonous malnutrition.” A study by the International Obesity Task Force found that children today consume 3,000 calories per day, which is 1,200 more than their counterparts on rations - the equivalent of eight chocolate bars."

"Throughout the 20th century, average life expectancy has been increasing. This is primarily a result of a change in disease patterns, as infectious diseases have declined, and chronic diseases have become the nation’s main killers. A number of factors are recognised to influence the risk of chronic disease, including diet and lifestyle. Therefore, dietary guidelines have been developed to help people follow a diet that can maximise their health and longevity. These guidelines   were first established in 1950.


https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ec59/1b7ba037372f82ddf42363b824c44156870c.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: On the cause of Famines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 04:57 AM

Well I too frequent Asdas and Tescos (and Lidls) both up north and in the poorest parts of the westcountry and I do glance occasionally at other people's trolley contents. I've seen a few packed as you describe, I've seen a few packed with well-chosen veg, fruit and meat and I've seen most that are somewhere on a spectrum in between. I see far fewer mothers hanging around having a fag than I used to. Tattoos and facial ornamentation are not for me but as far as I'm concerned they are means of self-expression In the same way as hairstyles, beards and colours of clothing are. I won't begin to try to judge anyone's character by their tattoos. There's a chap in Bude whose every inch of skin from head to foot is tattooed and he's a lovely man. With respect, I did find your post to be broad-brush and judgemental. Capitalism throws fast food, convenience food and other high-salt, high-sugar, high-fat processed rubbish at us constantly and incessantly. In schools, cookery is a Cinderella, girlie subject. Jamie Oliver tried his damnedest to popularise healthy eating in schools and failed abysmally. The parents with limited cooking skills are confronted by an unstoppable tide of cheap rubbish that can be whacked on the plate in minutes and which the kids will actually eat. I think you are blaming things on the wrong people.


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