October 2021
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500 killed by Philippines typhoon – 5,000 killed by corruption, stupidity, greed and incompetence

This blog is not intended for the politically correct. So let’s be a little controversial today.

A couple of weeks ago, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched an urgent appeal to raise millions to help those whose lives had been affected by the Philippines typhoon Haiyan. We were told that over 5,000 were killed by the typhoon. But were they really killed by the storm?

Let’s take Holland. About 20% of Holland is below sea level, 21% of its population lives on land that is below sea level and about 50% of the country is just one metre above sea level. Even Amsterdam’s huge Schiphol Airport is 4.5 metres below sea level. But when there’s a major North Sea surge, do the Dutch run around throwing their clogs in the air and screaming “aaiiiaiiieee we’re all going to die?” Nope. No need. The Dutch can sleep soundly in their beds because Holland is a relatively corruption-free advanced country and has built effective defences against flooding. Similarly, Britain could protect London against flooding by building the Thames flood barrier.

Or take Japan. When there’s a major earthquake, a few people will die. But because Japan is a relatively corruption-free advanced country, where some attempt is made to ensure buildings can withstand earthquakes, the death toll is usually quite limited. Yet every time there’s an earthquake in corruption-ridden, poverty-stricken, misgoverned  hell-holes like Pakistan or Iran, thousands die.

So what is really killing these people? Is it the natural disaster? Or is it because their countries are backward, corrupt, misgoverned hell-holes so they haven’t developed and are thus unable to provide the infrastructure – flood defences, flood- and quake-proof buildings, decent housing, proper roads, effective rescue services for example – to protect their populations?

Moreover, when one of these countries does actually make an attempt to build the infrastructure necessary to protect against natural disasters, what usually happens is that most of the hundreds of millions spent gets stolen by corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and their business cronies and what little is built is often so shoddy that it’s crumbling into useless disrepair within months.

So I would humbly suggest that it’s the corruption and poverty that is the real cause of the massive death tolls whenever there’s a natural disaster in a Third World country.

And when there is one of these disasters and we hand over tens of millions, what actually happens to our cash? Does it go to those who need it? On the few occasions when journalists visit the scenes of these disasters a year or two after the event, the story is almost always the same – those affected are still living in misery while most of the money has mysteriously disappeared into the pockets of the already wealthy.

But if DEC were to tell us the truth that our money is needed to protect these people from the corruption, incompetence, stupidity and venality of their own governments, then we might be less tempted to give. So the lies continue – “flood/tsunami/typhoon/earthquake or whatever kills thousands” – and we keep giving and nothing ever changes.

The only way to cause change is to first recognise reality. But that would be politically incorrect and so nobody ever dares mention the real causes of these many deaths.

(No doubt I will now be lambasted for my supposed “callousness”. But sometimes the truth hurts especially when it’s not politically correct)

6 comments to 500 killed by Philippines typhoon – 5,000 killed by corruption, stupidity, greed and incompetence

  • MGJ

    No lambasting from me; you make a very good point. Reacting to the proximate rather than addressing the ultimate cause always seems to be the response of politicians, whether you are talking about ‘natural’ disasters, economic disasters or any other sort.

  • Paris Claims

    It’s all down to ethnicity. Some groups just haven’t evolved.

  • Jim Lovell

    Very well said. I was talking to a lady from the Phillipines last week. She said she lives near a government warehouse chock full of relief supplies which is locked and under armed Government guard. The local Politicians say they cannot release the supplies because of the lack of manpower to distribute the goods. The lady said the Government could say to the local people to come to the warehouse to pick up the goods themselves but because of corruption they will not let it happen.

  • Rod

    At the time of Band Aid (1980’s), the population of Ethiopia was 40 million but they could not grow enough food to feed themselves. Today their population is estimated at 91 million! So how is this our fault and why do we always have to give “aid” whenever the shit hits the fan for them? The only “aid” we should be sending to the 3rd world is contraception.

  • Mike

    Yes, and you should see what happened when they filled the troughs in Haiti.

  • taxxxedtothemaxxx

    Big storm coming tonight in NL so you will see how we’ll the defences do…. Mind you we pay a shit load in taxes to pay for these defences… When I was at school a Geography teacher once told us that Holland would one day be under water… I remember thinking at the time Holland, not a good place to live… As destiny would have it I’ve been here 18 years and I do grumble about the amount of tax I pay but at leased here you seem to get value for money, good infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

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