03 July 2014

Sold a PUP

I love the splash the Palmer United Party (PUP) is making on the political scene.

But once again we learn the dangers of unleashing overconfident morons with mouths bigger than their brains onto the national stage.

Jacqui 'the Mouth from the South' Lambie, new PUP senator, thinks a good idea for foreign aid is shipping freeze-dried vegetables from Tasmania to Africa.

This is moronic.

Food is one of the few things Africa does have. Even when there are those famines we associate with Africa, it is usually because food is being hoarded, not because it is scarce. Dumping free food onto Africa will do nothing but wreak havoc on local markets - possibly even causing famine, not curing it.

We learnt this with t-shirts. An American t-shirt entrepreneur had the well-meant idea of "a million t-shirts for Africa". Problem was, t-shirts are one of the few things Africa can produce. Africans are not exactly running around naked. What do you think dumping a million free t-shirts will do to local manufacturers and distributors? A million t-shirts from Africa would have been a better idea. Fortunately, this entrepreneur was a smart guy who got the message straight away from aid agencies.

Palmer needs to pull his puppies back into line. Or at least teach them to do some homework before shooting off their mouths.