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Welcome to North East Call to Action on Global Poverty and Climate Change - NE-CAP. (Prior to September 2010 we were known as MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY North East).
NE-CAP continues to promote the aims and activities of the national MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign that formally disbanded in 2006. That
is, we call upon people in the North East - from Tees to Tweed - to join us in demanding that our government, and indeed the governments of the world, should act to alleviate poverty for the world's poorer countries by:
See our review of 2010 relating to these five areas.
- Trade justice
- Dropping the debt
- Providing more and better aid
- Curbing climate change
- Promoting Fairtrade
See our review of 2009 relating to these five areas.
See review of 2010 from One (an international organisation) relating to these areas
Latest news, planned events and activities
The events listed below are organised by us, or by groups or individuals affiliated to us who have asked for their event to be included in this listing.
The inaugural 'NEWCASTLE JUBILEE DEVELOPMENT LECTURE'
North East CALL TO ACTION warmly invites you to the inaugural 'Newcastle Jubilee Development Lecture' to be given by Baroness Glenys Kinnock on Tuesday 23rd April, 5:30pm at the Curtis Auditorium, Hershcel Building, Newcastle University. This is a notable event, unique in the UK, and an excellent opportunity for you to show your support for this year's 'Enough Food for Everyone IF' campaign, and for the wider drive against severe global poverty.
Everyone is welcome, no tickets required, but we advise you to arrive early to get a seat. Further information can be found here
Enough food for Everyone IF
This month more than 150 organisations have rallied together to take action on global hunger. The campaign: 'enough food if'. The Campaign challenges our generation to be the one that 'ends hunger forever'. You can show your support, take action and learn more here and show your support for the campaign.
Archbishop Tutu & Bill Gates have both shown their support, you can read their comments here and keep up to date with progress using the twitter hashtag #if
Major Joint Agency Campaign on Food and Hunger
Regional Launch & Photo Call
9.15am Friday 25th January 2013
St Thomas’ Church, Haymarket, Newcastle upon Tyne
To include unfurling of giant campaign banner
Later this month, a major campaign on food and hunger will be launched by a coalition of over 50 of the UK’s leading agencies – including NE-CAP. We are coming
together because, despite there being enough food in the world to feed everyone, nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night and over two million children die from malnutrition annually. With action to address the root causes of hunger we can change this.
The campaign will be launched nationally on Wednesday 23rd January in London, Cardiff, Belfast and Glasgow, and subsequently there will be a series of regional launches across the country organised by Christian Aid. Our event will last no longer than 30-45 minutes and we are inviting the region’s MPs, MEPs, faith leaders,
representatives of the supporting agencies and local celebrities.
Please join us if you can, to help make our launch the best supported anywhere! Poster to print out of the event is here.
For university chaplins to consider...
To All UK University Chaplains
An urgent request for comprehensive support for:
Faith Leaders' 'Jubilee for Justice' Letter
Appendix 1: - The Faith Leaders' Letter
Appendix 2: - Article by Archbishop Sentamu
Great North Run 2013
We are recruiting!!
Fancy doing the great north run this coming September (15th)?
Why not run for our team in support of Drop the Debt and Stop AIDS?
Dates for your diary
Tuesday 23rd April at 5.30pm at Newcastle University
The inaugural ‘Newcastle Jubilee Development Lecture’, to be given by Baroness Glenys Kinnock of Holyhead
Sponsored by the Diocese of Newcastle, Newcastle University and Jubilee Debt Campaign
Monday 2nd September at 7.30pm, in Stockton Baptist Tabernacle
‘Justice for the poor, at home and abroad’
Speaker, the world-renowned Tony Campolo
The Benefits of Debt Cancellation
In 2011, David Golding, Development Co-ordinator of NE-CAP visited Tanzania and Zambia. You can see a video of his trip here where he sees for himself, and shares with us, the benefits of debt cancellation. This is a great illustration of how campaigning really does make a difference.
Submission to the Leveson Inquiry - March 2012
Leveson Inquiry welcomes NE-CAP’s Development Co-ordinator’s major
Press release - May 2012 - here
Full submission here
The Leveson Inquiry was set up as a result of the ‘phone hacking scandal, but
its remit was far wider than this, namely, to investigate the ‘Culture, Practice
and Ethics of the Press’. Dr David Golding CBE, NE-CAP’s Development
Coordinator, has made a major submission to the Inquiry, albeit ‘in a personal
capacity only’, and this has been welcomed and will be published as part of
the Inquiry’s evidence.
David says, “The impetus for my submission was originally provided by recent
articles on international aid in the Daily Mail and the material I presented on
this subject is largely the content of an Open Letter sent to the Editor of the
Mail on 14th December, 2011 (correspondence relating this is still ongoing).
“I stated to the Inquiry that I believe the issues I was raising are far more
important than that involved in the abuses which led to the setting up of the
Inquiry, however serious that may be. It was my contention that the behaviour
of the press relating to some of the great issues of the day not infrequently
constitutes gross professional misconduct, by involving blatant distortion of
the facts and demonstrating utter contempt for the responsibility to provide
well informed and balanced treatment.”
In addition to the matter of international aid, two other examples dealing
with quite different issues are cited (namely HIV/AIDS denialism and climate
scepticism), to illustrate the fact that this serious problem is both long-
standing and endemic within large sections of the press.
David received the following response: “Thank you for your submission/
witness statement to the Inquiry. We are very grateful to you for taking the
time to assist the Inquiry. The information that you have provided is relevant
to the Inquiry and we therefore would like to publish it as part of the Inquiry's
official record… This will not require you to give oral evidence to the Inquiry.
[shame!] Instead, your submission will be published on the Inquiry's website.”
Up and coming Christian Aid events
Christian Aid have a number of events coming up soon in the North East. Details here.
Click here for a full list of current, future and past events.
Occasional papers / articles for thought and debate
An open letter to the Dail Mail on International Aid
From David W. Golding - December 2011
I was deeply disturbed to read the articles and editorial on international aid on 3rd
December 2011. [ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2069343/Foreign-aid-law-plan-
Ministers-want-commit-Britain-billions-handouts.html ] Surely, even the slightest concern
for fairness, or the smallest concern to help your readers come to a balanced judgement
on this issue, would have led you to include information on the benefits provided by aid (as
confirmed by independent studies by the World Bank, for example), as well as the matters
to which you object. In their absence, the impression given, I hope mistakenly, was that
of sheer spite - of spite, indeed, towards the poorest and most vulnerable people on the
But I’m getting ahead of myself! On 12th May 1789, ‘a sickly shrimp of a man’, William
Wilberforce MP, gave his first speech in Parliament on the slave trade. “I will not accuse
the Liverpool merchants,” he said. “I will allow them to be men of humanity… and I verily
believe that if the wretchedness of any one of the many hundred Negros stowed in each
ship could be brought within their view, that there is no one among them whose heart
could bear it.”
Likewise, I will not ‘accuse you’, but allow you to be a ‘man of humanity’ and,
likewise, ‘verily believe’ that if the wretchedness of the people to whom you would deny aid
could be brought home to you, your heart too ‘could not bear it’. For example, in the early
2000s, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, economics advisor to the United Nations, was visiting
the main hospital in Malawi, and the doctor suggested he stepped into the medical ward.
Sachs recalls that:
“There was no medicine in the medical ward. The ward had 150 beds - there were 450
people in the ward. These 450 people were fit into a room with 150 beds by putting three
people in or around each bed. Two people were lying head to toe, toe to head, in each bed
– strangers sharing a death bed. Alongside or underneath the bed there was somebody
on the ground, sometimes literally on the ground or sometimes on a piece of cardboard,
dying beneath the bed. The room was filled with moans. Family members were sitting by
the beds, swabbing dried lips and watching their loved ones die.” Of AIDS, of course.
Of the three examples you cited, one was completely unrepresentative (48 Pitcairn
islanders – in the immortal words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!”), and one
based on error – the Land Rovers for Mugabe were not financed by the aid budget, but by
the ECGD, a department charged with promoting British exports. The other one (India) is
admittedly debatable, although I believe our aid is put to good use there.
You failed to mention that the financial crisis, for which the rich countries (reckless
bankers, incompetent governments, and irresponsible consumers alike) are entirely to
blame, has pushed an extra 100 million people back into absolute poverty. These are not
people whose children cry themselves to sleep at night because of hunger, but people
whose children are too weak to cry. So once again, as with Third World Debt, "Those who
could be blamed the least, the poorest people in the poorest countries, are suffering the
most." (The late Cardinal Basil Hume)
Furthermore, as I pointed out above, you did not so much as breath a word about the
hundreds of millions of people who are receiving real and life changing benefits from
aid and debt relief. For example, since 2000, the number of AIDS patients receiving life-
saving drugs has risen 100-fold to nearly 7 million – and that means that tens of millions of
children will not be left orphans in a cold and callous world! That includes 75% of those in
most need in Malawi, so that conditions in the medical ward described above have been
transformed. Treatment to prevent infection of babies with the HIV virus during birth (a
fairly simple procedure) has risen from about 5% to over 50%.
Similarly, an estimated extra 42 million children, most of them girls, are attending primary
school. Smallpox – a hideous disease – has been eradicated; and polio has been cut
to 1,600 cases, a reduction of over 99%. Healthcare is now free for pregnant women in
several African countries – increasing the number receiving it by half a million each year
in Ghana alone. In Bangladesh, vaccination for the six common childhood diseases (it
costs little more than a pound) has gone from 10% to 70%, child mortality has been more
than halved (as in several Africa countries) - and the fertility rate has been reduced by
more than 50%! As Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, put it
last year, "Instead of just lamenting that Africa might miss the MDG targets, we should be
celebrating the real changes that have happened in the lives of millions of poor people”.
What the International Development Department doesn't care to flag up (I wonder why?
) is that the real recipients of 'foreign aid' are the rich countries! Unfair trade rules, tax
dodges by big corporations, and debt repayments, each cost poor countries far more than
they get in aid. And those things don't take into account our habit of 'poaching' many of
their brightest and best trained people, nor the impacts of climate change, for which we are
entirely responsible. ‘There should be a law against it!'
In conclusion: "Telling lies to Bob [Geldof] and me is one thing. Putting their signature
on a G8 communique and lying to their citizenry is another matter. Breaking promises to
the most vulnerable people on earth is real infamy." (Bono) It is indeed. We didn’t have
to make these solemn pledges to ‘the most vulnerable people on earth’, but we did make
them and we should keep them!
David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL
Notes on specific points raised by the Daily Mail:
Those 48 Pitcairn islanders: I don’t suppose the British Government knows what to do
with this handful of British citizens living on a large rock in the South Pacific, and I certainly
don’t! Inevitably, keeping them supplied isn’t cheap on account of their geographical
isolation. However, to use them to denigrate British aid more widely is simply absurd.
Aid to India: This is obviously debatable in view of the scale of this country’s expenditure
on its military (and its space programme!), although I understand that good work is done
with our aid in the provision of schooling. However, our past responsibilities for this country
have to be born in mind. Furthermore, it may well be that DfID has set up worthwhile
projects in the past and doesn’t want to walk away from them. Capricious funding is the
bane of aid for development, with money often being wasted because of a lack of on-going
commitment, and DfID may be trying to avoid this pitfall. [In contrast, debt relief provides a
dependable source of funding into the future and is a superior method of assistance.]
“Charity should begin at home”: Of course it should, but it shouldn’t stop there –
otherwise none of us would lift a finger for anyone outside our own family circles! In any
case, developing countries are not in receipt of charity, but of a multiplicity of injustices, as
I outlined above. The irony is that ‘enlightened self-interest’ - an intelligent concern for our
own welfare, and that of future generations - will lead us to take vigorous action to reduce
the obscene chasm which has opened up between rich and poor globally. Such a world
is a dangerous and unhealthy one, as well as being morally indefensible. As an African
proverb puts it, “No one can sleep soundly, knowing that his neighbour is hungry”.
“Pensioners could freeze to death this winter”: There’s an ‘easy answer’ to this,
indeed, several! (1) Action should be taken to ban ‘regressive’ tariffs, which result in higher
prices for people using smaller amounts of fuel as a consequence of the imposition of
standing charges and price reductions for higher levels of fuel use. After all, we don’t face
a standing charge when we visit the petrol station, nor do ‘gas guzzlers’ qualify for cheaper
fuel! Better still, by far, would be the introduction of ‘progressive’ tariffs, for example, with
everyone getting a small, free ‘fuel allowance’, with a flat rate thereafter. This wouldn’t
cost the Exchequer a single penny. (2) A national drive on home insulation would combat
fuel poverty; reduce future imports of fuel; create substantial numbers of jobs; and curb
carbon emissions – a win/win/win/win outcome! It could be paid for by reversing the
Government’s measures favouring motorists, given that the overall cost of motoring has
fallen substantially over the past decade. [See “Cars are a cheap option” by the author.]
(3) According to the independent, highly respected IFS, the financial changes announced
since the election (as distinct from those initiated by the previous government) have been
regressive – i.e., hitting the poorest hardest. This bias should be reversed.
“Corrupt regimes and vanity projects”: It’s sad to see these dreary old prejudices
being trotted out week after week. Of course, we should take the government to task when
it fails to be vigilant regarding the use of aid and there’s always room for improvement, but
these sweeping and destructive slanders help not at all.
If we wait till impoverished societies sort out their problems with corruption before tackling
poverty, we’ll wait forever, because extreme poverty is one of the main engines of
corruption. As Professor Jeffrey Sachs explained, “Good governance raises incomes, but
also, and perhaps even more important… higher income leads to improved governance. A
more literate and affluent society is better able to keep the government honest… second,
a more affluent society can afford to invest in high quality governance” – for example, pay
civil servants, teachers, police, etc., a living wage.
During my visit to Tanzania and Zambia earlier this year, it became abundantly clear to
me that, despite the high levels of corruption in those countries, large numbers of decent
and able people are doing good things there. I visited a secondary school which had been
built by entirely by the local people, with the exception of the timber and metal roof - that
had been provided by the government. I asked the Deputy Head, “How long did you have
to wait for them to do it?” He replied, “About a month”! I visited a clean, spacious and
apparently well staffed hospital, and I saw numerous new pumps providing clean water in
remote valleys. In each case, these developments were made possible by the provision of
aid and debt relief.
“Cars are a cheap option”
Published in ‘Metro’, 20th December, 2011. [Wording excluded from published
version shown in square brackets.]
From David W. Golding
I see the motoring lobby is up to its usual tricks decrying the news that only a third of
drivers’ taxes is spent on roads (Metro, Friday Dec 16). In its comment, the AA failed
to mention the widespread damage to health which results from urban traffic, or the
enormous carbon pollution of the world’s atmosphere.
Furthermore, although fuel has become more expensive in terms of cost per litre,
motorists are paying only about 1% more for their fuel than they were in 1980, when
the price is adjusted for inflation, on account of the greater efficiency of present day
engines, according to a Which? study in April 2011.
It’s the overall cost of motoring (purchase as well as running costs) which really
matters to drivers [and the Government’s own figures show that] this is down about
14% in real terms over the decade. So much for “turning the clock back on social
mobility”, as the AA claims. [In contrast, bus and coach fares have risen by about
24% over the same period.] In reality, its poorer people who rely on public transport
who pay through the nose.
Dr David Golding CBE, Newcastle University
Climate Change - Point & Counterpoint - added Dec 2009
A paper by David Golding
An abridged version is also available here.
Amnesty International Dignity Campaign - added July 2009
A paper by Peter Sagar
Environmentalism and spirituality - added April 2009
A paper by Peter Sagar
Carbon Fast - Carbon Diet - added March 2009
A paper by David Golding
Climate Change - A brief outline of the strength of the scientific consensus - added March 2009
A paper by David Golding
Is Environmental Concern 'A New Morality'? - added March 2009
A paper by David Golding
The Real Global Warming Swindle - added July 2007. This is a continuation from the article in the Climate Change Special Edition newsletter 2007. By David Golding
Carbon Offsetting - added May 2007
A paper by David Golding
I count - added May 2007
A personal look at his own carbon offsetting by David Golding
Is the Trade Justice Movement politically biased?
Written by Dr David Golding, November 2006.
Honorary Degrees Acceptance Speech by Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer
The speech that he made during the honorary degree ceremony of Newcastle University in January 2007 ends....
" I say to this great audience today, at this historic ceremony that we will remember for years to come: 'Have confidence and have faith. Hold fast to the belief that it can and will be said of our generation that we built a movement on ethical foundations that had the vision, had the courage and had the moral strength and the greatness to do the right thing; that we will continue to work unflinchingly and unfailingly to build justice in our time and indeed to Make Poverty History' ".
NE-CAP and MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY North East in the press....
- Article in Northern Echo 29th June 2006
- Letter published in the Newcastle Journal, August 2006
- Article in Hartlepool Mail, 17 October 2006
- See here and here what the BBC said about the 'Stop Climate Chaos' rally on November 4th which was attended by a North East contingent.
- The sage event of 8th January 2007 was covered in the Newcastle Journal and the Newcastle Chronicle.
- Article in Local News Guardian 17th July 2008 regarding climate change.
- Content of article published in Local News Guardian in May 2009 entitled 'Pupils help promote climate change strategy'
- Content of letter published in Metro News 15th February 2010 regarding foreign aid.
- Content of letter published in Evangelicals Now (May edition 2010) regarding climate change.
- Content of letter published in Idea, the magazine of the Evangelical Alliance (May/June edition 2010) regarding climate change.
- Article in Northumberland Gazette 11th November 2010 regarding roadshow event.
- Content of letter published in The Guardian 26th March 2011 regarding fuel duty and climate change.
- Content of letter published in The Guardian 22nd July 2011 in response to a leader entitled, “David Cameron in Africa, Resolute on Aid”.
- Content of letter published in Metro News 21st May 2012 regarding cars and public trasport.
And a letter from Downing Street, July 2006. In this letter the prime minister encourages campaigners to "...keep up the pressure...". We agree as, although there has been progress, there is still plenty to achieve to Make Poverty History.
NE-CAP has the following aims and objectives:
- To continue to promote the aims of the national MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign of 2005, with its emphasis on 'Trade Justice, Drop the Debt and More and Better Aid', in accordance with the manifesto of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY.
- To promote urgent action to curb climate change, given that "The impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately upon developing countries and the poor....within all countries". (Third report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
- To promote Fairtrade, and support the wider work of relief and development NGOs (non-government organisations).
- To support all those in the Tees-to-Tweed region seeking to promote the above aims.
- To work with other organisations having similar aims, and network with groups in other areas.
- To encourage other areas in the country to set up local groups to promote economic justice.
The full constitution can be found here.
NE-CAP acknowledges with gratitude financial support received during 2011 from:
Alnwick House Church £100.00
Jubilee Debt Campaign £300.00
Sacriston Everyman's Club £20.00
Save the Children £201.40
- Jonathan Edwards CBE
Olympic Gold Medalist
- Kevin Rowan
TUC Regional Secretary
- Martin Callanan
Cons. MEP for NE England
- Helen Goodman
Labour MP for Bishop Auckland
- John Grundy
Writer & Broadcaster
- Rt Revd Justin Welby
Bishop of Durham
- Lord Rupert Redesdale & Lady Helen Redesdale
Message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to North East campaigners, January
"How wonderfully you have supported us in our struggle against apartheid. You did Make Apartheid History! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for wanting to make poverty history. Well done. Go on to the Jubilee, on to Trade Justice and on to make Poverty History!".
Quote from Stuart Maconie, ‘Pies and Prejudice – in Search of the North’, Ebury Press, 2007...
"Because of the Jarrow March… Newcastle and poverty go together in the British
imagination… but when I googled for ‘Newcastle’ and ‘poverty’… all I found were site
after site encouraging Geordies to ‘Make Poverty History’ and calling for the cancellation
of Third World Debt."