In the media
Could the tsunami disaster be a turning point for the world?
As the international aid effort grows and George Bush launches
a fresh appeal, we ask politicians and commentators if 2005 might
see a new determination to tackle global poverty
04 January 2005
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THE RIGHT REV TIM STEVENS, Bishop of Leicester
I am hopeful, but we must see a real commitment to changing the
economic relationships between the West and the poorer countries.
As well as charitable giving, we need to tackle these fundamental
RORY BREMNER, Comedian
On an individual level, it is not just about what we are prepared
to give, but what we are prepared to give up. Having left Afghanistan
and Iraq in their wake, can our leaders be trusted to fight a war
KANYA KING, Founder, Mobo awards
No longer can we exist in isolation when we see lives and livelihoods
being destroyed. All of us need to be pro-active to change things,
but we have shown that public opinion and the media can influence
STEPHEN TINDALE, Executive director, Greenpeace
It seems churlish to say it, but while it's relatively easy for
most of us to give £50, it would be much harder for us to
make the changes in our modern lifestyles that are needed if we
are to move to a fairer world.
DR GHAYASUDDIN SIDDIQUI, Leader of Muslim Parliament
Compassion, care and concern for mankind joins each of us - whatever
our faith or ethnicity. The tragedy has shown there is a formula
on which all mankind can be united to help each other. Mankind has
BILL BAILEY, Comedian
It was the same after 11 September. Everyone said it was a great
opportunity to try to understand the world but it was used by the
US as a reason to go on a rampaging adventure in Afghanistan and
MO MOWLAM, Former cabinet minister
I think most people will simply forget. Some charities say people
will even forget how much they pledged to give. I wish it would
change our attitudes to other people in other countries, but I'm
afraid that it won't.
SIR JONATHON PORRITT, Environmentalist
The response reveals a deep sense of empathy that could be of lasting
value. If it is just a philanthropic flash, then we have seen those
before, but if people gain a sense of their interdependence, we
will be better off.
DINOS CHAPMAN, Artist
Western capitalism demands that people must be impoverished. I cannot
think that anything will change this year, because we are the ones
who have made the world the way it is. I don't believe in altruism.
LORD HURD OF WESTWELL, Former foreign secretary
The danger is that resources which might have gone to Africa will
go to this instead. While huge publicity continues to be given to
the tsunami, human beings are killing each other in Iraq, and places
SIR MAX HASTINGS, Journalist and historian
We have to bear in mind that we have been here before. There have
been tragedies before, and many fine things have been said, a lot
of them by the US. We just have to hope that in this case they will
J G BALLARD, Novelist
It would be one of the biggest breakthroughs mankind has ever experienced
if we pooled our wealth in order to look after the poorer people
of the world. Sadly, I don't think it will happen.
SUE MACGREGOR, Broadcaster
I hope politicians will take note of the public reaction. But it
is difficult to tell whether it will do anything to change the way
politicians see things, when our own Prime Minister chose not to
break his holiday.
TONY BENN, Former cabinet minister
It may make people realise that the UN needs to be well-equipped
and funded. If people diverted money from weapons and war, we have
the technology and money to be able to help - if we decide to do
SIR RICHARD BRANSON, Entrepreneur
I think that politicians must realise that people do care about
these issues and want them to do more. If 2005 could become the
year when people make a real effort, then it could make a real difference.