Anorak News | Light Relief

Light Relief

by | 5th, September 2005

‘WE know most of our forces are otherwise employed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, but is the British relief effort to New Orleans comprised of two men in a rowing boat.

New Orleans or bust

The picture of the coxless pair that sits on the Telegraph’s front page is, however, not that of a rescue mission on its way to Louisiana, but a shot of James Cracknell, Britain’s Olympic rowing gold medallist, and Ben Fogle, a star of reality TV, training for their mission to row across the Atlantic in a 25ft tub.

Why this should appear on the Telegraph’s esteemed front page is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the paper wants us to link the image with New Orleans and so add a bit of levity to the desperate story? Perhaps the picture editor just fancies Cracknell.

But British aid is getting to new Orleans faster than a couple of buff celebs can paddle. The Times says Britain has donated half a million ration packs containing a 24-hour supply of food to the cause (each pack contains a family bag of pickled onion flavour crisps, ten Hob Nobs, a gallon of lemon hooch, a battered sausage and a deep-fried Mars bar).

And we are not alone. In all, the paper says international groups like the EU to Nato have offered help of first-aid kits, blankets and water trucks.

And then there is the unusual occurrence of an offer of aid to the richest nation on the planet from “traditional targets of the Bush Administration” such as Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.

Kuwait has donated $500 million in oil products. Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India, beneficiaries of the post-tsunami effort last winter, have all pledged their support.

And so it goes.

But while brash Bush is forced to eat mom’s humble pie, and the world shows that despite the rhetoric and bile it does care about America, the Telegraph gives answers to its own key questions.

“Could the disaster have been averted?” Answer: “No”. “Would better flood defences have made a difference?” Answer: “Maybe.” “Could the city have been evacuated before the storm?” Answer: “Yes.” “Could federal aid have reached the city sooner?” Answer: “Yes”.

And lastly the crucial question that must be asked: “Is it all Bush’s fault?” Answer: “Not all of it.” After all Tony Blair has got the weather machine…


Posted: 5th, September 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink