Home

Bello of wrath

11 December 2005

Hong Kong Polytechnic University hosted a world premiere last night. If only Wayne Rooney's girlfriend had been present, the first screening of Focus on the Global South's 'Why the WTO is really bad for you' might have been really something.

The film, done in a genre probably best described as political reality TV, charts the outrage of farmers and campaigners, mostly from southeast Asia, as they outline how changes to trade rules have screwed them over. You can watch it here

Walden Bello, Focus' tireless campaigner-in-chief and long a target for assassination of the Communist Party of the Philippines, apologised in advance for his narration. "I didn't want to narrate it but the director forced me to," says he. "Like all artists, he's an eccentric." 

Huddled after the screening, Bello, among the WTO's pithiest critics, puts his objection simply: "The WTO and the Doha Round represent the subordination of development to corporate interests." He fears the negotiations on services and manufactured goods (GATS and NAMA, if you will), will be pushed through as the least developed countries are outflanked by Brazil and India, who in turn will be bought off by the big boys with promises on tweaks to the rules on agricultural subsidies and migration of professionals. 

"What developing countries need is policy space," Bello says. "The WTO kills that space." 

Sign the petition: save our Freedom of Information

The UK government is running a secretive unit inside Michael Gove’s Cabinet Office that’s accused of ‘blacklisting’ journalists and hiding ‘sensitive’ information from the public. Experts say they’re breaking the law – and it’s an assault on our right to know what our government is doing.

We’re not going to let it stand. We’re launching a legal battle – but we also need a huge public outcry, showing that thousands back our call for transparency. Will you add your name?

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData