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CONTRASTING LIFE STYLES

In the same day's newspaper we can read of the contrasting life styles of people inside capitalism. About 140,000 people died in the storms that raged through Burma. The poverty stricken survivors were at first denied aid from Unicef and Save the Children by the Burmese government. Eventually these organisations were admitted and attempted to give aid to the survivors including thousands of orphans. The begging bowl was passed round by charities desperate to aid these kids. Contrast that with another item on the same day. The champagne industry was concerned that some of its customers were finding it difficult to uncork their bottles, so no expense was spared in dealing with this problem. "Bruno de Saizieui, Alcan's commercial director, said: "At first we tried a screwtop but found that a symbolic noise was not there. It was our priority to keep this specific and evocative sound of champagne opening." After three years and 1 million euros (£885,000) in research, they came up with an aluminium device like that on beer bottles." (Times, 6 May)
The cry of starving orphans was drowned out by the "specific and evocative sound of champagne opening." Another tragic example of capitalism's priorities. RD

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