Lobsters, caviar and brandy for MPs at summit on starvation

for a start, its unfair to try and divide the amount of food listed in the OP amongst teh total number of attendants, because there sure as hell wont be 60,000 people invited to the banquets.

I’d just like to point out (though I largely agree re. excess) that these actions were those of a private hotel owner, who pre-empted the perceived demands of the delegates - not the actions of the conference itself. He might find that all that extra stock goes to waste (though I doubt it).

Ok, global hunger is certainly an issue but do you or anyone think that by feeding vegemite or some such to a few hundred attending dignitaries any problems would be solved? Would the dignitaries even show up? Come on, lets not kid ourselves, good will is all well and good so long as you don’t actually suffer to foster any. And thats exactly what those VIP’s think.

Besides? What does proximity have to do with it? Should anyone feel free to eat well while people anywhere on Earth starve? Should we only eat beans and rice when in clos proximity to starving people? What is the acceptable distance before we continue eating as we would when at home?

Not only that, but representatives from any countries where either kosher or Halal dietary laws are followed aren’t exactly going to be making a beeline for lobster, shrimp, bacon or sausage.

well, if you organise a Banquet for dignataries on a conference where one of the main topics was world hunger, and instead of dishing out Oysters and Lobster, you dished out supplies from the Red cross didaster relief fund, you might make an impression on the people who are developing policy to deal with world hunger.
just a thought.

It’s just stereotypical tabloid crap.

I did read they actually moved the conference forward a week so to give Bush time for his 9/11 plans but it’s apparently a little too far from Crawford. Colin Powell is going instead to face the booing.

Kimstu – I wonder if you’re being just a tad premature. Lets see how it goes. FWIW, It looks to me like some good work will be done with regards, for example, sustainability and the developing world.

Which is exactly the point. Even if you consider a lobster dinner to be a wretched excess, most of the people at the congress won’t be having one. The 0.0167 Lb lobster/person figure is a measure of the maximum possible decadence of the meeting. If the participants aren’t eating lobster, they must either be starving themselves, or eating something less “newsworthy.” The article makes no mention of the politically correct eating habits of the majority of attendees. As pldennison states, many of the conferees are admirably following their strict dietary laws throughout the conference. Where’s the evidence of excess in that ? If half the conferees are subsisting on bean-dip and bread, then the other half will get to have a lobster once a month (2/0.0167) , rather once every two months. Whew, that’ll make em feel all bloated for sure !
Huge conferences have huge banquets, and it takes a huge amount of food to feed the diners. It seems to me that the article exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.
Or, as London_Calling puts it:
It’s just stereotypical tabloid crap.

Squink, I know that it is tabloid crap. That is the definition of The Sun. hell, I dont even read the online version, let alone buy the paper!

Sounds just like a certain poster…

Damn! Jeff Olsen’s on to me!!
[Running for the hills …]

Oops, I think I just caused a scene similar to MAD’s satire of Grease. Rizzo just annouced she’s pregnant and everyone and his dog is running for the hills.


LC: Kimstu – I wonder if you’re being just a tad premature. Lets see how it goes. FWIW, It looks to me like some good work will be done with regards, for example, sustainability and the developing world.

Good; nothing would make me happier than for “Rio+10” to produce some real results—not least because I would then be rescued from the unaccustomed and alarming position of agreeing with december. :smiley:

To put your mind at rest, Kimstu, my pessimism about this conference has a different basis from yours. My pessimism derives from the fact that the conference is not focusing on the main cause of hunger in the world – bad governance. E.g., Robert Mugabe.

See, we don’t really agree. OK? :stuck_out_tongue:

december: *See, we don’t really agree. OK? *

Whew! Thanks, big guy. :slight_smile: Just to cement our disagreement, I’ll point out that although “bad governance” may well be “the main cause of hunger in the world”, it doesn’t necessarily follow that addressing some of the other causes “won’t do a bit of good”, as you claimed in the OP. There’s a whole lot of poor and semi-poor people who could benefit greatly from strong international agreements and assistance concerning sustainable development, even if it wouldn’t do much for Mugabe’s folk.

(Great. Now what am I going to do with this damn commemorative medal?)

…as we’re on the subject of food already. Kimstu, feeding folks lines like that is almost too much to bear…

make a lobster platter from it???

The delegates should have to spend two days on the same diet as the people in shantytowns. Six ounces of warm water (one ounce every few hours), badly bruised fruit, and a hell of a lot of rice. At irregular intervals, and not enough for everyone. Two days: not long enough to break anyone’s spirit, but long enough not to be taken lightly. IOW, they’d go to bed the first night knowing they’d have to face the same thing again the next day. After that, you can be damn sure they’d do whatever it took to make sure other people don’t have to live like that.

I think it’s more likely they’d get on the first plane home and abandon all constructive attempts at solving any problems.

While I think that this was a tactless move that should have been vetoed by the organisers (or at least downplayed severely) I’m not sure how starving the participants will do anything to really address genuine problems. Call me a cynic but I’d be very surprised if forcing politicians to eat less for a few days actually led to any breakthroughs.

How 'bout a breakthrough in understanding? I wasn’t suggesting starving them. I was suggesting that the problem be illustrated to them. That’s why I said only two days. There was nothing malicious in my proposal; I don’t think the delegates should suffer unduly. But I do think that they should learn firsthand why it’s so important for them to help. They can eat lobster after the experiment.

Anyway, they’re delegates, aren’t they? Doesn’t that mean that they were sent to this conference by their governments, and can’t just book out?

Rilch, I don’t really think they need to eat very badly for two days to know that some people are forced to eat very badly. I think most people have a grasp on the concept of “hunger” without having to actually go hungry. I know that “walking a mile in the mocassins” of someone else is a great way to build empathy and understanding, but is it really necessary?

I think CRUSOE is right. Attempting to underfeed the delegates would lead to delegates not going.

This is human nature. In my field, they schedule conferences and meetings for fun (preferably tropical) locales whenever they can. (Not that a lowly peon like me is ever allowed to go. :D) Why? Because if the conference is in an attractive locale – and has attractive accommodations – people are more willing to show up. Or, alternatively, more important people will go. Partners at my firm go to conferences in siunny places with golf courses. I go to conferences down at the local Holiday Inn.

And don’t get me wrong on the “fun” gatherings: work still gets done. People go to meetings and network and actually confer. They’re just more likely to sign up if they see the carrot of . . . whatever. Golf. Sunshine. Lobster.

But tell people you’re planning a conference on homelessness, to be accompanied by two nights under a bridge, and then see how many people show up.