Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sad Face

I left my copy of "Lolly Scramble" by Tony Martin on the plane a couple of weeks ago. Turns out someone stole it and I'm never getting it back. Sad face.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bitey Bitey!

Go me! I have over 600 now!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Got a reply from my local MP about my letter I sent off (see last entry). Nice to have a personal reply, but it's not enough. I'm writing back. Here is my second letter:

Dear Ms. Macklin,

Thank you so much for writing back to me. I appreciate you taking the time. I understand that Labor is doing some good work in the area of fair trade and human rights. I applaud the government for taking measures to help see that all people have their basic rights met.

However, I don’t think the government is doing enough. We are a hugely resourced country, and therefore have the responsibility to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This goes for our own citizens as well as those overseas. I realise it’s not simply a matter of changing laws overnight to make this so. I know it is infinitely more complicated. There is personal responsibility involved as well as government intervention.

Your letter of reply did not address my main concern about trade issues. We still import countless products that ensure people are trapped in a cycle of poverty. This is equal to slavery. There is no excuse for this when we can redirect our resources to products that don’t abuse human rights. Once again I realise this is not a straight forward issue, but it is one that we need to address and act on! Complicated does not mean impossible.

Why do we continue to support multinational corporations that produce goods through ‘sweat shops’ and slave labour? Just because we aren’t the ones doing it, doesn’t remove our responsibility. We are responsible for the money we give to these corporations that encourages them to continue exploiting their workers. I wouldn’t wish those conditions on anyone and I am hugely concerned that as a country we endorse it through our actions.

We must do something about our endorsement of this behaviour. We must stand up for human rights and fair trade! We may not endorse the behaviour with our words, but our actions say otherwise. Something must be done!

Once again, Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope it will drive you to positive action.

Megan Orrin

Monday, September 07, 2009

Open Letter to Kevin Rudd

This is something I have written. I would love it if everyone could either send their own version, or just cut and paste mine and put your name on the end. I think this is very important.

Go here to email the PM

I also sent it to Simon Crean the minister for trade.

Go here to email Simon Crean

However, we all know that a written letter is worth more than an email. I urge you to do both. It will take you all of 30 seconds.

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP

Prime Minister

Parliament House


To The Honourable Kevin Rudd,

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen. In this time of increasing social awareness, specifically in the area of fair trade, I think it’s time that the Government stepped in and made some serious changes.

You are a representative of the people, and there had been a huge increase in the public interest of fair trade products. As a country we import countless products that exploit the poorest of the poor who are unable to advocate and stand up for themselves. This is unacceptable. The abolition of slavery was founded on these same principles. We wouldn’t dare endorse slavery in this country, so why do we support it through our trade practices? We freely import products that keep people in a cycle of poverty. This is unacceptable.

You may say I should choose to purchase things that are fair trade, but as a Government it is your responsibility to oversee our country’s conscience. We don’t allow people to have slaves if they so choose, so why do we allow people to buy products that effectively keep people in conditions that amount to slavery? Why is this part of our trade policy, supporting these conditions? There is nothing acceptable about this. There is no reason for companies to continue to exploit these workers other than greed and financial gain. People are always more important than money. Always.

This issue is particularly poignant for coffee and chocolate products. Even though things are starting to change, I still see it as the Government’s role to be involved.

Having said all this, I do realise it is a complicated issue. I know that there is no solution that will not be met with immense opposition. But did that stop those campaigning for the abolition of slavery? Should it stop us? I say no. And as the representative of the people, it is your role to ensure that our country is run with integrity, and that our trade practices are not something to be ashamed of.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope it will drive you to positive action.

Megan Orrin

Thursday, September 03, 2009


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