Perhaps redirect energies

Brian Brown, Somerset West

I admire Esther van Zyl’s commitment to social issues (“Esther makes it in the Big Apple”, Bolander July 20), but wonder if United Nations is an effective model for addressing such negatives in our societies.

The British government has signed up to the UN Social Protocol, which outlaws discrimination of any kind – yet for the past 70 years has imposed frozen pensions on people retiring to Commonwealth countries (but not to government-preferred countries such as Israel, Turkey and Philippines).

This discrimination has denied billions of rand which should have come directly into the South African economy, money which would have helped to address some of the social issues we face, and to which Esther is committed.

The British government’s actions are totally averse to the United Nations laws and intentions, yet the UN refuses to investigate the lack of compliance – it will only do so if a complaint is received from the UK or another government.

Meanwhile, Britain boasts about the amount of overseas aid it spends, failing to identify that it has denied perhaps £15 to £20 billion of economic income to developing countries over the years, money which could have negated the need for overseas aid at all.

But then British MPs would not have the opportunity to visit the aid areas, to brag about British “gifts” and “tell the natives” really who is boss – British Colonialism at its worst.

Perhaps Esther might want to choose another organisation for her good works?