Comment: Uncomfortable echoes of the Famine in how vaccines have been hoarded by rich nations

The international response to the Covid-19 pandemic bears a sad resemblance to the British reaction to the catastrophe in Ireland during the 1840s

8th September, 2021
Comment: Uncomfortable echoes of the Famine in how vaccines have been hoarded by rich nations
‘For the Whig government in London, the defence of commercial interests, the dictates of laissez-faire economics, and political indifference to Irish suffering trumped any obligation to prevent mass starvation by intervening in markets.’ Picture: Getty

During the Famine in the 1840s, as more than one million Irish citizens died, vast quantities of food were exported from Ireland to Britain. For the Whig government in London, the defence of commercial interests, the dictates of laissez-faire economics, and political indifference to Irish suffering trumped any obligation to prevent mass starvation by intervening in markets.

The international response to the Covid-19 pandemic bears a discomfiting resemblance to the British response to the Irish...

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