The situation grows more desperate no, not the Russell Brand row

If ever there was a ‘water cooler moment’ it was the row about Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross that has dominated the news all week. We don’t have water coolers here at Amnesty so people exchange views in the kitchen and I’ve been amazed at how many staff, including those who never normally chat about such things, have been talking about this as they made themselves a cup of tea or coffee.

 

Of course, there are lots of reasons why the story has caught the imagination as it has. It’s all about celebrity for a start (indeed, one star some consider over-paid and another some think is over-sexed) and it has also offered a welcome escape from the latest gloom-laden reports of the economic downturn. I liked this ‘Daily Rant’ cartoon in today’s Times.

 

It has also, sadly, taken attention away from the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo although, as was acknowledged on the Today programme, Congo struggles to get people’s attention anyway, probably because they see the situation there as so bad that nothing can be done.

 

Here at Amnesty we believe something MUST be done. UN troops must be reinforced and diplomatic efforts need to be stepped up.

 

Ironically, what coverage there is of Congo means less attention for our latest report on Zimbabwe but BBC News online has this piece, with a terrific picture of one of the youngest victims of the ongoing situation.

 We’re urging southern African political leaders to resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe. As our Zimbabwe researcher Simeon Mawanza has been saying in radio interviews this morning, with every day that passes without a political solution the living conditions for ordinary Zimbabweans become more and more desperate.

 

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