Since his creative juices dried up, Gordon Sumner aka Sting has received most publicity for his very public environmentalism. As in
The Rainforest Foundation was founded in 1989 by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, after they saw first-hand the destruction of the Amazon rainforests, and the devastating impact it had on the lives of the indigenous peoples who lived there.
Not, you would think, the kind of chap who would be likely to take the money to propagandise for the most vicious regime in the World. But there was Gordon on October 17 at the Navoi Opera House in Tashkent, performing a “Charity Concert” with Gulnara Karimova for some of the “Charities” which have been set up in the past three years as the regime seeks to burnish her image to take over from her dissident massacring father.
I bet the oligarchs loved it though:
Even the cheapest ticket will cost more than 45 times the average monthly salary in Uzbekistan
Karimova herself has had opponents murdered, has through her company Xeromax taken ownership of much of Uzbekistan’s pathetically little industry, and runs both the city’s nightclubs and the profitable industry sex trafficking Uzbek girls to Dubai.
But the greatest irony of the arch tosser Sumner’s involvement is that the Uzbek government not only tortures thousands every year, has ten thousand political prisoners and massacres demonstrators. It is also responsible for one of the world’s greatest environmental disasters – the disappearance of the Aral Sea, and the huge toxicity of the remnant and of the blown seabed dust.
The Uzbek government gets most of its money from the State cotton plantations – Uzbekistan is the World’s second biggest cotton exporter. The use of all the river water for irrigation of the
cotton is the direct cause of the Aral Sea disappearance. The massive amount of pesticide and fertiliser needed to maintain a hundred year single crop monoculture is causing the poisoning and birth defects. The crop is picked by hand by forced labour and especially child slave labour. The arsehole Sumner may not have noticed, but in the last three years even Wal-Mart, Marks and Spencers and Tesco have put a total ban on Uzbek cotton in all the clothing they sell.
Did it not occur to Sting to wonder just where his glamorous hostess gets her billions from? Karimov and his daughter have for decades resisted every attempt to liberalise and diversify Uzbekistan’s agriculture. The slaves pick for them. And for Sting, apparently.