Whisper of change

The G8 leaders' Gleneagles deal can hardly be described as "a major step forward" for Africa as Paul Vallely claims (Observations, 3 July). There was progress on aid and debt in the first six months of 2005, but this was confirmed not advanced by leaders at Gleneagles.

"The people roared; the G8 responded with a whisper," was the verdict of the South African activist Kumi Naidoo, chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty. It was this campaign, Make Poverty History, that put poverty on the political map, not G8 leaders.

John Madeley
Caversham, Berkshire

This article first appeared in the 10 July 2006 issue of the New Statesman, The house of slaves