• I don't like to see posh teenagers doing misery tourism and returning with batik trousers and malaria. (Because they are too stupid to take malaria pills and wear non-batik trousers.)
    Affluent European adolescents used to do the Grand Tour. They went to Italy to admire the art. Now they go to Africa to admire the shit. Gap years are moral imperialism. It's a year-long narcissism party, where the gap-yearers use Africans and South Americans and Indians as props in the movie of their own wonderfulness. They want to have a "caring experience". So they invade slums and orphanages and shanty towns. They turn up with teeth like brand-new fridges and shout, "Let's build a waterslide, guys!" Then they disappear back to Oxford or Exeter or the LSE. It's rare that they do anything useful.
    Developing countries have labour already. They don't need ours. The carbon cost of flying 200,000 British adolescents long-haul each year will one day put the mud huts they build under water. And doesn't the developing world have enough to grieve it without Cambridge University students poncing around looking caring, having Jesus Christ moments, before buggering back home to spend a lifetime exploiting it?

    How do I know this? Read the websites for gap-year students commenting on their disappointing experiences. They clog up the internet with their whining.

    "No one met me at the airport!" they squeal, shivering back in Epsom, or Guildford, or Penge, texting each other on their mobile telephones made of Congolese minerals and blood. "There was no breakfast! Strange things came out my arse!"

    They seemed to have confused their gap year with staying at the Marriott Hotel - Slum and Shanty Branch, Dumpsville. They thought their experience of helping The Poor would be better. More fun. More Club 18-30, less Club I Died By the Age of Five Because There Isn't Any Medicine Here, You Fool. They don't seem to realise that The Poor live in squalor because they are - well - poor.

    ABRIDGER FROM TANYA GOLD'S ARTICLE- THE GUARDIAN.

    What do you think about that?
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    THANKS.

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