03 June 2012

Your children can become pirates too – for only 325 Euros

Capitalism thrives on its contradictions and here is another one. A German tour organiser offers sailing trips for children with a pirate theme in the Dutch North Sea: “Which child hasn't dreamed of going on board like Pippi Longstocking and entering the world of the pirates” the text in their brochure says, next to a picture of children wearing skull and crossbones bandannas as well as bright orange life jackets. No one wants aspiring pirates to drown. The life jackets alone mean that these kids are better equipped than the ten Somali who were arrested on the Taipan.

A readers comment often seen on newspaper web sites is that the Somali on trial in Hamburg are 'just plain criminals' and need to be punished severely. While the reasons why people actually become pirates are rarely published, it is totally acceptable for German parents to pay money for their kids to participate in piracy as a harmless adventure. What is a game for European children is a matter of survival for others who first risk their lives and are then labelled 'terrorists' and go to prison.

Will the instructors at this holiday trip talk about the reasons why piracy exists? Will they encourage the children to think about the role they can have in creating a world where everyone has access to resources?