Georgina Hope Rinehart, more commonly known as Gina. You may not have heard of her yet. It seems that she is now the richest woman in the world. In 1952, her father, Lang Hancock, discovered the world’s largest deposit of iron ore in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
In 2009, Australia’s iron ore production was 393.9 million tonnes – 97 per cent of that coming from Western Australia. So, controlling iron ore deposits, is, in effect, a licence to print money.
As Bob Dylan wryly observes in Idiot Wind ‘She inherited a million bucks, and when she died it came to me. I can’t help it if I’m lucky.’
Likewise, when Lang died, Gina got the lot – more than a million bucks. Lots more. Lucky Gina.
Annelies Marie Frank, more commonly known as Anne, wrote one of the most enduring stories of the Holocaust. Today I read that her diaries will soon appear in interactive format. Anne Frank was not so lucky. She died, aged fifteen, in Bergen-Belsen along with most of her family.
One of the most thought-provoking things she is reputed to have said is, ‘In spite of everything, I still believe that people are good at heart.’
It is a noble thought, one I would like to believe is true.
However, I just read a report on the BBC website where Gina is criticising her country’s economic performance. She tells us ‘Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day’.
I did some calculations on the back of an envelope. I am quite clever like that. It involved calculating between three different currencies, so I may have got my sums wrong.
Ms Rinehart reportedly ‘makes’ 485 euro a second. Well she makes nothing, but you know what I mean. Those plucky African chappies she patronises are doubtless happy with their 1.60 euro per day. They are probably ‘willing’ to do it for less – a few peanuts perhaps.
Seems a bit unfair that one human being can earn 26,190,000 times more per day than another. Unfairer still that it is for doing doodly squat. I might have a bit more time for her if she went down a mine and put her life on the line.
Anne Frank’s story was slightly more complicated, and her diaries slightly more edited, than we are generally aware of.
Maybe Gina’s story is slightly more complicated. Maybe she is in fact good at heart and it is all just a dreadful misunderstanding.