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Is it wrong to have made money out of the Gaddafi regime?

Claudia Bradshaw Claudia Bradshaw | 16:15 UK time, Friday, 4 March 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 4 March 2011. Listen to the programme.

World famous singers and rappers, a university and global business are all facing criticism for making money from Libya.

Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Usher, 50 Cent and Nelly Furtado have been pressured to give back or give away money they earned from performing at parties thrown by Colonel Gaddafi's family.

Mariah Carey advises:

We need to be more aware and take more responsibility regardless of who books our shows. Ultimately, we as artists are to be held accountable.

The Director of the London School of Economics has resigned over its links with Libya. Speaking on BBC radio, he said it was 'an error' to accept a donation from Colonel Gaddafi's son.

Stephen Pollard writes that the LSE 'is not the only university that has reason to feel ashamed' but Chris MacDonald who blogs about business ethics doesn't think it's necessarily a good idea for companies to stop doing business with Libya:

I'm sure many will be tempted to say that foreign companies should pull out entirely. But then, it's not clear that such a blanket prohibition does much good for the people of Libya as a whole. Note, for example, that Libya currently imports about 75% of its food. Stopping doing business with Libya would mean starving its population.

Is it right to criticise people for making money from Libya and the Gaddafi family, particularly after the regime was 'brought in from the cold' by politicians like Tony Blair years ago? Or should it be 'business as usual' with issues of ethics and trade kept separate?

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