Foreign Aid – again!

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Now I’ve banged on about Foreign Aid many times in the past, Charity, in my view, begins at home and we should look after our own people first. It’s certainly ridiculous to borrow money to give away.

But it seems that the whole sorry mess is collapsing around the government’s ears at the moment and the public and even senior MPs within the Tory party are getting hot under the collar. A one MP so rightly put it “We shouldn’t be looking around for people to give money to just to hit some arbitrary target. This is of course the UN arbitrary target adopted by the EU and forced on the UK by Nick Clegg as the price of keeping the coalition in power.

And it was reported over the weekend that Justine Greening – the token Tory totty in charge of the Department for International Development – commented when offered the job that ‘I did not bloody well come into politics to distribute money to people in poor countries!’ and yet now she claims to be 100% behind the rise in aid spending. It’s an odd comment for a woman whose father and grandfather were Yorkshire steel workers. One wonders whether she doesn’t reckon the money could be better spent on the UK steel industry.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the US has suspended its aid program to Tanzania after it was accused of rigging the elections in Zanzibar. Liam Fox has demanded a review of aid to Tanzania, but the government seems so set on meeting its 0.&% aid target that they are ignoring calls to follow the US example.

Meanwhile the petition raised by the Daily Mail to force a debate on the Aid budget has reached its 100,000 signature target in record time, so now Parliament will be forced to debate the issue. Personally, I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting a sensible outcome from that discussion…

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