Category Archives: aid

At last, sense about aid

I’ve written about the foreign aid budget several times previously. It’s a recurring theme with me just how we piss money up the wall to foreign dictators and countries with space programs and nuclear power industries. Basically it either gets trousered or given to countries who don’t give a toss about their resident populations.

And that idiot Nick Clegg – now thankfully no longer an MP – stitched us up when he joined the coalition by making it compulsory for the UK to give away 0.7% of our GDP whether it was needed or not. As a result the aid budget has soared. For every £10 in taxes, we now piss 7p up the wall to foreigners.

In 2010-2011, the Department for International Development had 1,822 staff. By this April this had leapt to 2,208, when other ministries were axeing jobs and slashing budgets. Half of the 386 extra employees have been added since Priti Patel took charge of the ministry last July.

The Dfid hands out the highest salaries in Whitehall, averaging £53,000 a head, and it is one of only three of all 19 government departments to keep recruiting. Pure fucking waste…

Miss Patel called for Dfid to be abolished before she became International Development Secretary. But she launched an impassioned defence of the aid target in the run-up to the election when it appeared the 0.7 per cent target might be watered down. After all, it would be a shame to water down her own self importance, wouldn’t it?

Now former Tory minister, Robert Halfon, who was sacked from his front bench role by Theresa May after the election, said the 1 per cent pay cap should be scrapped and that the finance for this should come from the aid budget. Many Tories agree with him that the sacred cow of aid needs to be severely reigned in. They’re quite right.

Nurse, police and fire fighters have had their wage rises capped at 1% for years while the aid budget spirals out of control. When our own people are struggling to make ends meet, it’s time that we put them first. To say that there’s no money to do this is patently ludicrous when we chuck it away on aid.

And when we’re not paying shed loads to the EU after Brexit, there’ll be even more money to pay key staff properly – but in the meantime the aid budget has to go. I appreciate that there’s no possibility of the disbanding the Dfid but FFS let’s slim it down and get a grip on reality.

It’s time to put our own country first…


Foreign Aid – again!

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…

Robbing Peter…

26J_UK Spending World Map 03
Foreign aid. A subject always close to my heart. Fine when you’ve got the money, but charity begins at home.

We give away £12 billion a year in foreign aid since the idiot Clegg forced the coagulation government to adopt the 0.7% of GDP abitrary Fourth Reich measure. So where does it go? What do we piss it up the wall on?

Well, 40% of it goes to “multinational organisations’ such as the United Nations. The UN last year spent £7 million of the ‘aid’ money it received on spin doctors to promote it’s own image.

The remaining 60% is ‘bilateral’ – in other words we give it direct to foreign governments. Countries like India and China who you might think don’t really need it as they are better off than us. And you’d be right.

And some of the odder stuff? How about £1million to fund a project sending people around the world to teach the natives English folk songs? Or a BBC project for Somalia to give tips to illegal immmigrants on how to get to the UK? I kid you not!

And here’s a classic – £3,400 was spent on the scheme to find female partners for the endangered Mangarahara cichlid fish in Madagascar.

So why did I call this article ‘Robbing Peter’? Well because we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, because we don’t actually have the £12 billion a year we’ve committed to. The government borrows it so they can give it away. No wonder the world thinks the UK is a soft touch!!!

And that’s probably why when surveyed recently, only 3% of the respondents support our aid ‘programme’

The Daily Mail has launched an ePetition to put a stop to it. It’ll likely get the usual lip service, but I urge you to sign it anyway…

New curbs on charities….

Seems there’s been a fit of a fuss about charities using government donations to fund parliamentary lobbying – so new rules are to be introduced to ensure that only public donations are used.

Except that’s all bollocks, isn’t it?

The argument is that the government is giving money to the charities that they then use to lobby the government – so effectively it’s paying to lobby itself. The reason that it’s bollocks is that the government doesn’t actually have any money of its own because it gets it all from the taxpayers!

So next time you’re having a tin – or these days a direct debit mandate – waved under your nose, just remember that you already contributed, through your taxes, without being asked.

The simple way to avoid this ‘problem’ of lobbying is to allow the taxpayer to contribute voluntarily instead of compulsorily and for the government to give to charities exactly what I give them…

…and that’s fuck all!

Madaya – missing the point!

There’s been a lot of hoo-hah in the media lately about the appalling conditions in Madaya – a town that has been under siege for months by the Syrian government forces.

After considerable pressure from the UN aid agencies, two aid convoys have been allowed into the town to distribute food and blankets. The UN reportedly said that it has received credible reports of several people dying of starvation in the rebel-held town near the Lebanese border, where about 40,000 people have been trapped.

The media are, of course, wheeling out the starving cheeldren for the press photographers to snap so they can tug at our heart strings and bring out the begging bowl. Well, they’re getting bugger all from me and I’ll tell you why. It’s because they’re all missing the point!

It’s a siege FFS!.

Here’s the dictionary definition : “The act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies, for the purpose of lessening the resistance of the defenders and thereby making capture possible.

If the people of Madaya – and the other besieged cities in Syria – are starving, that’s the whole idea. Resistance is weakened to the point where the defending forces surrender. Town taken by attackers. Job done. End of…

By pushing aid into Madaya they are extending the agony and actually making it worse for the inhabitants. They are prolonging the siege. Better that the defenders accept defeat and then the civilians can get fed and watered and get on with their lives.