Foreign aid, an emotive subject that has the current government trying very hard to defend its actions in spending our money abroad whilst cutting back on pretty much everything else (save possibly government spending).

First Cameron was wrongfooted by a cancer patient who demanded an explanation for why the UK’s spends £11bn a year on international when the cost of treatment could not be met by her local authority during an LBC radio show. We’ve had William Hague telling us he’s going to give our cash to Syrian rebels (many of them Islamic extremists) and then having to backpeddle like crazy to say it will only be non lethal equipment, though no doubt that will leave the Islamists like the Palestinians in a position to buy weapons from the other funding they get rather than have to provide for themselves. And finally today we have Cameron trying to defend a ‘Hunger Summit’ at Downing Street.


DAVID Cameron has hit back at foreign aid critics, arguing that even in tough economical times it is Britain’s duty to help the world’s poor and malnourished. Ahead of a hunger summit being held in Downing Street on the closing day of the Olympics, Cameron today spoke of his hopes to tackle hunger, but admitted: “There’s no one single answer to this.”
Co-hosted with Michel Temer, the Brazilian vice-president, where the 2016 Games will take place, the Prime Minister will be hosting a meeting of world leaders gathered in London for the Olympics closing ceremony.
Defending the decision to spend taxpayers’ money on overseas aid, despite overseeing a double-dip recession in the UK, Cameron said: “We are right to meet our aid commitments.”

Thing is, no-ones really asking the taxpayer whether we want our money being spent abroad on lining the pockets of kleptocratic foreign governments foreign aid. Ask most people and they can tell you pretty much where they’d like to have the money spent at home, even if it wasn’t on their needs. £11 billion is quite a princely sum and it’s the only area (officially) where government spending is increasing.

I’ve a sneaking feeling that the government initially only put this promise in place to try and make themselves look good to voters and shed the ‘evil Tory’ tag that the left seem to relish so much whilst trying hard not to allow their own track record to come into the light of day. Now it’s a bit of a millstone for the government and because of the extended recession looking like a vote loser. To which the solution typical of politicians is, first deny that there’s a problem, then tell us it’s the right thing to do, after that will come the hard choices and difficult decisions speeches whilst they quietly shelve any future announcements  of giving our cash away in their next manifesto.

Perhaps the government should ponder the phrase ‘Charity begins at home’ and stop spending so much of our cash abroad.

It’s a dead cert vote winner.

16 comments for “Duty?

  1. Mudplugger
    August 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    As they say, foreign aid and charity is merely poor people in rich countries handing over their money to rich people in poor countries. ‘Twas ever thus.

    If any foreign aid is to be provided, it should only ever be in the form of UK-sourced goods and services, never cash or convertible assets. At least that way our people get a foothold on the ground, we get our products onto the streets while supporting UK jobs, and all avoiding most of the graft and corruption which infests the international aid & charity market-place.

    But £11bn is far too much – £1bn, only in goods and services, would be generous enough. Helping to land an Indian on the moon while our own folk die without drugs is not the act of any rational or caring government. Wake up, Cameron – this one will cost votes, big time.

  2. August 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    There is no such duty. And as for where my money should be spent – it should be spent by me on whatever I deem appropriate, not by a kleptocratic clown in charge of an incompetent and wasteful government.

  3. ivan
    August 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Not only should foreign aid be cut but the foreign and commonwealth office should be cut by 50%.

    Then the remainder of the ‘offices of state’ should be pruned by 60% starting from the top. The HoL should have all the life peers removed and the cost the HoC should be reduced by 70% by reducing payments to politicians, including second houses.

    That way we should get a small efficient government and total taxes should reduce to something like 3p in the pound.

    I know it wont happen but I can dream can’t I?

  4. Dave_G
    August 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Let us not forget that the Government is BORROWING this money (without our consent) to give it away, leaving US with the repayments we can’t afford AND the capital we can’t afford.


  5. August 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Well, we’re all agreed about that then. Where’s Greg?

  6. August 10, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Maybe Dave’s Hunger Summit will also call for the US to stop using food crops for biofuel – a situation directly attributable to climate propaganda.

    US biofuel production should be suspended, UN says
    The United Nations (UN) food agency has called on the United States to suspend its production of biofuel ethanol.

    Under US law, 40% of the corn harvest must be used to make biofuel, a quota which the UN says could contribute to a food crisis around the world.


  7. Penseivat
    August 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    One of the world’s leading aid charities has suggested that less than 25% of any aid reaches those for wehom it is intended. There is, in no particular order, ‘official tariffs’, ‘local taxes’, ‘easing payments’ to be made from what the ruling leaves after taking their cut. The rulers of many of these poor countries are salting away billions of pounds for when their scam in impoverishing their country is realised and tey agree to an exile in a friendly nation. Instead of giving money, why not follow the example of the Chinese and ‘donate’ engineers, doctors, agriculture experts to teach these poorer countries how they can fenbd for themselves. If they learn to accept foreign aid, they will become dependant on that aid. Teach them how to solve their own problems and they may start sending food parcels here – Goodness knows, some of us can use them!

    • Furor Teutonicus
      August 11, 2012 at 4:49 am

      XX experts to teach these poorer countries how they can fend for themselves. XX

      WOHA there! According to common theory, we all climbed out of the same cave.

      Why the HEL! should we give a monkey shit about the lazy, sub intelligent bastards in Africa, who decided to sit under a tree, and wait for us to invent the big white God “U.N” which would bring their food parcels?

      My neigbour decides to drop out of school at 15, then spends the rest of his life and all of his (read “OUR”) money on vodka, do I then have a responsibility to feed him?

      Like FUCK I do. And that includes “donating experts.”

      They, the Africans, got themselves into this state, let them get themselves out of it.

      • August 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

        Actually, there is a growing movement in Africa that wants just that. However, their voices don’t chime with the politically correct dependency meme, so they get ignored.

        • Chuckles
          August 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

          LR, A great many people in Africa find it deeply offensive and patronising that the neo-colonials in western govts, ngos and quangos think that they need or desire the ‘aid’ or that they can or should decide what the ‘grateful aid recipients’ should receive.
          The havoc that food aid and the like plays with local markets is also criminal

          • August 12, 2012 at 11:38 am

            Yes, that was what I was saying.

  8. Tatty
    August 11, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Cameron today spoke of his hopes to tackle hunger, but admitted: “There’s no one single answer to this.”

    Uh…contraception ? “The Problem” would then at least make a start on solving itself….

    In this country too… 😐

    • August 11, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Because of the difficulty in storing wealth for the future (the government tends to steal it) people in poorer countries tend to have larger families as a safety net for when they get older. That and there are limited leisure opportunities.

      Contraception would be a by-product of wealth i.e. as women get richer and have more choices, they have fewer kids.

      But I agree with the posters. This is an area where there should be no government at all. If like me you want to help kids orphaned by the Bam earthquake, you can. You may want to help animals, cancer research or anyone of a hundred others, or none at all. Each of us can achieve our absolute aim.

      The only thing we don’t need is government, (as usual).

      • Tatty
        August 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

        people in poorer countries tend to have larger families as a safety net for when they get older.

        Granted…but not just in poorer countries…it was ever thus and is Human Nature.

        The unnatural thing to do is keep having them knowing you cannot feed them or knowingly bear them into disease thereby suffering and early death though this is not always a by-product of poverty i.e you know you have HIV and are a hair’s breadth away from developing full-blown AIDS, your country is receiving aid and has treatment programs and dishes out free contraception but you ignore all that and keep producing children anyway ? Madness.

        Some people clearly need saving from themselves and the only question really is who should be paying for that. When WE say NOT US, MATE we are routinely ignored, patronised and guilt-tripped.

        It’s not good enough. 😐

        • Mudplugger
          August 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm

          It may seem unnatural to keep producing kids in those circumstances, but it is those very circumstances which encourage the over-breeding.
          If you know that 80% of your kids will probably not survive childhood, then you make damned sure you have lots of them – simply because, with no welfare state, you need to ensure some surviving kids to support you in your own old age.

          It is only when confidence in good circumstances has developed that people decide to breed fewer, so contraception alone will never solve it.

          The only real solution is development – real, commercial development, bringing jobs and education – once established, that would start to affect the population in the same way it did here 100+ years ago.
          How to make that happen, I’ve no idea, but until it does, anything else is a complete waste of time and money, and is not even helping the target people.

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