An Aid Superpower?

Pride comes before a fall as the old saying goes and certainly in this case the pride all seems to be one sided. Yes a foolish Andrew Mitchell MP Secretary of State for International Development and clearly someone with a loose grasp on what people actually think has opined that one day we’ll be proud of the fact that our government is throwing our money away on foreign aid.

Telegraph.

The British people will one day be as proud of Government spending on international aid as they are of the Queen and the Armed Forces, the development secretary has suggested.

Andrew Mitchell said the Coalition’s controversial decision to increase aid spending while cutting other budgets will make Britain an “aid superpower”, something that should be a source of “pride and satisfaction” for taxpayers.

Mr Mitchell conceded that a growing aid budget was hard to sell to voters in tough economic circumstances, but insisted that the Government’s decisions will ultimately prove popular.

With the Department of Health, the Department for International Development is one of only two Whitehall departments whose budgets are growing over the current four-year spending round.

Overall aid spending will rise from £7.8 billion this year to £11.5 billion under a Coalition pledge to provide real increases in development funding, a real-terms increase of 34 per cent.

Now I’m a great believer of charity beginning at home, though if people want to spend their money on foreign charity work, that’s up to them, their choice, their money. International aid though is not a charity of choice, it’s the spending of taxpayers money on various projects abroad that the government decides are worthy of getting our cash. This means that spending aid money in places like India and Pakistan with their own nuclear programs along with India’s space and own foreign aid programs is likely to produce a lot of anger, not pride.
Now I haven’t a clue where Andrew Mitchell gets his thinking from, it’s certainly not from talking to the average Joe’s that I do, I suspect he’s suffering from Westminster bubble-itis though, where he only hears what he wants to because the people around him say and do the same things. But frankly I believe that the foreign aid budget should not be spent on foreign aid, it should be spent on the people of the UK, removing the climate levy on power and stopping our old and weak from succumbing to the perils of winter. Improving our education infrastructure, repairing the damage to our armed forces or simply just sorting out our transport net.

Yes I know foreign aid is supposed to buy us influence, give us access to minerals and resources, but frankly most of it just seems to go on lining the pockets of foreign dictators or is spent on countries that plainly could spend their own cash on such things, India and Pakistan being a case in point.

So no, I don’t think we’ll ever be proud of being an aid superpower, I think we’ll think it’s money that could be spent on us and that anyone like Andrew Mitchell MP Secretary of State for International Development who suggest we should or may be proud of it is talking bollocks!

15 comments for “An Aid Superpower?

  1. June 8, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Foreign aid has been rightly described as taking from poor people in rich countries and giving to rich people in poor countries. The odd thing is, if the government stays out of the business entirely, those who want to give can do so privately, those who don’t, don’t. There is no role for the government here.

    When did that ever stop ’em?

    • June 9, 2011 at 5:30 am

      If there’s ‘no role for the government’ people might get the idea we could do away with ’em, and that would never do!

  2. June 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    “Now I haven’t a clue where Andrew Mitchell gets his thinking from….I suspect he’s suffering from Westminster bubble-itis”

    Elitist-itis too I suspect, the following is from his own constituency website:

    Andrew is 55, married with two daughters. He was educated at Rugby School and Cambridge University, where he studied history and was elected as President of the Cambridge Union in 1978. Andrew served in the Army (Royal Tank Regiment) before joining Lazard where he worked with British companies seeking large-scale overseas contracts.

    I suspect the above may answer Quiet_Man’s question!

    The voters of Sutton Coldfield, have much for which they must eventually have to answer to the rest of the country.

  3. June 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Personally I’m far from proud of it. I’m ashamed to be any way associated with it or the situation that my country’s politicians find it acceptable and possible to forcibly take money from UK residents in order to then give it away. We don’t exonerate robbery if the criminal gives the proceeeds away, it’s still criminal theft.

  4. June 8, 2011 at 9:20 am

    At least he’ll go down in history as a man who coined an oxymoron that stands proudly alongside the likes of socialist worker, government efficiency and possibly even the conference he was addressing – Conservative Intelligence.

  5. David
    June 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

    As someone has pointed out on another blog somewhere (I read so many I can’t remember which one), its because our influence is dwindling to zero in every other area. What we’re left with is being a ‘superpower’ in green energy (aka a fcuked economy), and aid (aka as unnecessary added debt). Yup – something we can all be really proud of as we watch our elderly die of the cold or starvation. 👿

  6. PT
    June 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I agree with all of the above – but it doesn’t matter. The ruling class don’t hear us, because they don’t want to, and we can’t make them. If only we had memories long enough to carry all these complaints forward to the next election, and refuse to vote for any of the bastards.

  7. Uncle Badger
    June 8, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Yes, what we need is a ‘vote the bastards out’ alliance.

    The political class would howl and shriek but I’m pretty sure a great number of voters would support candidates who promised to resign the moment they were elected.

    Until we break the stranglehold on intelligent thought exerted by the political parties, we are going nowhere. An empty House of Commons would concentrate minds wonderfully.

    • June 9, 2011 at 5:32 am

      Interestingly, the US is going through the same political upheaval, with the Republicans currently jostling to see which RINO they will put forward against Obama and most life-long Republican voters heartily sick of the lot of them.

  8. DP111
    June 8, 2011 at 11:24 am

    It would be nice to know what this “aid” is for. As part of the impetus to accountability, the public needs to know what our government is doing with our money.

    Generally most of the aid is spent locally to help our own industry. So is there something here other then that, that we do not know. The other reason for aid is to buy influence. Now this cannot be stated publicly as it would defeat the objective.

  9. luikkerland
    June 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

    “But frankly I believe that the foreign aid budget should not be spent on foreign aid, it should be spent on the people of the UK”

    I know what you mean, but I’d prefer it not to be extracted from the public in the first place. As for “bubble-itis”, politicians know that what they say is unpopular, but their modus operandi is to say it enough times until it becomes acceptable. The foreign aid budget is a potential bottomless money-pit, and we are damn well going to feel good about being robbed to fill it.

    This is why it is so important to dismantle the politicians’ mouthpiece media.

  10. FedUpWithHMRC
    June 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    All money is owned by the state. That’s why they can spend as they choose:

    Have a look at the comments made by some HMRC staff:
    HMRC IS SHITE

    Although I agree with your overall argument, this particular non-sequitur and its variants have always irritated me as logically all companies are funded by taxpayers. I can see why BBC employees get irritated by the “I pay your wages” argument as well.

    • June 9, 2011 at 5:34 am

      I’ve friends in HMRC (ex-Customs, as was) and they tell me it’s a disaster and has been from first conception.

      It currently has the lowest staff engagement rating of any civil service organisation, and the senior management have no idea what to do about it. Another triumph for Gordoom!

  11. June 8, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    In the 19th Century Britain had a quasi-empire in South America because British investors went in, financed railways etc, made by British engineering companies in order to export food and raw materials to Britain. Result: everyone was happy and Fray Bentos corned beef was invented. Nowadays, the Live-Aid generation think that if they see happy Africans kicking a football with a sleb that’s a result. Proper result is same Africans working in a factory exporting widgets worldwide.

  12. June 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

    We’re not in any position today to do this thing, plus it is a political lever to get into the country and destabilize it on behalf of the MIC. At our expense.

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