Foreign aid …

… or an Englishman in Ireland writes on Africa:

When haiku sent an article from the Irish Independent [no link, sorry] from one Kevin Myers, I went: “Myers, Myers, where have I heard that name?” And the guard was up.

So I don’t know if he’s a Fenian, Loyalist, if he has Gerry Adams and Rev Paisley to dinner, but I am capable of reading his words. This is the abridged argument:

Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there.

The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a low IQ, AK 47-bearing moron, siring children whenever the whim takes him, and blaming the world because he is uneducated, poor and left behind.

There is no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system but I do not know what it is.

There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a column like this. It will win no friends, and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of, well, the self-righteous, hand wringing, letter writing wrathful individuals, a species which never fails to contaminate almost every debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral superiority.

Oh, I think I could get to like this man … perhaps.

Please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention of our own Irish Famine, with this or that lazy analogy.

There is no comparison.

Within 20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was down by 30%. Over the equivalent period, thanks to western food, the Mercedes 10-wheel truck and the Lockheed Hercules planes, Ethiopia’s population has more than doubled.

Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness.

Somewhere, over the rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent, AK 47-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently tumescent layabouts, and housing pirates of the ocean.

Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive, illiterate indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world or allowances by the semi-communist Governments they voted for, money supplied by lending it from the World Bank!

This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or commonsense. Needless to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not prevented idiotic wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea etcetera.

Broad brush-strokes, to be sure. But broad brush-strokes are often the way that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters.

Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part of Africa. They are now — one way or another — virtually all giving aid to or investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.

Meanwhile, Africa’s peoples are outstripping their resources, and causing catastrophic ecological degradation.

Well that’s something to give the more gung-ho blog readers, to be sure but at the same time, how does one answer it?

Think we’d all agree that the sign of a higher civilization is that it provides for the lesser and keeps order in that society, e.g. the Romans. It also takes from the far flung corners of Empire.

It’s not completely true yet, written by Margaret Drabble in 1989, that:

England’s not a bad country. It’s just a mean, cold, ugly, divided, tired, clapped-out, post-imperial, post-industrial slag-heap covered in polystyrene hamburger cartons.”

… although the Americans might disagree, which is good from them, given what Obama and previous presidents have done to them.

As Call Me Dave, the bodysurfer, forever fails to understand – no one listens to the UK anymore, although financially, there’s still a fair GDP, despite all the woes. I mean, there’s no way the UK is a second rate nation, as some here try to convey. If we left the EU, there would be quite a sizable hole.

If we started trading with the world again, once we got some actually managers of any quality in and downgrade all the parachutees, there’s this faint chance the country might become great[ish].

Interestingly, it’s the culture and history, the architecture and the nature of the English which still keep us up there in outside eyes – it’s not really economic, not really a question of direct influence through Call Me Dave, the bodysurfer.

And yet Bacon Sandwich Beaker is hell bent on giving all this away and socially engineering to make the nation a melting pot of warring and alien cultures.

And there are actually people in this country who would tribally vote for one of these two. Death wish, eh? Call Me Dave, the bodysurfer, with his “do nothing” policy, unless it’s gay marriage, of course, Bacon Sandwich Beaker and his “let’s finish off Bliar’s and Broony’s good work” headlong rush to oblivion.

Which brings us back to foreign aid. It doesn’t really but I had to get back here somehow. Why can’t we give aid commensurate with our economic situation at any one time? So if we’re deeply in debt, we don’t give any. We accept it from the IMF and other thieving leeches propped up by the taxpayer’s money plus a reserve from Them in deepest Bavaria if, for some reason – war, famine, depression – the employed temporarily become incapable of paying through the nose.

Therefore, for the starving billions, our heart and purse will determine what goes into that plastic “tin”, plus whether we think the money actually gets to a starving child and if it does, as Kevin Myers says, for what end result? AK 47s?

7 comments for “Foreign aid …

  1. john in cheshire
    August 25, 2014 at 10:53 am

    James, you and Mr Myers reflect my sentiments. These people have been on this earth as long as we have, so why are we forever making excuses for their lack of progress, as though they’re recent arrivals on earth and are having trouble adapting? I’m all for helping people; but I want to decide who and how much, not the government; but what passes these days for help is just one big corrupt scam that helps those who manage to get their grubby mits on the money. As for England, we need to start making things again, that the world wants to buy.

  2. August 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Consider our history as a time line, with a baseline somewhere around 1500 A.D. In Europe, we saw the birth of the Renaissance, with painting, sculpture and music being highlighted by mainly benevolent rulers; advances in engineering, medicine and culture, with hiccups provided by war, pestilence and religious upheaval. We saw the birth of the travels of the great explorers, many of whom were also serial bandits, but that was the way of things; the Ottoman invasion reached as far as Austria and Spain, but they were repulsed and sent packing. From the Far East, the Chinese sent marine expeditions towards India and Java, while at home they invented gunpowder and printing. The Japanese traditions in martial arts, literature and music flourished! Have you noticed anything or anyone missing? Of course you have, Africa for one! While Europe was hurling itself forward in seven different directions; while the Far Eastern nations were working out who was top dog, the whole of the African continent was just sitting there like a big soft clump; no cultural initiatives, no explorers, no push for the new and distant; the whole continent just stagnated in tribal ignorance and poverty!

    What, you may ask, has this got to do with a request for donations to some well-meaning charity? Well, I’ll tell you my view! The sorry truth is that the whole continent, wracked as it is with serial pestilence such as AIDS, corruption, tribal ignorance and just plain downright larceny by the rulers and some of the inhabitants, should be let go and rot, because if we continue to give, the tiny bunch of long-term thieves and vagabonds who masquerade as African governments will accept our money with open hands, while completely ignoring the desperate need for change within their own ranks! What can be done with a society such as that in South Africa, where the practice of virgin rape is preached and practiced, when the young and not-so-young males are encouraged by the ‘sangoma’ or witch doctor to attack and rape the young and defenceless girls of their own villages, because that will act as a ‘cure’ for the AIDS that these so-called men have succumbed to, because they cannot understand that to undertake promiscuous sexual activities, whether homo- or hetero-sexual without precautions will inevitably lead to HIV and AIDS!

  3. August 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    It gives the impression of being some hell hole down there. I’d like to know how white South Africans see it now.

  4. August 25, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Kevin Myers grew up in Leicester, a City now with a high proportion of persons from elsewhere. When he was there it was a working industrial city still with a strong old working class culture. He took up journalism and moved away and later to Ireland, where his family originated. He will have a long term informed perspective.

  5. Voice of Reason
    August 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I am told that, in some parts of Africa, a chicken costs more than an AK-47

  6. August 26, 2014 at 8:50 am


  7. Mudplugger
    August 26, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Chances are Somalia’s population would have doubled too, except they’re all over here – but at least some of them put on a GB vest and run in the Olympics, and that’s despite not actually living here any more for tax reasons….. Funny old world.

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