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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The UK foreign aid virus and the EU

 Photo: THE UK FOREIGN AID VIRUS AND THE EU

Alan Duncan MP, of the Tory Party, has said that the UK Government, via the European Union (EU), has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on countries which simply do not need it; such as Morocco, Iceland and even high-flying China.

A point that’s not often made - because it’s strictly speaking not a POLITICAL point (an ad hominem or psychologism, according to analytic philosophers) - is that perhaps all these Tories, Liberals and Labourites squander taxpayers’ money on poor and well-off countries because it makes them feel pious or good about themselves. Only UKIP, the BNP and the rest of the ‘nasty far right’ are against aid. They, on the other hand, are righteous and true. They will give other people’s money away to anyone who will take it – which is everyone. And they do so because it makes them feel smug and non-nasty.

So it doesn’t matter, to these specimens, if the money is often - or nearly always - squandered by the EU on third-world and richer elites. As long as they are seen to be doing good. And they are often SEEN to do good! I’m sorry for this cynical view of the nature of many – not all! – of our politicians; it’s just that I think it may well be true.

Perhaps that’s why Alan Duncan didn’t do anything about this gross situation despite knowing about it for two long years. As an ex-nasty Tory, he might not have wanted to resurrect his previous nasty-man image.

This massive scam is concocted primarily by the EU, but with UK Government acquiescence. The British Government doesn’t want to give taxpayers’ money straight to China, Morocco or Islington; so instead it’s filtered through the EU. That means that one sixth of the UK’s aid budget, £1.4 billion, goes straight to the EU to spend as it sees fit. That way the UK Government doesn’t need to feel guilty or explain itself to nasty right wingers or others.

Because these rich - or well-off - countries are getting UK cash, pious politicians will be even more likely to make the mistake of aiding third-world or poor countries. But, again, there is a lot of piety and thus self-deceit here because it is often the case that aid doesn’t get to the poor of these countries either. Instead it feeds the various elites who simply carry on the cycle of scrounging and thus being supplied with the money, or aid, to buy fancy palaces, fast cars and a never-ending supply of fat cigars.

When we tell these countries to get their countries in order (rarely), or to establish democracies in which market economics can survive and thus reduce the need for aid, the Saint Geldoffs of the world get all uppity and tell us that we are ‘allowing the poor to starve’ and that we are therefore ‘nasty’.

But, according to this analysis at least, perhaps these left-liberal do-gooders are the real nasties because it is they who know that third-world elites are engorging on UK aid – either that or UK money is going to rich-country elites to build ‘tourist complexes’ in Morocco.

Alan Duncan MP, of the Tory Party, has said that the UK Government, via the European Union (EU), has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on countries which simply do not need it; such as Morocco, Iceland and even high-flying China.

A point that’s not often made - because it’s strictly speaking not a political point (an ad hominem or ‘psychologism’, according to analytic philosophers) - is that perhaps all these Tories, Liberals and Labourites squander taxpayers’ money on poor and well-off countries because it makes them feel pious or good about themselves. Only UKIP, the BNP and the rest of the ‘nasty far right’ are against aid. They, on the other hand, are righteous and true. They will give other people’s money away to anyone who will take it – which is everyone. And they do so because it makes them feel smug and non-nasty.

So it doesn’t matter, to these specimens, if the money is often - or nearly always - squandered by the EU on third-world and richer elites. As long as they are seen to be doing good. And they are often seen to do good! I’m sorry for this cynical view of the nature of many – not all! – of our politicians; it’s just that I think it may well be true.

Perhaps that’s why Alan Duncan didn’t do anything about this gross situation despite knowing about it for two long years. As an ex-nasty Tory, he might not have wanted to resurrect his previous nasty-man image.

This massive scam is concocted primarily by the EU, but with UK Government acquiescence. The British Government doesn’t want to give taxpayers’ money straight to China, Morocco or Islington; so instead it’s filtered through the EU. That means that one sixth of the UK’s aid budget, £1.4 billion, goes straight to the EU to spend as it sees fit. That way the UK Government doesn’t need to feel guilty or explain itself to nasty right wingers or others.

Because these rich - or well-off - countries are getting UK cash, pious politicians will be even more likely to make the mistake of aiding third-world or poor countries. But, again, there is a lot of piety and thus self-deceit here because it is often the case that aid doesn’t get to the poor of these countries either. Instead it feeds the various elites who simply carry on the cycle of scrounging and thus being supplied with the money, or aid, to buy fancy palaces, fast cars and a never-ending supply of fat cigars.

When we tell these countries to get their countries in order (rarely), or to establish democracies in which market economics can survive and thus reduce the need for aid, the Saint Geldoffs of the world get all uppity and tell us that we are ‘allowing the poor to starve’ and that we are therefore ‘nasty’.

But, according to this analysis at least, perhaps these left-liberal do-gooders are the real nasties because it is they who know that third-world elites are engorging on UK aid – either that or UK money is going to rich-country elites to build ‘tourist complexes’ in Morocco.

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