Monday, February 28, 2011

Believe it when I see it

Somehow, I cannot work up any excitement over the results of the Irish election. Yes, the destruction of Fianna Fail is a lovely sight but will Fine Gael or whatever coalition that is cobbled together be any better? We do not know and can only wait to see. The Daily Mail seems quite excited. Whether that is a good thing or not is a moot point.

Bruno Waterfield in the Telegraph thinks that the new government will be on collision course with the EU. Ah yes, just as Cameron's government was going to be on that collision course. In fact, the collision course is so crowded all these governments are colliding with each other. What exactly will be the threat? We are not going to take your money. That'll show you.

Another story that makes me say, yes, yes, yes, believe it when I see it is the one about Britain, possibly, deciding to take away aid from countries who are really rather rich now.
Countries such as Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Moldova and Serbia will be stripped of millions of pounds a year, following the inquiry ordered by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell.

Aid to India - which can afford its own space programme - will also be frozen.
First of all, will be stripped after the report is published and thoroughly discussed is just a little vague. My guess is that in a few months' or a year's time we shall find that there is still money going to all these countries.

Secondly, the list of who are too rich to be given aid is a little eccentric. Is Moldova really richer than India overall?

Thirdly, it is going to make no difference whatsoever. The amount given in aid will be going up; our ability to check where the money is going will remain zero; the various UN and NGO projects will still be riddled with corruption; and, above all, aid will remain a pernicious policy that will keep bloodthirsty kleptocrats in power and prevent poor countries from developing their economies, property rights or good governance.


  1. Didn't you just love the quote by the "Brussels spokesman" in the Waterfield story - 'As Irish voters headed for the polling booths on Friday, the European Commission bluntly declared that the terms of the EU-IMF bailout "must be applied" whatever the will of Ireland's people or regardless of any change of government.
    "It's an agreement between the EU and the Republic of Ireland, it's not an agreement between an institution and a particular government," said a Brussels spokesman.' So who speaks for this "Republic of Ireland" in this context? The EU presumably.

  2. To my Irish friends, don't destroy your Country by mucking around with interest rate negotiations and write downs, default, let the bankers and bond holders whistle for their money.

  3. I love the assumption that bankers' money is some separate entity from everybody else's money. Basic economic ought to be compulsory.